Posted by on Jan 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | 20 comments

Last week’s giveaway was open only to students. This week’s winner is:

Aysia Serene

This week, as a back to school celebration, the giveaway is only for teachers and librarians. To win, leave a comment below simply telling me your favorite way to encourage young readers. A winner will be announced next Tuesday.


Here is quote #3 from RISE OF THE WOLF. This takes place during a battle between Nic and the praetors on the property behind Senator Valerius’s land. It’s short, but I think it’s a good one!


Not far from me, a Praetor had a bow aimed directly at them. Rather than create a shield, I used the last of my magic to hit the Praetor, but it was a moment too late.

With the punch of magic, his arrow released at a different angle than what had been intended and missed Crispus. But it did hit someone.


RISE OF THE WOLF will be released on January 26th – coming soon! If you haven’t read book 1, MARK OF THE THIEF, yet – it’s now available in paperback. Ask for it at your favorite bookstore!


  1. Can’t wait to read Rise of the Wolf! I wonder who it hit?
    – Loreley

  2. …Who got hit?? Aurelia? Caela?? His mom???? Livia???? I’M SO CONFUSED!

  3. Yay. I have the release date marked on my calender! things on my to do list:

    1) reread Mark of the Thief since it’s been about a year.
    2) tell my librarian to enter in the contest

    Can’t Wait!

  4. In my classes I have what I call “No Pressure Reading.” As long as students are reading when given the time, they are exempt from the book report. Students start viewing reading as a reward rather than a punishment. I’m also a firm believer in finding a kid that “one book” that will ultimately turn them into a reader. It makes my heart so happy when I succeed. 🙂

  5. hi i’m writing an esay for school about you because your my favorite author and this doesn’t include or relate to rise of the wolf but i have 3 questions about a night dived so please answer them soon because it’s due january 8th but if you can’t answer i’ll do less specific questions

    1.what inspired you to write about a character like gerta?

    2.how does the Berlin wall effect your life?

    3.if you had the chance to go back in time and change history, making it so the Berlin wall never went up, would you?

    • Hey Delanie! I’ll try to answer your questions…

      1. When I had the idea to write about the Berlin Wall, I spent some time trying to find the story’s heroine: how old she’d be, her personality, her strengths and weaknesses. I found Gerta in the first line of the story, about the prison being built around the as they slept. In that moment, I felt Gerta’s resentment and anger at the injustice that had suddenly become her life.

      2. The Berlin Wall was already in place when I was born, so it was just a normal part of my growing up. Like most people, I believed it would always be up, that it was just the way life was. The night the wall came down, my mom and I just sat in front of the TV with our jaws hung open – we couldn’t believe it! Seeing the expressions on the faces of the East Germans as they crossed into the west fixed in my mind how much I had taken for granted the idea of freedom. I’ve never forgotten that.

      3. Wow – what a question, right? Each of us is a product of our histories, both the good experiences and the bad. If I were to take the Berlin Wall away, it would change the people who were affected by the wall, and I don’t think I could do that. I think history has to unfold the way it does, and if we want to honor the struggles of the past, we will learn from it.

      Good luck on your report!

      • thank you so much for answering my questions i’m sure that this report will be the best <3 <3 <3 <3

  6. Oh my god the suspense! You’re killing us, Mrs.Nielsen.

  7. The way I like to encourage students to read is to talk to them about what they are reading. I take recommendations from them and give them recommendations too! It helps encourage reading while helping connent with the students.

  8. What a tantalizing quote to share! I can’t wait to read Rise of the Wolf.

    One of the things I like to do to encourage young readers is to read middle grade and YA novels that I can then bring into the classroom to share with my students. Because I’ve read the books, I can “book talk” them and (I hope) encourage my students to explore some new titles and authors.

    I also keep a Book Nook page on my school’s learning management system. I feature some of my favorite books on those pages by writing a little bit about why I love them and I also post a synopsis. I’ve been lucky enough to meet a few of my favorite authors, so I like to post a photo of me with the author when I have one.

    I hope these activities help to encourage young readers. They have definitely inspired some great conversations between me and my students!

    • Valerie, I absolutely agree with teachers being the reading models! So glad to have someone like you in a classroom!

  9. I work in a library and often get kids who don’t know what to read or are sure they don’t like reading. I usually keep an eye on book blogs to see what is getting the most hype and new authors. I work in circulation so I get to see what gets checked out the most so that generally gives me a guide to what kids in their age range would like. Plus the resources online like goodreads are endless.

    I try to remind kids that there is more to books than the books that are required reading in school.

    I usually ask if they have seen movies like Percy Jackson which have originated from books and ask if they liked it. Because if they have liked the movie what’s to stop them from liking the book?

    I know some kids who proudly tell me that their parents make them read the book before they watch the movie.

    The biggest thing for parents or authority figures is to lead by example. Kids notice the things you say and what you do. That includes reading.

    • You’re absolutely right, Kayla – leading by example is key. Thank you!

  10. My biggest goal of the year is always to help my 5th graders build a love for reading. My favorite way to encourage this is to let them see MY love of reading. I start the year by reading around the room alongside my students and getting them all public library cards. I show them my “to-read” stacks, my current reads, and my completed reads. I do this on instagram and on my classroom door. As I finish books, I give 1 minute book talks on them, and put pictures of them on my door. Every day they get to see my excitement and love for reading, and I get to recommend books to kids. And it works- they catch the fire for reading! We have the best job ever!

    • I love this – teachers like you are so important, especially in the 5th grade when we start to lose some readers!

  11. This is a little later in the year so of course I already read this book, but I was so scared when I read this part. I thought the arrow would either end up in a crazy angle and it would hit Nic. Or it would hit Aurelia. That would be just terrible!

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