Ask Me What I’m Reading — Winter Edition!

THANK YOU again to everyone who supported my most recent round of fundraising campaigns by purchasing or sharing about my Ask Me What I’m Reading T-shirts and masks. I am STILL blown away by the success of the campaigns, which altogether raised nearly $17,000! Some of that money was donated to various organizations that work to improve kids’ book access in the United States and around the world, and some was used to purchase and send books directly to teachers and librarians whose budgets, this year, are in worse shape than ever. The latter work was done with the aid of the Clear the List project/hashtag, as well as my own efforts to support teachers’ and librarians’ local independent bookstores.

Shortly after the T-shirts and masks started shipping, I received a number of requests about putting the Ask Me What I’m Reading design on some cold-weather gear. So I once again worked with Custom Ink to put together a long-sleeve T-shirt and sweatshirt campaign. The campaign went live last week, and will be up for another week or so.

Please note that the crewneck sweatshirts come in youth sizes! And THANK YOU again to everyone who has shared and/or supported these efforts of mine. Together, we’ve been able to put a lot of books in a lot of kids’ hands!

~ Jarrett

This School Year…

For many kids, teachers, and librarians, the school is coming (or has just come) to a close. And what a strange school year it was. Especially the last quarter of it. None of us could’ve foreseen that we’d be told to cancel all our plans, to stay at home — and to figure out how to teach a country full of kids remotely.

Last week, Amy Holmes — an educator from Waterford, Michigan — reached out to ask me whether I was planning to create some sort of “end of the school year” activity sheet. I hadn’t been, but thought it was a great idea. I figured both kids AND adults could benefit from some solid reflection after the past few months.

And so, I created this activity sheet:

this school year

My hope is that the prompts are broad and open enough to get anyone’s brain churning, and that they lead to some positive, productive thinking. You can download a free, printable version of the activity sheet by clicking HERE. You can also find it at my ACTIVITIES page along with all my other activities.

Here’s hoping next school year is as “normal” as it safely can be. And here’s to never again taking for granted the time we get to spend teaching (and learning from!) kids in schools and the wonderful spaces — the classrooms, libraries, hallways, and fields — that they contain.

~ Jarrett

MORE The World Needs Your Story Shirts!

the world

Last week, people began receiving my The World Needs Your Story T-shirts that they ordered during my fundraiser for the Author Experience and continued kids’ book access efforts. Lots of people reached out to me to say that they forgot to order a shirt, and wanted one, or were just seeing the design for the first time and would love to get one.

So, we’re doing another round of fundraising! This time, however, proceeds from sales will be evenly split between the Author Experience and We Need Diverse Books, an incredible “non-profit…grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry.” We Need Diverse Books’ aim is “to help produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.”

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If you’re not familiar with We Need Diverse Books and all the wonderful work they do, I highly encourage you to visit their site and social media feeds and learn more. You can also, of course, donate directly to We Need Diverse Books — now, or after this T-shirt fundraiser ends.

In case you missed the link up top, click HERE to get to the T-shirt fundraising page. And as always, THANK YOU!

~ Jarrett

“For all my teachers, both past and present”

Geeger dedication.JPG

This week is Teacher Appreciation week, and so it seems like a particularly good time to share the dedication to my next book, Geeger the Robot Goes to School:

For all my teachers,
both past and present

Throughout my life, I’ve been fortunate to have many incredible teachers — both in the classroom and outside of it. And because this first book in the Geeger the Robot series is, among other things, about Geeger learning just what school is all about, it felt right to give him an incredible teacher. Once you get a chance to read Geeger the Robot Goes to School, I hope you’ll agree the Ms. Bork of Amblerville Elementary School is one of the good ones.

The book hits shelves in a few months — on August 25th — but is available for preorder now wherever books are sold. As always, I encourage you to preorder and purchase books from your local independent bookstore. If you don’t have one in your area, two other great options are online retailers IndieBound and Bookshop. I’ve placed links to my books on both sites below:




~ Jarrett

The World Needs Your Story T-Shirt!

A few months ago, I shared this drawing:

your story

And now I’m excited to share that this drawing is on a whole bunch of T-shirts:

Even better, funds from the sales of the shirt will help support The Author Experience, as well as other organizations and efforts that work for book access equity:

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To purchase a shirt and/or donate, click HERE. And to learn more about the Author Experience, head to their site (linked up above), or see below.


~ Jarrett

. . .

The Author Experience is an organization that works to support the literacy growth of students in communities facing economic challenges. Through a unique collaboration with schools, The Author Experience delivers a sustainable program grounded in the transformative power of story.

Our goal is to build a lasting culture of literacy—one in which students, their families, and educators craft their stories and develop their voices together. The pillars of The Author Experience are author partnerships, family engagements, and targeted professional development.

Participating students demonstrate increased confidence, self-efficacy, and literacy proficiency. In addition, the students and adults in the greater school community become more connected.

Thank Your Teacher!

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I strongly believe that teachers deserve more appreciation and support all year round — and that’s in normal times. But these past six weeks or so have been far from normal. The demands on teachers — already enormous, and of enormous importance — have increased exponentially, ever since they were forced to figure out pretty much overnight how to teach their students remotely.

And so, if any time is a good time to show a teacher a little extra appreciation, now is an especially good time. Which is why I created this Thank Your Teacher activity sheet.

thank your teacher.jpg

I hope the activity causes kids and adults alike to reflect on all the time and energy that teachers devote to their work, and all the compassion and creativity with which they do it. I hope it also helps those same kids and adults brighten some teachers’ days.

