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Drawing of Ed Ed with Mini-Ed

Hi, I'm Ed

I retired after seventeen years in the first grade trenches in Allegan, Michigan. Now you will find me doing my own writing, volunteering with students in several different places, doing freelance work, selecting books for various committees, and, of course, reading.

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I won a 2016 Outstanding People for Education award from the Allegan County School Board Association. I’m proud to be a Cool Teacher award winner for Grand Valley State University’s educational television station.

Over the years, I’ve taught a Graduate Young Adult Literature class, served on the Printz committee, the Caldecott committee, and many other book committees for the American Library Association.

I am a certified Reading Specialist, which has led to the publication of more than 45 curriculum guides for students of all ages for eight different publishers, most notably Houghton Mifflin’s Scientists in the Field series.

I founded the teen book review column for the Michigan Reading Association and now I am reviewing books for Horn Book magazine.

If you'd like to learn more about my professional experience, click here for my resume.

Please drop me a line with what you are reading; I always love hearing about books!

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I have things to say about books, education, and the authors or illustrators who create these books for children and teens. Also, I am retired and over sixty, which means that I get to be crotchety and say whatever the hell I want about books, authors, illustrators, or education. I hope this blog takes you on a journey. I hope it surprises you. I hope you discover that Spicyreads is one strange ranger—but one ultimately with a very kind heart.

What I Write About


I feature as many debut publications as I can. I hope to find those books we all wan to see, but may not find through conventional channels.

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I have NEVER felt comfortable describing myself as a 'teacher.' I'm not some sort of answer man. I always created spaces for my students to take responsibility for their own learning.

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We need diverse books, written and illustrated by diverse people. Knowing the people who create these stories is as important as knowing the story.

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Don't you always wish for more? I'm sure blogging has more to show me, and you.

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I've recorded a lot of videos

My goal interviewing authors or illustrators on video is to capture something essential about their work or about them personally and, with luck, both. Before doing the video, I do my research. I know their work, I have read interviews. I have read what others have written about them. When I do my video, I am hoping that it offers something fresh and interesting.

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Say Hello!

I am old school (because I am old)! If you wish to speak with me, email is often the very best way to reach me.
I will ALWAYS respond to legitimate comments or questions on my blog!
If we are friends on Facebook, post something on my wall.
Birds of a feather, flock together: so feel free to send me a tweet on Twitter.