“Red” by Michael Hall

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Pulls at the heartstrings and opens the mind. 

This is the type of book that I received as a gift this past winter from a close friend. 

“Red” by Michael Hall is not a surface story. Oh, not at all. In fact it is quite the opposite in the way that it calls out and challenges us to examine the culture of surface labels that have been used on each of us and ones we might have used on others. 

Red: A Crayon's Story: Hall, Michael, Hall, Michael: 9780062252098:  Amazon.com: Books


And I want to say and write so much more about how and why this book is impactful–the needed story right now and also the timeless aspects of it…but I can’t. 

It is best read as new-to-you as can be, because I feel its lingering effects are more impactful that way.

In that space where the story of so many meets your story, and connection and expansion happens. 

The Reading Connection.

It’s Been Awhile…

Hello Everyone!

It has definitely been awhile since I last updated, posted, researched, and the list goes on, even into many other aspects of my life, as I have worked to navigate the waters that are 2020.

I hope you are all well and navigating the waves the best that you can, because, truly, that exactly what we ought to do…the best we can and knowing that “the best we can” looks very different every day, sometimes every second of the day.


I remember at the start of 2020, I had my middle school students do some reflection and goal setting for 2020, and I did the work alongside them. We completed one of those “What’s My Word” activities (like you see below…our was from “The Think Builder”).

My word was “Transition”. Really.

I had no idea the layers, nor the duration, that that word was going to take on in my life, and in all our lives.

So what was my reason for selecting it? What 2020 transitions did I see for myself?

For one, I knew I was going to resign from my current teaching position as a middle school Science & ELL Co-Teacher. My last four school years as a co-teacher had its opportunities and its joy, but it also had its struggles. The big one was that I didn’t feel it was the role for me. I thought about pursuing my love of having my own classroom, especially at the elementary level, but I hesitated. What I needed was a pause from the traditional, and I craved an exploration of the “what if…” of life. I plan to write more about those “what if…” prompts in the next coming weeks, but I will summarize and say…

Currently I am living in Mexico.

I decided to PBL (Project Based Learning) my own life and pursue some passion projects, of which, international travel was among them. Not the vaca type of travel, but the grounded, connection to community, daily living type of travel. Additionally, I wanted to pursue my love of picture books and science more, dive into this site and share even more with all of you!

But then, as you know…Covid-19 happened.

However I still went forward with my plans and am so glad I did. I have absolutely loved it here. I have been here for a little more than five weeks and plan to stay for a total of two months.

So, why the delayed TLC for this site?

Well, for one, there was exploration of the city, the stores, and truly saying “buen día” to every one I have met.

And, two…you know when you have someone you respect and adore ask you for a favor? Well, that happened, even before I left in early September. A 3rd grade teacher at one of our local elementary schools had her baby early and a message appeared from the principal asking me if I would fill in as the long-term sub.

Not fully knowing how that would work out with my departure date, and so much unknown (aka the daily lives of us all), I say “yes”, and we did, indeed work it out. During “red” (online only) and even during “yellow” (hybrid). Then, after 8-weeks of connecting and teaching those awesome 3rd graders, I had to say goodbye for now.

Now, I am here. Grateful, still navigating the changing waters, and turning my mind and heart to my passion projects.

Thanks for sticking with me, visiting the site, and sharing it with others. I appreciate it! The site may change over the next couple of weeks, but what won’t change is my love of sharing science stories, those we live and those we read, with all of you!

Sending my very best to each of you!


January 2nd: National Sci-Fi Day

Hello Community! Happy 2021!

I hope you are enjoying a good book these days! I have a few downloaded on my Kindle app, including The Wild Robot by Peter Brown, a best-selling novel geared for middle-grade readers, but loved by all ages.

