Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday Spotlight - DeRaps Reads

Hi! So, I'm finally getting back into the grove with my Spotlights. I'm only going to do Saturday spotlights right now - I have about six after this so if you sign up below it won't come up until October.

Today I have a fantastic high school English teacher who also blogs! Give it up for Mrs. DeRaps!

Mrs. DeRaps
Nickname and/or blog name: DeRaps Reads
Blog URL:

Tell me a bit about yourself.
I am a high school English teacher who loves to read YA books. I started DeRaps Reads because my classroom blog was filling up with book reviews and my students were having trouble finding their assignments. It was just getting too cluttered, so DeRaps Reads was born!

When and why did you start your blog?
I started blogging many years ago and have blogged ever since on a variety of platforms. I decided to start a classroom blog about three years ago. DeRaps Reads is my youngest (but funnest) bog. I know funnest isn't a word, but it should be!

What is your blog all about? Any cool features you want to share?
I do have a feature called Book 2 Book where I pair a YA title with a classic. I've created this feature for teachers who are looking to create what's called a ""bridge"" between high-interest YA reads and harder classic novels. I use bridge books all the time in my classroom, but I've found that a lot of English teachers are not used to thinking about books in this manner.

This feature is also for non-teachers who would just like the inspiration to read a classic or a YA novel based on a connection that I see. It's a pretty fun feature, if I do say so myself.

What are some of your favorite genres and/or books currently?
I love to read a variety of books and am reading seven or eight books at any given time. I guess that my least favorite genre would have to be romance, but all others are fair game. My favorite books right now are more realistic reads, like Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles and Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.

How do you find out about the books you read?
I follow as many blogs as I can to stay "up" on the newest reads. I also belong to several book clubs and have lots of conversations about YA and adult books. I feel like I need to stay connected to YA books in particular, because my students benefit from having a teacher who reads YA books with them. Actually, my students are probably my best source for new books--they tell me what they are looking to read.

Any tips or advice for those starting or thinking about starting a blog?
Don't feel pressure to post a bunch of times a week or a day, if that doesn't fit your schedule. You probably started a blog because you love to read and want to share that love with other readers. So, being a reader should come first. Or, if you're a writer that should come first. Your blog should be about you and your passion, whatever that is. People follow passion.

Contest Alert:
Currently, Mrs. DeRaps is having a contest for a copy of Crank by Ellen Hopkins, ends October 2nd.

Thanks Mrs. DeRaps! I just love what her blog! Stay tuned for a guest review by her.

If you're interested in being a spotlighted blogger, please fill out this form.


  1. I really enjoy her blog too - it is always thoughtful and inspiring and has her own flavour that makes it stand out from other blogs.

  2. A great interview. I'm off to check out her blog!

  3. This is a wonderful interview! I'll definitely have to go look at her blog =) She sounds thoughtful and intelligent.

  4. Cool interview. I like that blog. :) I like the advice for new bloggers. I found that out by asking my readers what they thought. So yeah, I pretty much just post whenever I can, and have been posting pretty regularly. Probably a little too regularly. :P

  5. I have been a follower of Mrs. DeRaps for quite a while. I really enjoy her Book 2 Book feature and her way of analyzing the books she reads.

  6. Great interview & I checked her blog & I like it, so now I'm her follower, too :)

  7. I enjoy her blog, too - I found it during an event a while ago and have been a reader ever since!

  8. Great Spotlight! I love teachers who read what their students read. I wish I had a teacher like that in school :)

  9. The Book 2 Book feature sounds like fun - interesting idea for bridging to classics that a lot of teens might not be interested in at first glance!

  10. love her advice cuz that's pretty much how I blog: post as much as my schedule allows which isnt a ton because my time is stretched so thin, and I agree that it's about your love of reading more than anything:)


Leave some love!