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Scholastic Reads

Updated about 1 month ago

Arts
Education
Books
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Scholastic's podcast about the joy and power of reading, the books we publish for children and young adults, and the authors, editors, and stories behind them. We’ll explore topics important to parents, educators, and the reader in all of us.

Read more

Scholastic's podcast about the joy and power of reading, the books we publish for children and young adults, and the authors, editors, and stories behind them. We’ll explore topics important to parents, educators, and the reader in all of us.

iTunes Ratings

44 Ratings
Average Ratings
36
3
3
0
2

Scholastic Reads

By ccaajj - Mar 10 2016
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The host and her guests have great conversations about books and reading.

Scholastic Reads

By Ordinary FB user - Jan 29 2016
Read more
Great conversations about books for kids and getting kids to read! Love the mix of personalities.

iTunes Ratings

44 Ratings
Average Ratings
36
3
3
0
2

Scholastic Reads

By ccaajj - Mar 10 2016
Read more
The host and her guests have great conversations about books and reading.

Scholastic Reads

By Ordinary FB user - Jan 29 2016
Read more
Great conversations about books for kids and getting kids to read! Love the mix of personalities.
Cover image of Scholastic Reads

Scholastic Reads

Latest release on Jun 24, 2020

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Scholastic's podcast about the joy and power of reading, the books we publish for children and young adults, and the authors, editors, and stories behind them. We’ll explore topics important to parents, educators, and the reader in all of us.

Rank #1: Aaron Blabey on Bad Guys and Good Friends

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Bestselling author Aaron Blabey stopped by our New York offices earlier this year while on his book tour The Bad Guys: Mission to America, and we're so excited to share our conversation with you. Aaron talks about his latest Bad Guys book, The Bad Guys in Superbad, the Bad Guys movie that's currently in development with DreamWorks, and shares some insight into his creative process. He also treats us to not one, but two amazing read-alouds!

Additional resources:

Guests:

  • Aaron Blabey has written many well-loved, bestselling books for children. He has around five million books in print and is the creator of three hugely successful series for children — the New York Times bestselling The Bad Guys, Pig the Pug, and Thelma the Unicorn.
    In 2018 it was announced that a movie adaptation of The Bad Guys is in development at DreamWorks Animation with Aaron serving as an Executive Producer on the project.
    Aaron's books have won many awards including nine REAL Awards, an INDIE Book Award for Children's Book of the Year, a Children's Book Council of Australia — Book of the Year Award, a NSW Premiers Literary Award for Children's Literature, two Australian Book Design Awards, and a Children's Peace Literature Award.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow 

Dec 20 2018

17mins

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Rank #2: The Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza

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Summer reading this year is all about kids' empowerment with the Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza, our nationwide movement to unite kids, parents, educators, public librarians, community partners, and booksellers in efforts to get books into the hands of more kids during the summer and keep every child reading.

This week, you'll hear from some kids first-hand about what they love about summer reading. We also talk about how Scholastic is getting 200,000 books into the hands of kids who need them through a national collaboration with United Way. And we talk with two booksellers who have been working to engage their communities in summer reading through book drives and Summer Reading Celebration events!

Additional resources:

Guests:

  • Stephanie Smirnov is the executive vice president of global communications at Scholastic.
  • Ayeola Fortune is the senior director of impact and global results at United Way Worldwide.
  • Jody Everett is the owner of Beanbag Books in Delaware, OH.
  • Sarah Galvin is the owner of The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid, NY.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

Aug 01 2019

31mins

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Rank #3: Alyssa Milano on Hope and Middle School

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You may remember Alyssa from her hilarious role on Who’s the Boss? In addition to being an actress, Alyssa is an activist, and now a children’s book author. She recently wrote Hope: Project Middle School. On this episode she joins us to discuss her new novel and the power of hope. We're also joined by Scholastic Kids Press reporter Alula Alderson who recently interviewed Alyssa on her book tour in Los Angeles. Alula also talks about what Hope: Project Middle School means to her as a current middle school student. 

Guests: 

Alyssa Milano:

Actress and activist Alyssa Milano has spent almost her entire life in the public eye. A famous child actor, she has continued to work throughout her adulthood in both television and film, most notably starring in the wildly popular television series Who's the Boss? and Charmed. Alyssa is also a lifelong activist and is passionate about fighting for human rights around the world. In 2003, UNICEF invited Alyssa to become a National Ambassador in recognition of her charitable work on behalf of children. Ever since then, Alyssa has been a champion of children's rights, working closely with UNICEF to raise money and awareness and provide aid to the children who need it most all over the world. Alyssa also speaks to kids in schools around the country about the importance of voting and teaches them how to fill out a ballot because she believes it's never too early to be civic-minded. Most recently, Alyssa is known for popularizing the #MeToo hashtag on Twitter, sparking the massive viral movement. She was named one of the 2017 Persons of the Year in Time magazine alongside other prestigious activists. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two kids.

Alula Alderson: A Scholastic Kids Press reporter since 2017, Alula Alderson covers a variety of topics including entertainment, the enviornment, and history. 

Additional Resources:

Learn more about Hope: Project Middle School by Alyssa Milano and Debbie Rigaud, illustrated by Eric S. Keyes here.

Learn more about the Scholastic Kids Press here

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Produced and edited by Bridget Benjamin
  • Associate Produced by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan

*Suzanne McCabe is the Editor of Scholastic Kids Press

Dec 03 2019

19mins

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Rank #4: Dav Pilkey talks Dog Man and "Do Good"

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This week, we're talking with Dav Pilkey, creator of the worldwide bestselling Dog Man series! Dav discusses his latest book, Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls, and his Dog Man "Do Good" tour that's taking him around the world this fall. Dav shares stories from his own childhood growing up with ADHD and dyslexia and talks about the importance of creativity, why reading is a superpower, and the importance of not just being good, but doing good.