The Wild Robot by [Peter Brown]

I originally heard about this class favorite from my colleague and friend, Amy, who used it as a class read in her 5th grade class last year, and is also reading with her current 3rd grade class. She couldn’t stop raving about it, so I instantly bought it, but hadn’t gotten around to reading it. Now I hear there is a 2nd book out

The Wild Robot Escapes by [Peter Brown]

I need to get to reading! What better day to get started than today, January 2nd, Science Fiction Day. A day that is connected to the birthday of famous science fiction author Isaac Asimov. (click HERE to read 15 Fascinating Facts about Isaac Asimov by Suzanne Raga at Mental Floss)

As for past science fiction books I have already read and enjoyed, take a look at these titles:

Space Case (Moon Base Alpha Book 1) by [Stuart Gibbs]
A book that combines living on the moon and a murder mystery!
The Fourteenth Goldfish by [Jennifer L. Holm]
Such a fun book with many layers, including a special relationship between granddaughter and grandfather.

Also…Checkout my blog post about The Fourteenth Goldfish HERE, as it was a past Featured Book!

Oh No!
Delightful Book!

And so many more!

A couple of things I realized during the writing of this post…ONE: Many of the above books now have sequels! TWO: During my search for popular titles, I found so many of my next reads! Like these two…

Click HERE to learn more about this book on Amazon.
Click HERE to learn more about this book on Amazon

I hope reading this post does the same for you…grow your reading list!

Happy National Science Fiction Day and Happy Reading!


Got an Upcoming Amazon Purchase?

Hello and Thank You! 

If you are planning an upcoming purchase on Amazon, please consider accessing Amazon through this link.  This link takes you straight to Amazon while also supporting my efforts toward contributing science ideas and resources for teachers and students. 🙂

You can find this link through this post (consider bookmarking it 🙏) or by going to my Fictional Stories in Science website, and clicking on the links I post to books and resources on Amazon

Does that mean you have to buy a science picture book? No, not at all. 

Once you access Amazon through one of my links, you can then search Amazon for the product you wanted to buy, and continue with your purchase as normal. 

How does that help me and my work? By using my site’s link first, Amazon gives me a very small commission for a variety of products…and every little bit helps. 

Thank You! 🙏

Happy International Women’s Day

Me & My Awesome Mom

Before I share all the amazing science themed picture books you could read this week to celebrate International Women’s Day, I want to start this post with a shoutout to my amazing mom! This is a picture of us February 2019, a night when she was honored as the co-founder of IABE (Idaho Association for Bilingual Education). They were celebrating 40 Years of IABE, and she was among other IABE leaders on a panel for kickoff night. While this alone is impressive, her whole life she has been a leader, role model, rock, and advocate for me, and thousands, in her role as an educator and community member. Love you mom! ❤️

And, like many of the leaders in the picture books I highlight below, she was a scientist in the way that she was a problem solver, and used questions, observations, and data to help her solve problems. 🙌

Sound similar to the role models in your life?

Wouldn’t that be a wonderful science practices project for your classroom? A project where students reflect on the role models in their life and how they engage in the science practices! That could be a big endeavor, so maybe narrow it down to ONE practice at a time, like ASKING QUESTIONS and DEFINING PROBLEMS. It could be a multimodal project that helps them connect to the scientists around them and in them! ❤️

Gosh, I can’t help but also see a future bulletin board display! 😍

(Want to learn more about multimodality in the classroom? Check out this post by Solid Professor)

Now for those picture books! 😃

Here are a few of my favorite…

Purchase on Amazon HERE
Purchase on Amazon HERE
Purchase on Amazon HERE
Purchase on Amazon HERE
Purchase on Amazon HERE
Purchase on Amazon HERE

And here are a few on my TO READ list:

Purchase on Amazon HERE
Purchase on Amazon HERE
Purchase on Amazon HERE

And…don’t forget to checkout my SCIENCE TOPIC BOOK LIST tab, for a link to more science themed books, like my growing list of books on SCIENCE CAREERS!

Happy Reading and Happy Celebrating the International Women Scientists in your life! ❤️


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