Click HERE to download this activity sheet, or find it on my ACTIVITIES page along with all my other activity sheets.

And lastly, a big heartfelt THANK YOU from me to all the teachers out there who do what they do every day and deserve all the appreciation they can get — and then some!

~ Jarrett

T-Shirts of All Kinds!

I’ve gotten a lot of requests lately to reopen my previous T-shirt fundraisers. First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who’s already purchased shirts and proudly posted photos wearing them — it’s because of you that we’ve raised over $30,000 for various organizations that help put books into the hands of the kids who need them most, and also because of you that more people want to get shirts of their own and support the cause. And thanks, of course, to everyone who’s asked me to reopen the fundraisers! Also: here you go!

Below you will find six screenshots and associated links. The CustomInk fundraising platform only allows campaigns to have six different shirt options per campaign, so read the description below each link or click into the page to see the options for that fundraiser.


— Each of these campaigns will remain open for three weeks, so if you want to get a shirt, or want to share the links with others, make sure to do so within that period!

— I will be launching a NEW T-shirt campaign with a new design this Friday, May 1st. Half of all of proceeds from this new fundraiser will go to support The Author Experience, while the other half will go to various kids’ book access efforts.

THANK YOU again!

~ Jarrett

1. Kids Need Books of All Kinds — Crew Necks

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Click HERE to order Kids Need Books of All Kinds crew neck T-shirts in a variety of colors.

2. Kids Need Books of All Kinds — Women’s V-Necks and Long-Sleeves

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Click HERE to order Kids Need Books of All Kinds women’s V-neck T-shirts in a variety of colors or gray or black long-sleeve options.

3. Kids Need Books of All Kinds — Long-Sleeves, Sweatshirts, and Gray Women’s V-Neck

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Click HERE to order Kids Need Books of All Kinds long-sleeve T-shirts, sweatshirts, or gray women’s V-neck.

4. Books Are Meant To Be… — Crew-Necks

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Click HERE to order Books Are Meant To Be… crew-neck T-shirts. Note that there are both women’s and unisex options. Also note that the blue unisex option comes in Youth sizes!

5. Have No Fear A Teacher Is Here — Crew Necks

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Click HERE to order Have No Fear a Teacher is Here crew-neck T-shirts. Note that there are both women’s and unisex options.

6. Have No Fear a Library is Here — Crew Necks

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Click HERE to order Have No Fear a Librarian is Here crew-neck T-shirts. Note that there are both women’s and unisex options.

Thank a Truck Driver!

The other day, my pal Amy Janjgava shared with me something that she’d heard on the radio: “If you got it, a truck brought it.” I’d already been working on an activity sheet to thank truck drivers for the work they do, and I thought this statement was the perfect thing to center the sheet around.

truck driver

It’s a great quote. It reminds us just how much we rely on truck drivers ALL the time — and now more than ever.

You can download the sheet above by clicking HERE, or by heading over to my ACTIVITIES page. You can print it, complete it, and share it with a truck driver you know, or simply complete it as an exercise in acknowledging these unseen, often unsung individuals who keep our lives running as they do.

~ Jarrett

Thank Your Mail Carrier!

The past several weeks have been unlike any we’ve ever experienced. The world has been turned upside down, as have all our lives. We’re social distancing. Staying home to flatten the curve. Venturing out only when it’s absolutely necessary. And if you’re anything like the rest of the world, you’re probably ordering as much stuff as you can online. We’re relying on our mail carriers and package deliverers unlike we ever have before, and those mail carriers and package deliverers are putting themselves at risk like they never have before.

The other day, my sister-in-law, Cesha Ventre, suggested that I make an activity sheet to help people thank their mail carriers and package deliverers. Here what I came up with:

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Click HERE to download a printable version of this sheet. And, of course, if you’re uncomfortable physically handing something to your mail carrier or package deliverer, you can complete the sheet and tape it to your mailbox or front door — wherever they might see it. And rather than take it with them, they can always snap a picture of it to remember that you see them and acknowledge and appreciate the ways in which they are helping us in these unprecedented times.

~ Jarrett

Draw the Author Contest: the WINNERS!

Draw the Author Contest Announcement

Six weeks ago, I launched my Draw the Author Contest to find a new author portrait for my upcoming series of Geeger the Robot early chapter books. The contest was only open for three weeks, but in that time, I received hundreds of submissions from kids all over the country (and a couple dozen from kids abroad, too!). Looking through the submissions was both delightful — there was so much talent on display! — and stressful — how was I going to choose just one of these amazing drawings?! I mean, I knew the decision was going to be tough. But I didn’t quite realize it was going to be this tough.

In the end, after poring over the submissions for several days, I decided that I, in fact, couldn’t pick just one drawing. But I figured I could pick, say, four drawings. And there just so happens to be FOUR books in the Geeger the Robot series. And so, my publisher and I decided to include a different portrait in each of the four books.

Now, without further ado, I present to you the winners of the Draw the Author Contest…

Appearing in Book 1 of the Geeger the Robot series will be this portrait by kindergartener Noah:


Appearing in Book 2 of the Geeger the Robot series will be this portrait by 3rd grader Annabelle:


Appearing in Book 3 of the Geeger the Robot series will be this portrait by 6th grader Dominic:


And appearing in Book 4 of the Geeger the Robot series will be this portrait by 5th grader Ariah:


THANK YOU to every kid who entered my contest, and THANK YOU to every adult who shared the contest with their students and/or kids. I am BEYOND excited to be able to feature these incredible kid creations in my books.

~ Jarrett