Plus, you'll also hear from young readers themselves who sent us messages describing why they love Dog Man!

Additional resources: 

Guests:

  • When Dav Pilkey was a kid, he suffered from ADHD, dyslexia, and behavioral problems. Dav was so disruptive in class that his teachers made him sit out in the hall every day. Luckily, Dav loved to draw and make up stories. He spent his time in the hallway creating his own original comic books. In the second grade, Dav Pilkey created a comic book about a superhero named Captain Underpants. His teacher ripped it up and told him he couldn't spend the rest of his life making silly books. Fortunately, Dav was not a very good listener. 

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

Aug 26 2019

26mins

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Rank #5: It Takes Guts: Raina Telgemeier and Eli Lebowitz

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It takes guts to face your fears. Bestselling creator Raina Telgemeier is encouraging young readers to do just that with her latest graphic novel memoir, Guts, which shares the stories of Raina's own experiences with anxiety as a child.

This week, Raina joins us in the studio to talk about Guts. We also talk with Dr. Eli Lebowitz, who studies and treats childhood and adolescent anxiety and is Director of the Program for Anxiety Disorders at the Yale Child Study Center.

Additional resources:

Guests:

  • Raina Telgemeier is the #1 New York Times bestselling, multiple Eisner Award-winning creator of Smile and Sisters, which are both graphic memoirs based on her childhood. She is also the creator of Drama and Ghosts, and is the adapter and illustrator of four Baby-sitters Club graphic novels. Raina lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. To learn more, visit her online at goRaina.com.
  • Eli Lebowitz studies and treats childhood and adolescent anxiety and is Director of the Program for Anxiety Disorders at the Yale Child Study Center. His research focuses on the development, neurobiology, and treatment of anxiety and related disorders, with special emphasis on cross-generational and familial influences in these disorders. Dr. Lebowitz is the lead investigator on multiple funded research projects, and is the author of numerous research papers and of books and chapters on childhood and adolescent anxiety. He is also the father of three great boys.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

Sep 23 2019

34mins

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Rank #6: Spooky stories for Halloween

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What’s that creaking sound down the hall? Did you feel a sudden chill in the air? And where is that haunting piano music coming from? 

It’s Halloween-time! And we’re sure you’re getting into the spirit—scary noises and all. 

To celebrate this spooky season, we’re talking with four authors who specialize in writing scary stories for kids!

On this episode, you’ll hear from Victoria Schwab, Max Brallier, India Hill Brown, and R. L. Stine. We asked them what it is about spine-chilling books that’s so compelling for young readers. Each author also shares a spooky read-aloud from their latest book!  

Additional Resources

Guests:

  • Victoria Schwab: Victoria is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels for readers of all ages, including City of Ghosts, the Shades of Magic series (which has been translated into over 15 languages), This Savage Song, and Our Dark Duet. Victoria can often be found haunting Paris streets and trudging up Scottish hillsides. Usually, she's tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up stories. Visit her online at veschwab.com.
  • Max Brallier: Max Brallier is the author of more than 20 books for children, including the Galactic Hot Dogs and The Last Kids on Earth middle-grade series. Under the pen name Jack Chabert, he is the creator and author of the Eerie Elementary series with Scholastic Branches. Max lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.
  • India Hill Brown: India Hill Brown is a southern belle who recently moved back down south to North Carolina after living in NYC and working at HBO. Her day job is in social media, and her passion is writing. Her freelance work has been published in Teen VogueEssenceSesi Mag, and The Everygirl. Visit her at booksandbighair.com or on Twitter at @booksandbighair.
  • R.L. Stine: R.L. Stine's books have sold more than 300 million copies, making him one of the most popular children's authors in history. Besides Goosebumps, R.L. Stine has written series including: Fear Street, Rotten School, Mostly Ghostly, The Nightmare Room, and Dangerous Girls. R.L. Stine lives in New York with his wife, Jane, and his King Charles spaniel, Minnie. www.RLStine.com.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Produced and edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula

Oct 24 2019

37mins

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Rank #7: The Rise of Read-Aloud

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Scholastic surveys thousands of kids and their families across the U.S. biennially for our Kids & Family Reading Report, gaining special insight into the latest trends in children’s reading habits. The first of three installments, The Rise of Read-Aloud, focuses exclusively on the practice of, you guessed it, reading aloud. We wanted to know: When do parents start reading aloud to their children? How often are they reading? What are they reading? And how do kids feel about it all?

This week, you'll hear from a literacy expert, an author, an editor, and several kids and families all about what makes the read-aloud so special, and why it's a crucial experience for kids of all ages. 

Additional resources: 

Guests:

  • Pam Allyn is the Senior Vice President, Innovation & Development at Scholastic Education. She's also a leading literacy expert, author, and motivational speaker. In 2007, she founded LitWorld, a global literacy organization serving children across the United States and in more than 60 countries, pioneering initiatives including the summer reading program LitCamp and World Read Aloud Day.
  • Sandra Magsamen is the author and illustrator of many books for young children, including  a number of bestselling novelty stories such as Baby Love, I Love You Little Pumpkin, and Peek-a-Boo I Love You. As an artist, an art therapist, and a mom, she uses her creativity to remind people to express themeselves and connect with others. 
  • Liza Baker is the vice president and executive editorial director of Scholastic's Cartwheel Books and Orchard Press imprints.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow 

Feb 01 2019

27mins

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Rank #8: How to Share Your Story: Ally Carter and Raina Telgemeier

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Aspiring writers and illustrators, this episode is for you! Maybe you keep a running list on your Notes app of book ideas, possible titles, and first lines. Maybe you have a sketchbook in the bottom of your drawer. But where do you go from there? Ally Carter and Raina Telgemeier are here with answers. They’ll talk about their new books, Dear Ally, How Do I Write A Book? and Share Your Smile, which aim to help creators transfer their ideas to the page.

