Ep. 25 Melissa Hart

In this episode, we speak with author and educator Melissa Hart. We talk about her new book, Better with Books: 500 Diverse Books to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens. She discusses her inspiration for writing the book, role of bibliotherapy, book recommendations, librarians as great resources for children’s books and role of diverse literature to ignite empathy and encourage self-acceptance.


Melissa Hart is the author of Better with Books500 Diverse Books to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens (Sasquatch, 2019) and the award-winning middle-grade novel Avenging the Owl (Sky Pony, 2016). She’s contributing editor at The Writer Magazine, and her essays have appeared in Real Simple, Working Mother, Woman’s Day, The Los Angeles TimesThe Washington Post, and numerous other publications. She teaches for the MFA in Creative Writing program at Southern New Hampshire University, and lives in Oregon with her husband and 12-year-old daughter. Find her on Twitter and Instagram at @WildMelissaHart. You can also find her at melissahart.com.

Books mentioned in this episode:

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Patterson

Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart

If I Ever I Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Gaby, Lost and Found by Angela Cervantes

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Lights Camera Action by Emily Thomas

Some Kind of Happy by Claire Legrand

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper

The Watsons Go To Birmingham -1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

Roll with It by Jamie Sumner

To learn more about the books discussed in this episode check out your local library or bookstore.

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