Friday, July 6, 2018

Episode 26 - Caren Stelson - PCS Reads

Author Caren Stelson visits PCS Reads and shares about writing Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story.

Visit to listen and for more details about the episode. 

Subscribe to PCS Reads through Apple Podcasts.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Episode 25 Heather Bouwman - PCS Reads

Author Heather Bouwman (H.M. Bouwman) visits PCS Reads and shares about her novel Crack in the Sea.

Visit to listen and for more details about the episode, 

Friday, June 8, 2018

Episode 24 Melanie Heuiser Hill - PCS Reads

Author Melanie Heuiser Hill visits PCS Reads and shares about writing her novel Giant Pumpkin Suite. 

Visit to listen and for more details about the episode, 
or subscribe to PCS Reads through Apple Podcasts.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Season 3 of PCS Reads

Summer is almost here--I'm getting excited about my TBR pile for summer reading and Season 3 of PCS Reads! Head over to for a sneak peek of what's in store.

Monday, October 16, 2017

5 Questions with Mira Bartók author of The Wonderling

"Be brave! And don't forget: Never lose hope!"

Number 13 is a one-eared fox groundling--part animal, part human--who has been living a life of serving and suffering at Miss Carbunkle's Home for Misbegotten Creatures for longer than he can remember. Despite having only one ear, he can hear beyond walls and begins to understand creatures others cannot. A new friend, a flightless bird groundling named Trinket, gives him a proper name--Arthur. Together they escape and embark on an epic adventure in the world beyond Miss Carbunkle's.

Bartók's richly imagined fantasy is a delight to read aloud, and her soft, sepia colored illustrations throughout add a classic feel to Arthur's captivating story filled with music, mystery, magic and wonder.

Today author Mira Bartók stopped by to answer my 5 questions. 
Be sure to keep scrolling after the interview to enter a giveaway for a copy of The Wonderling!

Welcome, Mira Bartók, thank you so much for visiting LibLaura5!

1. Where did the rich and unique world of The Wonderling get its start?

Like most everything I do, it began with a drawing. I drew a quick sketch of a one-eared creature about two and a half years ago. And at the time I was also re-reading a lot of Dickens. So those two things sort of merged in my brain I suppose.

2. Music... is the highest art form of all. It crosses all boundaries, all cultures, all ages.

3. What surprised you while writing/creating The Wonderling?

How much easier it was to write a novel than to illustrate one! Not that it was EASY, but illustrating it was a lot more difficult, that’s for sure!

4. I hope readers of The Wonderling... will not be able to put it down!

5. Sharing the books we love is a way we share about ourselves and connect with each other. What is one book that has been important in your life?

One book that has been so important in my life has been Shaun Tan’s wordless graphic novel, The Arrival. I think it is one of the most profoundly beautiful books of our time. Without words, Shaun has managed to create a story about immigration that is intensely moving, harrowing, but ultimately uplifting. It’s a work of pure genius, and I keep it on my nightstand because I can’t bear to have it far away.

Thank you, Mira Bartók!

Visit Mira Bartók's Webpage:

Read an excerpt of The Wonderling:

Find The Wonderling on...

About Mira Bartók:
Mira Bartók is an artist and writer, and the creator of The Wonderling: Songcatcher, the first book in an illustrated middle-grade fantasy series. As luck would have it, The Wonderling will also be a movie, directed by award-winning British director, Stephen Daldry (The Crown, Billy Elliot, The Reader,etc.), and produced by Working Title Films and Fox2000. (You can read more about the crazy book to movie deal HERE and HERE). She is also the author of The Memory Palace, a New York Times bestselling memoir and winner of theNational Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography. She has written numerous books on ancient and indigenous cultures for children (The Ancient and Living Stencil Series), and her writing for adults has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, noted in The Best American Essays series and has appeared in many literary journals, magazines and anthologies. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her musician/producer husband Doug Plavin and their little bat-eared dog Sadie.  