Additional Resources:

Guests:

  • Ally Carter is the New York Times bestselling author of the Gallagher Girls, Heist Society, and Embassy Row series as well as the standalone novel Not If I Save You First. Her books have been published all over the world, in over 20 languages. You can visit her online at allycarter.com.
  • Raina Telgemeier is he #1 New York Times bestselling, multiple Eisner Award-winning creator of Smile and Sisters, which are both graphic memoirs based on her childhood. She is also the creator of Drama and Ghosts, and is the adapter and illustrator of four Baby-sitters Club graphic novels. Raina lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. To learn more, visit her online at goRaina.com.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan and Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

May 02 2019

35mins

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Rank #9: Finding Their Story

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Scholastic surveys thousands of kids and their families across the U.S. biennially for our Kids & Family Reading Report, gaining special insight into the latest trends in children's reading habits. The second of three installments, Finding Their Story, focuses on what kids want in books and characters, the rising demand for diversity in children's books, and the importance of access to books.

This week, you'll hear from four of our in-house experts — as well as some kids themselves! — about what the data tells us that kids and their families are looking for in the books they read.

Additional resources:

Guests:

  • Lauren Tarshis is the Vice President and Editor-in-Chief/Publisher of Scholastic Classroom Magazines. She's also the author of the bestselling I Survived series.
  • Andrea Davis Pinkney is a Vice President, Executive Editor of Scholastic Trade books and an award-winning children's book author.
  • Michael Haggen is the Chief Academic Officer at Scholastic.
  • Lizette Serrano is the Executive Director of Educational Marketing and Event Strategy at Scholastic.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow, Mackenzie Cutruzzula, Suzanne McCabe

Apr 17 2019

28mins

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Rank #10: Words into Action

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Students across the U.S. have shown the power and importance of news articles in the classroom. Moved by the resilience of their peers and a desire to help, kids—supported by their teachers—have developed student-led activism initiatives to raise awareness and funding for the causes they’ve read about in Scholastic Classroom Magazines such as Storyworks® for grades 4–6 and Scholastic Scope® for grades 6–8.

This week, we're talking with Lauren Tarshis, editor-in-chief and publisher of Scholastic Classroom Magazines, and Kristin Lewis, editorial director of Scholastic Classroom Magazines, about how they craft the stories that inspire students to become changemakers. 

We'll also hear from a third grade teacher in Cleveland, OH, about how her Scholastic News readers have made a real difference at their school with anti-bullying and recycling efforts.

Additional resources:

Guests

  • Lauren Tarshis is the senior vice president and editor-in-chief/publisher of Scholastic Classroom Magazines. She's also the author of the bestselling I Survived series.
  • Kristin Lewis is the editorial director of Scholastic Classroom Magazines and the editor of Scholastic Scope 
  • Robin Allen-Palmore is a third grade teacher at Bolton Elementary School in Cleveland, OH.

Nov 09 2018

29mins

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Rank #11: Scholastic Employees Share Their Holiday Traditions

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Happy holidays from all of us in the Scholastic Family! On this episode, we asked our employees to share their fondest holiday memories. You'll hear about Christmas read-alouds, a Chanukah grab bag, and even a fashion show on Eid al-Fitr. 

Guests:

  • Kevin Kirschner: Nephew of host Suzanne McCabe
  • Mark Seidenfeld: Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
  • Talia Seidenfeld: Assistant Editor
  • Patti Vaughan: Convention Manager, Corporate Conventions
  • Raisa Masood: Internal Communications Coordinator
  • Amanda Erbe: Scholastic Kid Reporter

Special thanks:

  • Hosted by Suzanne McCabe
  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Produced and edited by Bridget Benjamin
  • Associate produced by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan

Dec 23 2019

19mins

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Rank #12: Game Changer: Book Access for All Kids

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There are many ways to create a book desert — an area where a child has little or no access to books. Maybe a school's budget cuts lead to closure of the library. Maybe a neighborhood bookstore closes. Maybe the closest public library is too far away to reach by public transportation.

Whatever the cause, the problem is clear: Too many children in the U.S. lack access to books.

This week, we're talking with literacy advocates Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp about how crucial access is. It's a topic they address in their new book for K-8 educators, Game Changer!

Donalyn and Colby discuss how access to a wide variety of texts, choice in what to read, and time to read are “game changers” for the lives of all children, enhancing academic achievement while shaping kids’ understanding of themselves and their world. They also offer practical ways that educators and families can make small changes that can enrich their readers' lives in major ways.

Additional resources:

Guests:

  • Donalyn Miller is a leading expert on independent reading, children’s literature, and the author of two bestsellers, The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild. She is founder of the annual #bookaday event, co-founder with Colby Sharp of The Nerdy Book Club, and co-host of the monthly Twitter chat, #titletalk. Her articles have appeared in Education Week Teacher, The Reading Teacher, Educational Leadership, The Washington Post, and other prominent periodicals.
  • Colby Sharp, a fifth-grade teacher at Parma Elementary School in Parma, Michigan, is co-founder of Nerd Camp and The Nerdy Book Club. He co-hosts the monthly twitter chats #sharpschu (with John Schumacher) and #titletalk (with Donalyn Miller), and, with Travis Jonker, The Yarn Podcast. He is the editor of The Creativity Project: An Awesometastic Story Collection.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

Nov 15 2018

23mins

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Rank #13: The Decline by Nine

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In our biennial Kids & Family Reading Report, we came across some findings that were a bit, well, concerning: At nine years old — usually when a child is in third grade — kids across the board report a significantly reduced interest in reading.

Here are some of the stats:

  • 57% of 8-year-olds said they read books for fun 5 to 7 days a week. But by age 9, that drops to a mere 35%.
  • 40% of 8-year-olds say they love to read. By age 9, only 28% say that.

