Category Archives: News



What would you do if you turned on the faucet one day and nothing happened? What if you learned the water in your home was harmful to drink? Water is essential for life on this planet, but not every community has the safe, clean water it needs. In When the World Runs Dry, award-winning science writer Nancy Castaldo takes readers from Flint, Michigan, and Newark, New Jersey, to Iran and Cape Town, South Africa, to explore the various ways in which water around the world is in danger, why we must act now, and why you’re never too young to make a difference.

Coming January 2022!

Click for more info and to pre-order

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Some of today’s most celebrated nonfiction writers for children share how their writing processes reflect their passions, personalities, beliefs, and experiences in the world. Editor Melissa Stewart offers a wide range of tips, tools, teaching strategies, and activity ideas to help students learn to craft rich, unique prose. I’m so happy to be a part of this wonderful essay collection.

NONFICTION WRITER DIG DEEP, 190 pp. 2020. Grades K–12.


Featuring essays by Sarah Albee, Chris Barton, Donna Janell Bowman, Mary Kay Carson, Nancy Castaldo, Jason Chin, Lesa Cline-Ransome, Seth Fishman, Candace Fleming, Kelly Milner Halls, Deborah Heiligman, Susan Hood, Gail Jarrow, Lita Judge, Jess Keating, Barbara Kerley, Heather Lang, Cynthia Levinson, Michelle Markel, Carla Killough McClafferty, Heather Montgomery, Patricia Newman, Elizabeth Partridge, Baptiste Paul, Miranda Paul, Teresa Robeson, Mara Rockliff, Barb Rosenstock, Laura Purdie Salas, Anita Sanchez, April Pulley Sayre, Steve Sheinkin, Ray Anthony Shepard, Anita Silvey, Traci Sorell, Tanya Lee Stone, Jennifer Swanson, Stephen R. Swinburne, Don Tate, Laurie Ann Thompson, Pamela Turner, Patricia Valdez, Sandra Neil Wallace, Laurie Wallmark, Jennifer Ward, Carole Boston Weatherford, Lee Wind, Paula Yoo, and Karen Romano Young

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Latest Honor!

The California Reading Association has awarded THE FARM THAT FEEDS US a SILVER Eureka Nonfiction Award!

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Releasing in July!

Coming to bookshelves soon:

THE FARM THAT FEEDS US  beautifully illustrated by Ginnie Hsu!

Enjoy this reader’s guide for your class.

Pre-order now and get an autographed book upon release  

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Now On Book Shelves!

I’m so excited about my STEM biography about Ada Lovelace. I hope you are too. She was an amazing mathematician who became the first computer programmer — BEFORE THERE WERE COMPUTERS!

Read all about her life and early computer history.

ADA LOVELACE  is available for sale now — just in time to celebrate ADA LOVELACE DAY! There is also a teacher’s guide available for download!



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BACK FROM THE BRINK Gets a Nerdie Award!

Thanks, Nerdy Book Club, for recognizing BACK FROM THE BRINK on the Long Form Nonfiction List this year! It is truly an honor to be included in such a wonderfully diverse award list.

“At a moment in history when the Endangered Species Act is under siege, Back from the Brink kindles interest and commitment towards preserving animal diversity in the natural world. Castaldo describes how many different factors have pushed seven species towards extinction and illustrates what has been done to reverse this trend. A complex web of circumstances: climate, geography, predators, food, and politics hold these animals’ lives in the balance. Creative thinking on the part of scientists and environmental activists has resulted in solutions that will surprise (and delight) readers young and old. Remarkable photographs taken by the author herself accompany these compelling stories.–CJ” 

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Upcoming events!

It’s summer!  I’m noting a few upcoming events on my calendar.  In between, I’ll be researching and reading. Wishing you all sunshine and good books! 
August 13 – Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, NY 
August 14 – Springfield Museum, Springfield, MA
September 29 –  Chappaqua Book Festival, Chappaqua, NY
October 1 – Flint, MI
October 6 –  Pearl River Day, Pearl River, NY
November – NCTE – Houston, TX



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Coming Soon!

I’m so excited to share early reviews for my upcoming book, BACK FROM THE BRINK: Saving Animals From Extinction.

“[Castaldo] offers solid, meaningful suggestions for young readers […] including many, many learning opportunities: things to watch and read, organizations to investigate, websites and parks to explore. Challenging but important reading for the intended audience.”–Kirkus, STARRED review

“An intimate and optimistic look at humans’ ability to protect the planet’s biodiversity.”–Publishers Weekly

“Readers will be moved by Castaldo’s appreciation for these animals.”–Booklist, STARRED review

 Preorder is now available. Book launch will be at Oblong Books and Music on April 28! Call ahead to order a signed copy! 




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Green Earth Book Award Winner!

So happy to share the news that THE STORY OF SEEDS has been selected by The Nature Generation the Green Earth Book Award winner in the Young Adult Nonfiction category!  My thanks to HMH and all of the scientists, farmers, and activists who let me share their stories in this important book! 



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In Stores Now!

* “This eye-opening, cogent, and well-structured volume will enlighten students to both the richness of the animal kingdom and the nature of intelligence itself.”
— Booklist, STARRED review

“Castaldo (The Story of Seeds) presents a thought-provoking look at the minds and perceptions of animals, as well as the way human understanding of the subject has evolved…”
—Publishers Weekly

“The information is conveyed in an enticing way that is sure to spark the interest of aspiring naturalists and researchers… A fascinating take on animal science for tween and teen zoologists.”
— School Library Journal

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On The Stage at Helsinki

What fun to stand on the stage at Helsinki in Hudson, NY and chat about THE STORY OF SEEDS this week! 

