News & Blog

Sign up to receive Elaine's newsletter for the latest book news, giveaways, and more
Sign Up
Kid with yarn wrapped frame

Yarn-Wrapped Frame

This week’s art activity was created by another one of my super-talented friends, Erin Shakespear. Erin is a writer and a craft expert and one of the funny, most warm people I know. Take it away, Erin! With a cool book like Framed being featured on Elaine’s awesome blog, it seemed fitting for this week’s art project to be a frame! […]

See more
Framed book cover

Framed

About the Book: A few things to know about Dylan: He is the only boy in his entire town—so forget about playing soccer. His best friends are two pet chickens. His family owns the world’s only gas station/coffee house—their pies are to die for, but profits are in the hole. Criminal instincts run in his family—his […]

See more
Middleworld book cover

Middleworld

About the Book: An epic adventure that brings together ancient history and modern adolescent angst – as it pits a pampered, pizza-eating, 21st century Boston teenager against the Death Lords of the Maya Underworld. In Book One: “Middleworld,” 14-year-old Max Murphy is trying to survive in the perilous rainforest. But poisonous snakes and man-eating jaguars are […]

See more

Exploration and Observation: Tasty Chemical Reactions!

On page 3 of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, we learn that the Herdmans burned down Fred Shoemaker’s old broken-down toolhouse when they started a fire with Leroy Herdman’s “Young Einstein” chemistry set. Let’s do some chemistry that’s more fun and much, much safer! So what is chemistry anyway? It’s studying matter and how it reacts and […]

See more
The Best Christmas Pagent Ever book cover

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

About the Book: Called one of America’s favorite Christmas stories, and now a classic television movie, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” has been a favorite of young readers the world over since 1972. Funny, memorable, and outrageous, it is the story of a family of incorrigible children who discover the Christmas story for the first time […]

See more
balloon rocket

Exploration and Observation: Balloon Rocket Launch

In Cosmic, Liam gets to go on “The Biggest Thrill Ride in the History of the World”–a trip to the moon! Let’s make some indoor rockets and see if we can launch them all the way to the ceiling. Materials needed: fishing line or string, drinking straws, balloons, shuttle picture, masking tape 1. Prepare the launch site. String fishing […]

See more
Cosmic book cover

Cosmic

About the Book: Liam is too big for his boots. And his football strip. And his school blazer. But being super-sized height-wise has its advantages: he’s the only eleven-year-old to ever ride the G-force defying Cosmic rollercoaster – or be offered the chance to drive a Porsche. Long-legged Liam makes a giant leap for boy-kind by […]

See more
Homemade Sundial

Exploration and Observation: North-South and Local Noon (Sundials, Part 2)

In Kepler’s Dream, Ella adjusts to life in a new place and is challenged to find her true north. For today’s science activity, you’ll find your true north and learn something about the place you live! It’s time for part 2 of our sundials activity from astronomer and physicist Laura Cotts! For this activity, you’ll just need a piece […]

See more
Kepler's Dream book cover

Kepler’s Dream

About the Book: When eleven-year-old Ella’s mother has to be hospitalized to undergo a dangerous cancer treatment, Ella spends the summer at “Broken Family Camp” with her eccentric grandmother, whom she’s never met. The situation is hardly ideal for either of them. Ella is scared her mother may die, but her grandmother seems to care more […]

See more
What came from the stars book cover

What Came from the Stars

About the Book: The Valorim are about to fall to a dark lord when they send a necklace containing their planet across the cosmos, hurtling past a trillion stars all the way into the lunchbox of Tommy Pepper, sixth grader, of Plymouth, Mass. Mourning his late mother, Tommy doesn’t notice much about the chain he found, […]

See more