We find similar decreases in the numbers around access to books (more 6- to 8-year-olds have a classroom library than 9- to 11-year-olds) and the presence of reading role models (more 6- to 8-year-olds say they have people in their lives who enjoy reading than 9- to 11-year-olds). Additionally, nearly half of 9-year-olds say they have trouble finding books they like. 

What's causing the "decline by nine"? And what can we do about it? We talked with education and reading experts to find out.

Additional resources:

Guests:

  • Lauren Tarshis is the Senior Vice President and Editor-In-Chief/Publisher, Scholastic Classroom Magazines. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling series I Survived.
  • Michael Haggen is the Chief Academic Officer, Scholastic Education.
  • Jaime Vandergrift is a third grade teacher at Sara Harp Minter Elementary.
  • Kristen Cruikshank is a third grade teacher at Lamar Consolidated ISD.
  • Dr. Donyall Dickey is an author and consultant for Scholastic Literacy.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

May 28 2019

25mins

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Rank #14: Chasing the High of a Scholastic Book Fair

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"I've spent my whole adult life chasing the high of a Scholastic Book Fair." - @merman_melville

"[wedding]
'and now the groom will read his vows'
me: you make every day feel like a scholastic book fair" 
- @elleryonline

"U kno when u get a whiff of something and ur like ah yes this smells exactly like the scholastic book fair of 2008 in the afternoon on octob—" - @ilovedogs123

We've seen viral post after viral post about how much people love — and love reminiscing about — the Scholastic Book Fair. But what makes it so memorable?

This week, we set out to record some of the magic.

Additional resources:

Guests:

  • Brooke Huerter is a sophomore at Marquette University
  • Kwazi Henderson is a software engineer from Austin, Texas
  • Alan Boyko is the president of Scholastic Book Fairs
  • Kevin Stange is a truck driver for Scholastic Book Fairs
  • Theresa Thompson is a library media specialist at Eastside Elementary School in Rogers, AR
  • Nancy Holodak is the Head of the Lower School at Rumson Country Day School
  • Jayne Geiger is the Head of School at Rumson Country Day School

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

Dec 06 2018

20mins

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Rank #15: Scholastic Focus: Change the Way You Read Your World

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This week, we're discussing narrative nonfiction and its power to help turn young readers into critical thinkers and global citizens. 

Last year, we launched the Scholastic Focus imprint, dedicated to presenting young readers with true and moving stories to help them better understand themselves and the world around them. 

Today, we're talking with editorial director Lisa Sandell as well as four Scholastic Focus authors: Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Deborah Hopkinson, Robert Edsel, and Lawrence Goldstone. Listen as they tell us about their compelling new books and what they hope readers will take away.

Additional resources:

Guests:

  • Lisa Sandell is the editorial director of Scholastic Focus.
  • Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is one of the premier U.S. scholars of African-American literature and history. Gates is the head of Harvard’s African-American Studies department. He is an acclaimed author and critic who has unearthed an array of literary gems; he has also hosted PBS programs such as Africa’s Great Civilizations; Finding Your Roots; Black in Latin America; and the Emmy Award-winning series, The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. Gates is the recipient of more than 50 honorary degrees and numerous prizes. He was one of the first recipients of the MacArthur genius grant in 1981. He was the first African-American scholar to be awarded the National Humanities Medal, was named to Time’s 25 Most Influential Americans list in 1997, selected for Ebony’s Power 150 list in 2009, and to Ebony’s Power 100 list in 2010 and 2012.
  • Deborah Hopkinson is an award-winning author of picture books, fiction, and nonfiction. Her nonfiction titles include Shutting out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York, 1880-1924, an NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book and Jane Addams Peace Award Honor Book; Titanic: Voices from the Disaster, a Sibert Medal Honor Book and YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction finalist; Courage & Defiance, Stories of Spies, Saboteurs and Survivors in World War II Denmark, a Sydney Taylor Notable Book, NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended Book, and a winner of the Oregon Book Award and Oregon Spirit Award; and  Dive! World War II Stories of Sailors & Submarines in the Pacific, which was named an NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended Book and Oregon Spirit Award honor book. Deborah lives with her family near Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at deborahhopkinson.com, and follow her on Twitter at @Deborahopkinson.
  • Robert Edsel is the author of three books about the Monuments Men including the #1 New York Times bestseller The Monuments Men, which Academy Award winner George Clooney adapted into a feature film in 2014, and Saving Italy, also a New York Times bestseller. In 2007 he founded the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, which was a recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the United States’ highest honor for work in the humanities. He lives with his family in Dallas, Texas. Please visit him online at www.robertedsel.com and on Twitter at @RobertEdsel.
  • Lawrence Goldstone is the author of more than twenty books for adults, including three on Constitutional Law. His first book for young readers, Higher, Steeper, FasterThe Daredevils Who Conquered the Skies, received three starred reviews and was named one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2017. Goldstone’s writing has been featured in The Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal, among others. Visit his website at www.lawrencegoldstone.com.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow 

Feb 21 2019

37mins

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Rank #16: Growing Readers with Branches and Acorn

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Before executive editor Katie Carella came to Scholastic, she taught first, second, and third grades, and she noticed a hole in her classroom library: There weren't enough books for the readers who were ready to move beyond leveled readers, but who weren't quite ready for chapter books. 

And so, she created Branches — and now Acorn — highly illustrated, easy-to-read books with engaging storylines and characters that will help kids fall in love with reading.

In this episode, you'll hear more from Katie about the Branches and Acorn books and the needs they fill. We also talk with three authors — Troy Cummings (The Notebook of Doom), Rebecca Elliott (Owl Diaries), and Jonathan Fenske (Crabby) — about exactly what goes into making these delightful, compelling books for kids.