Monday, August 21, 2017

5 with Jennifer Maschari author of Things That Surprise You

Things That Surprise You begins the summer before middle school for Emily Murphy. Things with Emily's best friend Hazel have been changing ever since Hazel joined the field hockey team, things with her family have been evolving after her parents' divorce, and things with her sister have been the most difficult of all. Emily's sister Mina has been living at a treatment facility to deal with her anorexia.

Things That Surprise You perfectly captures the feelings of a sibling just outside the epicenter of a family emergency who is trying not to add to the damage by quietly internalizing emotional aftershocks. This tenderly crafted and poetically written story filled with truth and hope will leave Emily Murphy firmly nestled in your heart.

Today author Jennifer Maschiari stopped by to answer my 5 questions. 

Be sure to keep scrolling after the interview to enter 2 fabulous giveaways!

Published: August 22, 2017

Welcome, Jennifer, thank you for visiting LibLaura5!
Thank you so much, Laura! I’m so happy to be here.

1. When did you know that you wanted to tell this story and to tell it from Emily’s perspective?
As I was finishing up edits on my first book, THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF CHARLIE PRICE, I knew I wanted to write my next book about a girl who was having difficulty with changes in her life. I also wanted to write a sister story. Originally, though, I set the book at a camp and called it BEST SUMMER EVER. The idea and story underwent a lot of revision and rethinking and many, many drafts. But Emily’s character and voice were there from the very beginning.

2. Eating disorders... are important for kids to know about. According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetimes.. It is likely that kids will know someone in their real lives impacted by an eating disorder.

3. Emily’s teacher Ms. Arnold is a wonderfully memorable supporting character. Were there real people or experiences that played a part in shaping her in the story?
Oh, I’m so glad that you love Ms. Arnold! I can remember a few really influential, wonderful teachers from my childhood who encouraged me and really made that extra effort to get to know me and what was going on in my life. I wanted Emily to have a special teacher like this - who sees that she is struggling and who meets that with kindness and support. In addition to being an author, I’m a teacher, too! I teach 7th and 8th grade science now, but for a time, I was a fifth grade language arts teacher. I loved reading along with my students and suggesting books, just like Ms. Arnold. She’s far more stylish than I am though!

4. I hope readers of Things That Surprise You... see themselves in the story! Middle school can be SUCH a hard time for kids. I hope I’ve captured the awkwardness and the rough patches but also some of the bright spots, too (like making friends who really get you and being true to who you are).

5. Sharing the books we love is a way we share about ourselves and connect with each other. What is one book you read and loved lately?
One book - that’s tough! I have been reading a lot of fantastic books lately. I really enjoyed  Dee Romito’s NO PLACE LIKE HOME. It’s about a girl named Kenzie who is always on the road with her dad. For six weeks, she gets the chance to settle down into real middle school life. It was such a fun read, full of heart.

And if I could sneak in a second book, I also read ORPHAN ISLAND by Laurel Snyder (I loved her 5 questions on your blog!) and was mesmerized by it: the kids on the island, the island itself, the survival aspect. Some of the very best discussions I ever had with my students were about the end of THE GIVER. I think this book is going to invite that same rich conversation. There are so many questions to chew on.

Thank you, Jennifer!

Giveaway #1: Enter to win a copy of Things That Surprise You using the form below


Giveaway #2: Click here to enter to win the Grand Prize Crafty Unicorn Kit!

Visit Jennifer Maschari's Webpage:

Find Things That Surprise You on...

About Jennifer MaschariJennifer Maschari is a classroom teacher and the author of THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF CHARLIE PRICE and THINGS THAT SURPRISE YOU. She is hard at work on her next middle grade novel with Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins. Jennifer lives in Ohio with her husband and stinky (yet noble) English bulldogs, Oliver and Hank.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Episode 23 Drew Brockington - PCS Reads

Author-Illustrator Drew Brockington visits PCS Reads and shares about creating his Catstronauts graphic novel series. 

Visit to listen and for more details about the episode, or subscribe to PCS Reads through iTunes/Apple Podcasts.