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A Gift, An Encouragement, and A Book List


Have you heard Sam Ryder belt out beauty and soul and grit and wisdom? Have you listened to his heart pouring out in the lyrics he writes (with Max Wolfgang and Amy Wadge)?

Because I'm obsessed, and I don't want to embark on 2024 without taking him with me everywhere I go. Click on this link and check out his official YouTube channel. He's just shy of 1,000,000 followers, and I'd like to help him out so subscribe if you're so inclined.


To say the days we are living in are both trying and tumultuous is beyond an understatement. I don't see too many of us walking around like >>>>

Am I right?

But here's the line in Mr. Ryder's song that I think about all the time:

If butterflies can use their wings to turn the world to hurricanes, you and I can break the chains...

Imagine if we were all of one accord...
If we believed this...
If we shared this...
If we lived this...
If we did this...

What hurricanes could we create that would break the very chains we ourselves have created for others in this world?

Bigotry in all its horrifying and destructive forms.
Inequity of Access/Opportunity.

What could we replace those with?


How do we make that fly?

Be mindful of these virtues as you go into 2024 and bring Mr. Ryder with you. I'm telling you, he's a keeper!

My 2023 Book List:

I hope you will check out these titles:

Picture Books

Young Reader Chapter Books

Middle Grade Books

Young Adult Books

Adult Books

Daisy Rain Martin has spent over thirty years in the classroom and managed to preserve her sanity—mostly. Actually, she feels quite fortunate to be doing all that she loves--teaching, speaking, writing and, as often as possible, laughing. She has earned three degrees: Bachelor of Sociology (1990), a Master of Curriculum and Instruction (2004) as well as a Master of Fine Arts in writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota (2021).

In 2023, she received the distinct honor of being named Idaho’s Human Right Educator of the Year and is partnering with the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights to develop human rights curriculum for the state of Idaho in the coming months. She currently provides professional development for teachers and writers, as well as teachers who write and writers who teach. She is happy to provide a free video lesson on Blackout Poetry to your students. She also has a video for teachers called How to Teach and Assess Writing Without Losing Your Mind. Both videos can be found on her blog. Free lesson plans for teachers are in the works, so subscribe to her website and keep checking back!

In the summers, you can find Daisy in her gardens with her husband or in her office writing. As often as she can, though, she loves spending time with her grandson, Wiggle, who was born on her birthday and her grandniece, Giggle, who was born on Christmas Eve. Truly, she writes for them.


If you are interested in having Daisy deliver a keynote for your school or district, provide professional development for your staff, or visit with your students, please contact her through this website.

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