Additional resources:

Guests:

  • Katie Carella is an executive editor at Scholastic.
  • Troy Cummings is the author of The Notebook of Doom and The Binder of Doom series.
  • Rebecca Elliott is the author of the Owl Diaries series.
  • Jonathan Fenske is the author of the Crabby series.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

Jul 18 2019

35mins

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Rank #17: Expanding an Existing World

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Acclaimed author, Maggie Stiefvater describes Call Down the Hawk, the first book in a brand-new trilogy, as a “big, strange, weird novel” full of all of the things she likes in both novels and life. This includes art, magic, music, and mythology.

Call Down the Hawk follows Ronan Lynch, a character who can take things out of his dreams and bring them into real life, and Jordan Hennessy, an artist, a thief, and maybe something else.

If you’re a fan of young-adult literature, you’re probably familiar with Maggie’s work. She is the New York Times best-selling author of The Raven Cycle, The Shiver Trilogy, and The Scorpio Races.

On this episode, we'll talk with her and award-winning author Scott Westerfeld about what it’s like to expand a fictional universe for eager fans. Scott is the author of The Uglies Series, The Leviathan Trilogy, and Impostors, among many other titles.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Produced and edited by Bridget Benjamin
  • Associate Produced by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • *Suzanne McCabe is the Editor of Scholastic Kids Press

Dec 12 2019

26mins

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Rank #18: Classroom Libraries: Finding a Book for Every Student

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Access to books, whether in or outside of the home, is not a reality for many children.

According to the latest Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™, classroom libraries are only available for 43 percent of school-age children. And only one-third of kids say that they have access to a classroom library with enough of the types of books they’d like to read.

On this episode, we’re talking with two educators who are working to bridge this gap. 

Guests:

David C. Banks: 

David is the president and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation. He and Scholastic have joined forces to curate collections of culturally relevant fiction, nonfiction, and biographies for perhaps the most under-represented group in literature: boys of color. This new classroom library, “Rising Voices,” celebrates the stories of Black and Latino boys. 

Illysa Thomas:

A kindergarten teacher at Empowerment Academy Charter School in Jersey City, New Jersey who is a Patterson Pledge grant winner. 

Additional Resources:

Rising Voices

Patterson Pledge

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Produced and edited by Bridget Benjamin
  • Produced and edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan

Nov 22 2019

25mins

Play

Rank #19: Becoming an Ally: A Conversation with Alex Gino

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This week, we're talking with Alex Gino about what it means to be an ally. 

Alex is the author of the award-winning book George, about a transgender girl who wants the world to see her the way she sees herself. We talk with them about the importance of that message, as well as the messages readers will find in their latest book, You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P!, about a girl who learns to be an ally, a sister, and a friend, understanding that life works in different ways for different people.

Guest:

  • Alex Gino loves glitter, ice cream, gardening, awe-ful puns, and stories that reflect the diversity and complexity of being alive. George was their first novel. George was a winner of the Children's Stonewall Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Children's Choice Book Awards, among a host of others. George was also featured on several Best of the Year lists. For more about Alex, please visit alexgino.com.

Additional resources:

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

Oct 18 2018

20mins

Play

Rank #20: In Their Own Words: Sharon Robinson and Da Chen

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 This week, we’re talking about the power of telling your own story. You’ll hear from two incredible authors. First is Sharon Robinson, the daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson. Sharon is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction, including many widely praised nonfiction books about her father’s life. This year, she’s telling her OWN story in Child of the Dream — a memoir about one of the most important years in the Civil Rights Movement, 1963, when Sharon was just 13. 

Later, we talk with Da Chen. Da is a New York TImes bestselling author who joins us to talk about his memoir for young readers, Girl Under a Red Moon. The deeply moving story focuses on Da’s older sister Sisi and their childhood growing up together during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

Additional Resources

Learn more about Child of the Dream (A Memoir of 1963) by Sharon Robinson

Learn more about Girl Under a Red Moon by Da Chen

Guests:

Sharon Robinson: daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction. She has also written several widely praised nonfiction books about her father.

Da Chen: Da Chen’s life is a true immigrant success story. A native of China, Chen grew up in a tiny village without electricity or running water. He was a victim of communist political persecution during the Chinese Cultural Revolution but then went on to study at the Beijing Languages and Culture University. Da arrived in America at the age of twenty-three with only $30 and a bamboo flute, and attended the Columbia University School of Law on a full scholarship. He lives in Southern California, with his family.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

Oct 11 2019

44mins

Play

Through My Eyes: Ruby Bridges on the Struggle for Racial Justice

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On November 14, 1960, Ruby Bridges integrated the all-white William Frantz Public School in her New Orleans neighborhood. She was six years old.

Ruby’s courageous journey helped pave the way for Black and brown students across the United States to gain access to educational opportunities that had been denied to them for centuries.

Sixty years later, “Black Lives Matter” has become a rallying cry for an end to the systemic racism that continues to harm African Americans nationwide. Ruby is still speaking out and still speaking up. In 1995, she created the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which is dedicated to fostering respect and equality for people of all races and backgrounds. She talks with children everywhere about the disease of racism, which she says is “a disease of the heart.”

In this episode, Ruby talks with host Suzanne McCabe about the events that led her parents to risk the hostility of segregationists for a better life and how her story can help today’s young people bring about lasting change and equality.

To learn more about the Ruby Bridges Foundation, go to rubybridges.com, and follow Ruby on Instagram at @RubyBridgesOfficial.

If you’d like to share Ruby’s story with your students, you can order her 1999 memoir, Through My Eyes, here. Click here to access the Power of Story, a catalog of diverse books for readers of all ages.

Special thanks:
Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
Produced by Bridget Benjamin
Associate produced by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
Sound mix, editing and recording by Colin Poellot

Jun 24 2020

40mins

Play

Celebrating Pride Month With Debut Novelist Leah Johnson

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Change is in the air, and we're delighted to bring a fresh new voice to the podcast. Debut author Leah Johnson is here to talk about You Should See Me in a Crown, her joyful, hilarious young adult novel about the irrepressible Liz Lighty.

