First Book Reviews In

The Parent Backpack, by ML Nichols



There’s nothing more nerve wracking as an author than waiting for reviews and endorsements of your book to come in. It’s a grueling, stressful roller-coaster ride of the worst kind.

You write and research for over a year hoping at least a few people will find your book worthy of reading. Then a couple months before your book comes out, your publisher sends the almost finished “pages” to the reviewers – and other authors who may want to read it – or not. And then once they read it, they decide if they want to provide a few words about the book – a “blurb” as they call it in the business.

Then you wait. Holding your breath.

And I’m relieved to report that the initital endorsements and reviews are in — and I’m thrilled! You can see them scrolling on my website home page and on the book page.

I’m grateful to Ned Hallowell,


best selling author of many books on parenting – and one of my all-time favorites - The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness. He’s also written many books on ADD, including Driven to Distraction.

 I also want to thank author Jim Trelease who wrote the


jim trelease

best selling “bible” on why reading to children is so important – The Read Aloud Handbook.Jim’s retirement and 7th edition will be published later this month. A must read if you have kids aged 10 or under. And finally, to Dr. Donna Pincus, a psychologist and mother of three elementary age kids who wrote a great book about helping children deal with anxiety, Growing Up Brave. I am honored and humbled by their words.Donna Pincus Growing Up Brave 2


Finally, Publishers Weekly is the premier reviewer of non-fiction books in the publishing world. They read The Parent Backpack for Kindergarten through Grade 5 (apparently they pick and choose which books they deem worthy of review).  I feel lucky to get reviewed because  many book stores and libraries decide if they will purchase your book based on this review.

Here’s the review on The Parent Backpack for Kindergarten through Grade 5 from Publishers Weekly:

In this approachable guide, Nichols offers practical advice to parents on everything from how to select a kindergarten program to how to write appropriate e-mails to your child’s teacher. Nichols, the director of the Parent Connection, a nonprofit parent education group, has extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of the early years of a child’s education.
All parents will benefit from the early chapters providing specifics about the current generation of elementary schools, and suggestions for what parents can do to ensure their children’s success within the changing system. Nichols is well versed in both the budgetary and curricular strains on the system and current best practices in various subjects and classroom management. The final chapters run the gamut of parenting and education topics, from bullying to technology and even health, but each feels important and contributes to the larger framework.
“Top Ten Takeaways” at the end of each chapter are provided for easy reference, and sample scripts for how to interact with teachers are particularly useful. Throughout, Nichols successfully balances her frustration with the system with heartfelt optimism regarding the role that parents can play in making their children’s school experience positive, claiming that “there’s never been a more challenging or more exciting time to do this.” Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary & Media. (July)
So thank you Publishers Weekly for a great review. And thank you to all the parents and educators for your support of my work and The Parent Backpack. The book will be available on July 23rd at most book stores and in e-book It can also be pre-ordered here.
Stay tuned for some sneak previews of what’s to come in The Parent Backpack for Kindergarten through Grade 5. 


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