Best Halloween Books for People Who Don’t Love Books

Do you want to hear something terrifying? Apparently there are people out there who don't love to read. [SFX: ear-piercing scream] Scary, I know. If you don't love reading as much as I do (insert [...]

My Dear Misfits: You Will Be Found

A fan of Hello, Universe created this art a few weeks ago, and its hashtag tugged at me. Do you see it? At the bottom of Virgil's backpack? #YouWillBeFound I rolled it over and over [...]

My Favorite 2017 Releases — So Far

Of the 92 books I've read in 2017, these four — all released this year — are my favorites so far. They're all very different, but have one thing in common: Awesomeness. The Arsonist by [...]

Why I Write Longhand

When I was a little girl, I would put a pillow on my lap, balance a notebook on top, and write stories. There was something magical about pencil-on-paper. When I speak to young people, I [...]


This has been an incredible year. The release of HELLO, UNIVERSE in March came with a flurry of activity, traveling, starred reviews (!), book talks, speeches, conferences, and general fantastic-ness that can't be described in words. [...]

Why Libraries are Gold #NationalLibraryWeek

I still remember the smell of my elementary school library — the scent of well-loved books and paperback leaves. I still see how the shelves are arranged — the tables in the center of the room, [...]

I Will Not Tell a Lie

In my debut novel Blackbird Fly, the main character Apple Yengko is voted the third-ugliest girl in school. There's a rumor that she eats dog for dinner. The boys bark at her when she walks down the [...]

3 Things I Learned on Tour

Adults are kinda lame. (Sorry, grown-ups.) When I arrived and left, I was greeted with excited cheers and I suspect at least 50 percent of them had no idea who I was. They were just thrilled to [...]

Let Me Read to You for #WRAD!

On World Read Aloud Day, readers of all ages celebrate literacy and the pure joy and power of reading aloud. In honor of #WRAD, here is a snippet of me reading chapter two of HELLO, [...]

Once upon a time, I was a little girl.

I knew a few things about life back then. They were: When you're a girl, there is nothing worse than being ugly. Therefore, it's a top proirity to be pretty. You should always be [...]

Celebrating 75 Years of Little Golden Books

This is a year of great celebration! It's the 75th anniversary of Little Golden Books. When I flip through the pages of a Little Golden Book, I travel back to a time when the Poky Little [...]

My Favorite Reads of the Year

Of the 100+ books I read this year, these are the 12 that stayed with me. They share only one thing in common: Each sentence made me want to get to the next one. 

Do You Love Louisa May Alcott because of Little Women? I Don’t.

Today is Louisa May Alcott's birthday. When we think of LMA, we think of Little Women. Well, that's what you think about, anyway. I think of A Long Fatal Love Chase. Here's a confession: I [...]

When Bullies Win

I write a lot about bullies. And unfortunately, there are times when bullies win. It's unfair. It's tragic. But it's true. As we all know, life isn't fair. As parents and educators, it's something we [...]