As a queer, Black teen in a prom-obsessed Midwestern town, Liz thinks that it’s impossible to fit in. But when she meets the new girl at school—who is also her competition for prom queen—everything changes.

In this episode, Leah talks with host Suzanne McCabe about growing up in Indiana, becoming a fiction writer, and “giving queer folks the happy ending they deserve.”

Learn more about Leah and You Should See Me in a Crown.

Special thanks:
Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
Produced by Bridget Benjamin
Associate produced and edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan

Jun 18 2020

35mins

Play

Helping Kids and Parents Cope With Covid-19 Anxiety

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During the pandemic, many of us have experienced feelings of fear, anxiety, and loss. These feelings extend to children, too, who are learning new lessons at home and wondering what the future holds. They may be worried about family members and their own safety while trying to keep up with schoolwork, which is looking very different these days.

What can parents and educators do to help kids cope with uncertainty and continue to learn and thrive? In this episode, host Suzanne McCabe talks with Dr. Eli Lebowitz, an associate professor at the Yale Child Study Center and director of their Program for Anxiety Disorders.

In 2018, Scholastic and the Child Study Center formed a collaborative to explore how literacy can be used to foster resilience among children and families. You can find additional information about the collaborative and explore their coronavirus resources here.

Special thanks:
Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
Produced by Bridget Benjamin
Associate produced and edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan

May 07 2020

19mins

Play

Listening to Kid Reporters: Life During the Pandemic

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In this episode, host Suzanne McCabe, who is the editor of Scholastic Kids Press, talks with five Kid Reporters about life during the coronavirus pandemic. She asks young journalists in Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and the Philippines how they are coping with the global health crisis and what “the new normal” means to them. Scholastic Kids Press, which was founded in 2000, is an award-winning program of journalists between the ages of 10 and 14 who write "news for kids, by kids." The program is open to students around the world.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Produced by Bridget Benjamin
  • Associate produced and edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan

Apr 16 2020

20mins

Play

Furious Thing: YA Author Jenny Downham on the Power of Gaslighting

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In her latest novel, Furious Thing, Jenny Downham discusses the insidious nature of gaslighting, the power of one 15-year-old girl’s anger, and the risk of speaking up about those feelings. Downham is also the author of Unbecoming, You Against Me, and Before I Die, which was made into a 2012 movie, Now Is Good, starring Dakota Fanning.

Mar 05 2020

18mins

Play

The Librarian of Congress: Why Representation Matters

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In this episode, we chat with Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden about the importance of representation for our young readers. Dr. Hayden is the first woman and first African American to serve as the Librarian of Congress, the world’s largest library. She also discusses the Library’s Rosa Parks exhibit that immerses visitors in Parks’ reflections, handwritten notes, and photos.

Additional Resources:
Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words exhibit features rarely seen materials that offer an intimate view of Rosa Parks and documents in her life and activism.

Special thanks:
Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
Produced and edited by Bridget Benjamin
Associate produced by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan

Feb 12 2020

19mins

Play

The Power of World Read Aloud Day

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World Read Aloud Day is annual celebration that encourages kids, parents, and educators everywhere to grab a book, find an audience, and read aloud. On today’s episode, we’ll be talking with two literacy experts, Pam Allyn and Lester Laminack about the many benefits of reading aloud.

Plus, you’ll hear exciting read alouds from authors like, Dav Pilkey, Carmen Agra Deedy, and Peter Reynolds. Don’t forget to read aloud on February 5!

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Produced and edited by Bridget Benjamin
  • Associate Produced by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • *Suzanne McCabe is the Editor of Scholastic Kids Press

Jan 23 2020

30mins

Play

Scholastic Employees Share Their Holiday Traditions

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Happy holidays from all of us in the Scholastic Family! On this episode, we asked our employees to share their fondest holiday memories. You'll hear about Christmas read-alouds, a Chanukah grab bag, and even a fashion show on Eid al-Fitr. 

Guests:

  • Kevin Kirschner: Nephew of host Suzanne McCabe
  • Mark Seidenfeld: Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
  • Talia Seidenfeld: Assistant Editor
  • Patti Vaughan: Convention Manager, Corporate Conventions
  • Raisa Masood: Internal Communications Coordinator
  • Amanda Erbe: Scholastic Kid Reporter

Special thanks:

  • Hosted by Suzanne McCabe
  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Produced and edited by Bridget Benjamin
  • Associate produced by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan

Dec 23 2019

19mins

Play

Expanding an Existing World

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Acclaimed author, Maggie Stiefvater describes Call Down the Hawk, the first book in a brand-new trilogy, as a “big, strange, weird novel” full of all of the things she likes in both novels and life. This includes art, magic, music, and mythology.

Call Down the Hawk follows Ronan Lynch, a character who can take things out of his dreams and bring them into real life, and Jordan Hennessy, an artist, a thief, and maybe something else.

If you’re a fan of young-adult literature, you’re probably familiar with Maggie’s work. She is the New York Times best-selling author of The Raven Cycle, The Shiver Trilogy, and The Scorpio Races.

On this episode, we'll talk with her and award-winning author Scott Westerfeld about what it’s like to expand a fictional universe for eager fans. Scott is the author of The Uglies Series, The Leviathan Trilogy, and Impostors, among many other titles.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Produced and edited by Bridget Benjamin
  • Associate Produced by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • *Suzanne McCabe is the Editor of Scholastic Kids Press

Dec 12 2019

26mins

Play

Alyssa Milano on Hope and Middle School

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You may remember Alyssa from her hilarious role on Who’s the Boss? In addition to being an actress, Alyssa is an activist, and now a children’s book author. She recently wrote Hope: Project Middle School. On this episode she joins us to discuss her new novel and the power of hope. We're also joined by Scholastic Kids Press reporter Alula Alderson who recently interviewed Alyssa on her book tour in Los Angeles. Alula also talks about what Hope: Project Middle School means to her as a current middle school student. 

