About Us


NEW BOOK JOY brings inspirational books, reading resources and interactive activities to children and adults of ALL AGES.

Join us for mind-opening readings and conversations…

Behind the Books

Connie & Mandy


Two teachers passionate about…

GREAT LITERATURE

MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES

GIVING BACK


THE DREAM TEAM

“Are we slightly nerdy and just a bit goofy?Yes, we will admit that. Are we pretty spot-on with finding and recommending great books that get people talking and thinking? Yup.”


Our Writers

Meet Mandy G

NBJ Founder

Hi, Mandy here! I am an English teacher and have been teaching at the same high school, in suburban Chicago, for over 20 years. I have taught everything from Advanced Placement to classes that had reluctant and struggling readers. My students know that they can expect some excitement in my classroom: book tastings, book blind dating, book movie trailers, and literature circles. I have my MA in teaching with a focus in literacy. When I am not shaping the minds of my students and learning from them, I am: reading, listening to music, watching a movie, traveling, or enjoying a new adventure with family and friends.


Meet Connie O

NBJ Founder

I’m Connie: reading specialist, college instructor for literacy courses, widow and mother of three, and slightly-obsessed fan of children’s picture books. In my professional life, I’ve been a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, literacy coach, and elementary classroom teacher. I’ve LOVED hearing the amazing insights my students and my own children shared when we were discussing a juicy book together. Besides great books, I find my joy through gardening, hanging out with my now-grown kids, and snuggling my 80-pound Lab, McGee.


Meet Beth H

NBJ Guest Contributor

Beth Hettinger has been working as a counselor at a suburban Chicago high school for seven years; prior to that she taught high school and adult-ed both virtually and in-person for thirteen years. When not working, she can be found gardening, bike riding, hiking, pretty much anything outdoors. She loves curling up with a good book, hanging out with her daughter, and enjoying friends.


Meet Kelly S

NBJ Guest Contributor

Kelly Skowronski is an elementary school teacher in St. Charles, Illinois. She has a Master’s in Reading Instruction and is a certified Reading Specialist. She is passionate about Children’s Literature and loves to read Young Adult Novels in her free time. When not reading, she loves to spend time with her family, be outdoors, and craft!


Meet SARAH W

NBJ Guest Contributor

Sarah White recently graduated from Roosevelt University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She is still on that trying journey figuring out what she wants to do with the rest of her life, but in the meantime she deeply enjoys writing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. 

Our Creatives

Photographers

Alonso Balderas Photography

Photos of New Book Joy Team

Various Photographers, Unsplash

Photos of Readers


Website Designers

Jane Arvis, down thee rabbit hole design

Web & Graphic Design / Social Media Specialist

Yvonne Hangsterfer, flowspoke

Web Design






Don’t miss out on NEW BOOK JOY!