No, I was not doing some weird literary, science stand-up. I was speaking at the Columbia County Agricultural Brunch. 

My thanks to the Chamber for hosting a wonderful event and to Kelly from Spotty Dog Books & Ale for bringing over books to sell. 

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A Star from Booklist!

* The Story of Seeds: From Mendel’s Garden to Your Plate, and How There’s More of Less to Eat around the World.
Feb 2016. 144 p. HMH, hardcover, $17.99. (9780544320239

Just like a seed, this deceptively small book is packed with potent life. While the requisite overview of seed biology is included, Castaldo’s discussion of how seeds—and subsequently worldwide food sources, biodiversity, and sustainability—are involved in international politics, economic history, genetic research, and many other areas makes this especially unique and fascinating from many perspectives. Her brief chapters read like well-researched, conversational magazine articles, which will likely appeal not only to students but also environmentally conscious adults. Meanwhile, substantive sidebars and plentiful, well- reproduced color photos feature seeds and plants, of course, but also a wide variety of notable people and places. Her scope is significant, spanning history and geography, and multidisciplinary, focusing not only on botany but also the complex technology used in safeguarding heritage species and plant viability. Pinpointing an important human element, she also features “seed warriors,” who work in science, public policy, and activism, as well as public library seed programs, all of which add to the mix of rich and intellectually delicious nutritional information here. This stellar interdisciplinary resource may need hand- selling to get readers beyond its plain package, but be prepared to satisfy readers’ thirst for more information about, for instance, protecting Russia’s international seed vaults during WWII, finding Glass Gem corn, and fighting biopiracy. A terrific, engrossing resource.
— Francisca Goldsmith

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News and Notes

What a week!  I had a fantastic time at our annual Eastern NY SCBWI Falling Leaves retreat. We hosted five top notch editors who really brought their A-game! It was inspiring, creative, and relaxing.



We wrapped up the weekend with a group book signing at the wonderful Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs. 


I spent Monday and Tuesday at the New York State Reading Association conference. What an incredible group of teachers!  I had a wonderful time chatting about SCBWI Tuesday morning on a panel with Kyra Teis and Eric Luper.  Later in the day I presented a workshop on creating riveting nonfiction. It was followed by a book signing where I met so many wonderful, dedicated teachers. 

Now I am back home and at the page! 

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Race Around The World

I’m so happy to share with you the cover of my new book on Nellie Bly. It will be released early in August – perfect for the start of the new school year. Race Around the World is part of The Totally True Adventure Series and is written for 2nd and 3rd grade readers. I had so much fun reading Nellie’s journal and researching her famous trip around the world.  I can’t wait for you to read it!


Nellie Cover

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Authors for Earth Day School Visit


Calling All Librarians, Media Specialists and Teachers:

Would you like to host a special author event at your school? To promote the importance of our Earth, I’m offering one unique author visit this year. As a participant in Authors for Earth Day , I will be donating 50% of my day’s speaking fee to a conservation organization and the donation recipient will be decided by a student vote at the school I visit.

This is my way to join hands with educators in a celebration of literacy and conservation, and to inspire students make a positive impact on the world. Here’s how it works:

1. We schedule a school visit. I only book ONE of these special events a year and it will go to the first school that confirms a date.

2. A month before my visit, I will send you five “nominee” organizations from my latest book Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (and Their Noses) Save The World for your students to research. This list of non-profit sniffer dog organizations will have brief details about how they help, plus websites so the kids can make educated votes.

3. On the day of my author visit, the kids will vote for whichever organization they think is most deserving of my donation. The ballots (paperless, if possible) will be tallied to determine the donation recipient. At day’s end, we will announce the winning organization!

4. I will write a check to the winning non-profit in honor of the school. NOTE: The school pays me in the normal fashion and I make the donation.

If you have an interest in hosting my Authors for Earth Day event to educate your students with this unique author experience, please check your school calendar for an available day, and then contact me.

I look forward to hearing from you!


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Sniffer Dogs…Coming In One Week !!!!

Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (and Their Noses) Save the World will be out in just under a month. I’m so excited! Kirkus has given it a starred review.

Check out the trailer.

…and a guide for teachers  in implementing Common Core State Standards with Sniffer Dogs


Come celebrate with me at Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck, NY for a fun book launch on July 13. 

 Open Door Bookstore in Schenectady, NY is hosting a Sniffer Dogs event on September 13.  More events happening in the fall!   



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Research in Russia

I love research!  Having the opportunity to immerse myself in something that interests me is a gift.  It’s also fun when research takes you to places you would never see otherwise. My latest book project took me to St. Petersburg, Russia in the dead of winter.  Talk about exciting!  Having grown up during the Cold War I never thought I would ever travel to Russia. I can’t wait to share my experiences with school groups. In the meantime, here are a few photos.

Do these look familiar?

Do these look familiar?

A Dinner of Pelmeni

Potato stuffed pelmeni with wild mushrooms – yummy!

Church of Spilled Blood

Church of Spilled Blood


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What Shall I Put In The Hole That I Dig?

It’s funny how passions have a way of coming around full circle. Some start very early and find their way back into your life.  

I’m pleased to announce that my THE STORY OF SEEDS, an investigative call to action that invites young readers to understand where their food comes from, why seeds are in peril and what people around the globe are doing to protect biodiversity, has been acquired by Erica Zappy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s, for publication in Fall 2015, by Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency.


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Teachers Write Q&A Wednesday

I’ve been having fun today as a guest author, along with David Lubar and Phil Bildner,  at Kate Messner’s Teachers Write.  It’s wonderful to connect with writers.  There have been some fun conversations. The day isn’t over yet, so please stop by and join in the discussion!

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News Test

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