Guests: 

Alyssa Milano:

Actress and activist Alyssa Milano has spent almost her entire life in the public eye. A famous child actor, she has continued to work throughout her adulthood in both television and film, most notably starring in the wildly popular television series Who's the Boss? and Charmed. Alyssa is also a lifelong activist and is passionate about fighting for human rights around the world. In 2003, UNICEF invited Alyssa to become a National Ambassador in recognition of her charitable work on behalf of children. Ever since then, Alyssa has been a champion of children's rights, working closely with UNICEF to raise money and awareness and provide aid to the children who need it most all over the world. Alyssa also speaks to kids in schools around the country about the importance of voting and teaches them how to fill out a ballot because she believes it's never too early to be civic-minded. Most recently, Alyssa is known for popularizing the #MeToo hashtag on Twitter, sparking the massive viral movement. She was named one of the 2017 Persons of the Year in Time magazine alongside other prestigious activists. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two kids.

Alula Alderson: A Scholastic Kids Press reporter since 2017, Alula Alderson covers a variety of topics including entertainment, the enviornment, and history. 

Additional Resources:

Learn more about Hope: Project Middle School by Alyssa Milano and Debbie Rigaud, illustrated by Eric S. Keyes here.

Learn more about the Scholastic Kids Press here

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Produced and edited by Bridget Benjamin
  • Associate Produced by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan

*Suzanne McCabe is the Editor of Scholastic Kids Press

Dec 03 2019

19mins

Play

Classroom Libraries: Finding a Book for Every Student

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Access to books, whether in or outside of the home, is not a reality for many children.

According to the latest Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™, classroom libraries are only available for 43 percent of school-age children. And only one-third of kids say that they have access to a classroom library with enough of the types of books they’d like to read.

On this episode, we’re talking with two educators who are working to bridge this gap. 

Guests:

David C. Banks: 

David is the president and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation. He and Scholastic have joined forces to curate collections of culturally relevant fiction, nonfiction, and biographies for perhaps the most under-represented group in literature: boys of color. This new classroom library, “Rising Voices,” celebrates the stories of Black and Latino boys. 

Illysa Thomas:

A kindergarten teacher at Empowerment Academy Charter School in Jersey City, New Jersey who is a Patterson Pledge grant winner. 

Additional Resources:

Rising Voices

Patterson Pledge

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Produced and edited by Bridget Benjamin
  • Produced and edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan

Nov 22 2019

25mins

Play

Spooky stories for Halloween

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What’s that creaking sound down the hall? Did you feel a sudden chill in the air? And where is that haunting piano music coming from? 

It’s Halloween-time! And we’re sure you’re getting into the spirit—scary noises and all. 

To celebrate this spooky season, we’re talking with four authors who specialize in writing scary stories for kids!

On this episode, you’ll hear from Victoria Schwab, Max Brallier, India Hill Brown, and R. L. Stine. We asked them what it is about spine-chilling books that’s so compelling for young readers. Each author also shares a spooky read-aloud from their latest book!  

Additional Resources

Guests:

  • Victoria Schwab: Victoria is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels for readers of all ages, including City of Ghosts, the Shades of Magic series (which has been translated into over 15 languages), This Savage Song, and Our Dark Duet. Victoria can often be found haunting Paris streets and trudging up Scottish hillsides. Usually, she's tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up stories. Visit her online at veschwab.com.
  • Max Brallier: Max Brallier is the author of more than 20 books for children, including the Galactic Hot Dogs and The Last Kids on Earth middle-grade series. Under the pen name Jack Chabert, he is the creator and author of the Eerie Elementary series with Scholastic Branches. Max lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.
  • India Hill Brown: India Hill Brown is a southern belle who recently moved back down south to North Carolina after living in NYC and working at HBO. Her day job is in social media, and her passion is writing. Her freelance work has been published in Teen VogueEssenceSesi Mag, and The Everygirl. Visit her at booksandbighair.com or on Twitter at @booksandbighair.
  • R.L. Stine: R.L. Stine's books have sold more than 300 million copies, making him one of the most popular children's authors in history. Besides Goosebumps, R.L. Stine has written series including: Fear Street, Rotten School, Mostly Ghostly, The Nightmare Room, and Dangerous Girls. R.L. Stine lives in New York with his wife, Jane, and his King Charles spaniel, Minnie. www.RLStine.com.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Produced and edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula

Oct 24 2019

37mins

Play

In Their Own Words: Sharon Robinson and Da Chen

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 This week, we’re talking about the power of telling your own story. You’ll hear from two incredible authors. First is Sharon Robinson, the daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson. Sharon is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction, including many widely praised nonfiction books about her father’s life. This year, she’s telling her OWN story in Child of the Dream — a memoir about one of the most important years in the Civil Rights Movement, 1963, when Sharon was just 13. 

Later, we talk with Da Chen. Da is a New York TImes bestselling author who joins us to talk about his memoir for young readers, Girl Under a Red Moon. The deeply moving story focuses on Da’s older sister Sisi and their childhood growing up together during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

Additional Resources

Learn more about Child of the Dream (A Memoir of 1963) by Sharon Robinson

Learn more about Girl Under a Red Moon by Da Chen

Guests:

Sharon Robinson: daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction. She has also written several widely praised nonfiction books about her father.

Da Chen: Da Chen’s life is a true immigrant success story. A native of China, Chen grew up in a tiny village without electricity or running water. He was a victim of communist political persecution during the Chinese Cultural Revolution but then went on to study at the Beijing Languages and Culture University. Da arrived in America at the age of twenty-three with only $30 and a bamboo flute, and attended the Columbia University School of Law on a full scholarship. He lives in Southern California, with his family.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

Oct 11 2019

44mins

Play

It Takes Guts: Raina Telgemeier and Eli Lebowitz

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It takes guts to face your fears. Bestselling creator Raina Telgemeier is encouraging young readers to do just that with her latest graphic novel memoir, Guts, which shares the stories of Raina's own experiences with anxiety as a child.

