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Barb Odanaka
  • Female
  • Laguna Beach, CA
  • United States
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Barb Odanaka's Friends

  • DebH2U
  • Barbara Katz
  • Amy King
  • Heeru Bhojwani

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AZ Literacy Groups?

Started Nov 6, 2009


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Name of Your School / Library / Organization:

I'm a children's book author and founder of the nonprofit Skateboard Moms and its community outreach program Rolling4Reading, a grassroots literacy program that delivers good books to kids in need--via skateboard.

I'm also an educator---a home educator. (This wasn't my plan, to say the least, but teachers and school administrators were telling me it was the best option for us due to my child's extreme asynchronous development.) I hope to learn from all of you!

Our homeschooling is almost entirely literature-based, even math. My book-loving 12-year-old son loves, loves, loves Mark Twain, and we are attempting Twain's complete works now (saving Huck Finn for last). We spend gobs of time at the library!

We travel lots--for education, mostly, but also for me to do my author assemblies at schools, libraries, etc. My show combines my love of reading and writing with my love of skateboarding. As a finale, I give the school principal, librarian or other "authority" figure an introductory skateboard lesson. The students love that!

My latest book, A Crazy Day At the Critter Cafe, features a skateboarding cow, so I am now skateboarding in a cow costume.

Prior to becoming a children's author, I was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. I left the LA Times to backpack around the world for a year with my husband on $30 a day. I've sipped cobra blood, dived with big, toothy sharks, and once outran a (small) avalanche in the Himalayas. But nothing gets my heart pumping like discovering a great book! :-]

I'm starting to do virtual author visits using Skype videoconferencing. But I'd much rather meet you and your students in person!

Thanks for having me!

Barb Odanaka
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Comment Wall (11 comments)

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At 10:45pm on January 26, 2012, Mike McQueen said…

Greetings Barb,

I'm Mike McQueen, teacher librarian and founder of Like many school districts, we are in a financial crises. Our school board recently proposed to eliminate ALL 20+ middle school teacher librarians and also cut all 90+ elementary schools to half time. Since we are the biggest district in all of Colorado, we worry this will cause other districts to follow suit. We launched an online movement and are going to do our best to put up a good fight. If possible, please visit our Facebook page and "Like" us . Adding a positive comment and sharing with your friends would help our morale as well. The board finalizes the budget soon so your timely support would be greatly appreciated!


Mike McQueen

Teacher Librarian at McLain HS

Lakewood, CO

At 12:27pm on October 11, 2009, Abida Merchant said…
Thank you!!!! U r the first one to comment on my status....makes me feel welcomed!!!!
At 6:26am on August 24, 2009, DebH2U said…
LOL! Nope, but I do a decent iai-tate-do kata ;-)
At 5:31pm on August 22, 2009, Debbie Kovesdy said…
I have 3 wii's and 2 X-BOX 360's and am on the MIT, Harvard EdGames, and ASU Applied Techs mailing lists for educational gaming! (There are masters degrees in Ed Gaming now!). I am exploring some very radical moves in my Library Media Center!!

More soon... :)

PS YES lets get some dialog going for sure with others out there!
At 11:20am on August 2, 2009, Barbara Katz said…
Hi! It was during my book fair, and I was harried. Where do you live? Barbara Katz
At 5:59am on May 28, 2009, Heeru Bhojwani said…
Dear Barbara,

Looking forward to taking you around Mumbai, whenever you do come. The world is small who knows when it could happen.
At 2:05am on May 27, 2009, Mike McQueen said…
Hi Barb,
I'm a teacher librarian & recently started a community based blog for getting boys to read - Please send me a friend request if you'd like to network, share ideas, and learn more about getting boys to read.

Mike McQueen

LET'S NETWORK HERE TOO (request me as a friend):
My TWITTER Profile</</body>
At 3:25pm on March 29, 2009, Rhonda A said…
Hi Barb--
I "second" the must-see Colorado bookstores as Bookies and Tattered Cover. Awesome selection. Plan to spend several hours browsing!
At 11:05am on March 29, 2009, Liz Keating said…
Oh my gosh-yes-maybe not Cildren book focused-but our state's favorie store-the Tattered Cover.....recently moved from its orignal spot in Cheery Creek's trendy shipping area to an old theqater on Colfax-ther is a brank in LoDo across from Union Station too.
At 6:55pm on March 15, 2009, Natalie Schiele said…
Barb, There is a wonderful children's bookstore called Bookies. Their website is:
Their address is:
4315 E Mississippi Ave
Denver, CO 80246
(303) 759-1117
If you use cash or write a check you can get a special teacher or librarian discount!
Tattered Cover Bookstore is also another one of my favorites.

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