This week, Raina joins us in the studio to talk about Guts. We also talk with Dr. Eli Lebowitz, who studies and treats childhood and adolescent anxiety and is Director of the Program for Anxiety Disorders at the Yale Child Study Center.

Additional resources:

Guests:

  • Raina Telgemeier is the #1 New York Times bestselling, multiple Eisner Award-winning creator of Smile and Sisters, which are both graphic memoirs based on her childhood. She is also the creator of Drama and Ghosts, and is the adapter and illustrator of four Baby-sitters Club graphic novels. Raina lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. To learn more, visit her online at goRaina.com.
  • Eli Lebowitz studies and treats childhood and adolescent anxiety and is Director of the Program for Anxiety Disorders at the Yale Child Study Center. His research focuses on the development, neurobiology, and treatment of anxiety and related disorders, with special emphasis on cross-generational and familial influences in these disorders. Dr. Lebowitz is the lead investigator on multiple funded research projects, and is the author of numerous research papers and of books and chapters on childhood and adolescent anxiety. He is also the father of three great boys.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

Sep 23 2019

34mins

Play

Dav Pilkey talks Dog Man and "Do Good"

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This week, we're talking with Dav Pilkey, creator of the worldwide bestselling Dog Man series! Dav discusses his latest book, Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls, and his Dog Man "Do Good" tour that's taking him around the world this fall. Dav shares stories from his own childhood growing up with ADHD and dyslexia and talks about the importance of creativity, why reading is a superpower, and the importance of not just being good, but doing good.

Plus, you'll also hear from young readers themselves who sent us messages describing why they love Dog Man!

Additional resources: 

Guests:

  • When Dav Pilkey was a kid, he suffered from ADHD, dyslexia, and behavioral problems. Dav was so disruptive in class that his teachers made him sit out in the hall every day. Luckily, Dav loved to draw and make up stories. He spent his time in the hallway creating his own original comic books. In the second grade, Dav Pilkey created a comic book about a superhero named Captain Underpants. His teacher ripped it up and told him he couldn't spend the rest of his life making silly books. Fortunately, Dav was not a very good listener. 

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

Aug 26 2019

26mins

Play

The Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza

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Summer reading this year is all about kids' empowerment with the Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza, our nationwide movement to unite kids, parents, educators, public librarians, community partners, and booksellers in efforts to get books into the hands of more kids during the summer and keep every child reading.

This week, you'll hear from some kids first-hand about what they love about summer reading. We also talk about how Scholastic is getting 200,000 books into the hands of kids who need them through a national collaboration with United Way. And we talk with two booksellers who have been working to engage their communities in summer reading through book drives and Summer Reading Celebration events!

Additional resources:

Guests:

  • Stephanie Smirnov is the executive vice president of global communications at Scholastic.
  • Ayeola Fortune is the senior director of impact and global results at United Way Worldwide.
  • Jody Everett is the owner of Beanbag Books in Delaware, OH.
  • Sarah Galvin is the owner of The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid, NY.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

Aug 01 2019

31mins

Play

Growing Readers with Branches and Acorn

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Before executive editor Katie Carella came to Scholastic, she taught first, second, and third grades, and she noticed a hole in her classroom library: There weren't enough books for the readers who were ready to move beyond leveled readers, but who weren't quite ready for chapter books. 

And so, she created Branches — and now Acorn — highly illustrated, easy-to-read books with engaging storylines and characters that will help kids fall in love with reading.

In this episode, you'll hear more from Katie about the Branches and Acorn books and the needs they fill. We also talk with three authors — Troy Cummings (The Notebook of Doom), Rebecca Elliott (Owl Diaries), and Jonathan Fenske (Crabby) — about exactly what goes into making these delightful, compelling books for kids.

Additional resources:

Guests:

  • Katie Carella is an executive editor at Scholastic.
  • Troy Cummings is the author of The Notebook of Doom and The Binder of Doom series.
  • Rebecca Elliott is the author of the Owl Diaries series.
  • Jonathan Fenske is the author of the Crabby series.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

Jul 18 2019

35mins

Play

Read with Pride

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It's Pride Month! We love to celebrate our LGBTQIA authors all year long, but we wanted to take the opportunity now to shine a spotlight on what it means to create and share stories about those who are marginalized and underrepresented.

Today, you’ll hear from Mason Deaver, Kacen Callender, and Bill Konigsberg. Each will introduce their latest novels, talk about their creative process, and discuss what it means to write books that are giving some young readers the chance to see themselves truly represented in the pages of a book.

Additional Resources:

Guests:

  • Mason Deaver is a non-binary author and librarian from a small town in North Carolina where the word "y'all" is used in abundance. When they aren't writing or working, they're typically found in their kitchen baking something that's bad for them or out in their garden complaining about the toad that likes to dig holes around their hydrangeas. I Wish You All the Best is their debut novel. You can find them online at masondeaverwrites.com.
  • Kacen Callender was born and raised on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands. They hold a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, where they studied fine arts, Japanese, and creative writing, as well as an MFA from The New School's Writing for Children program. Their debut novel Hurricane Child was a Stonewall Book Award winner, a Lambda Literary Award winner, and was named a Kirkus Best Book of 2018.
  • Bill Konigsberg is the author of six books for young adults, most recently The Music of What Happens. His books have won awards including the Stonewall Book Award, the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor, and the Lambda Literary Award. Bill lives in Chandler, Arizona, with his husband, Chuck, and their two Labradoodles, Mabel and Buford. Please visit him online at www.billkonigsberg.com and @billkonigsberg.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Sound mixed by Daniel Jordan
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

Jun 21 2019

46mins

Play

The Decline by Nine

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In our biennial Kids & Family Reading Report, we came across some findings that were a bit, well, concerning: At nine years old — usually when a child is in third grade — kids across the board report a significantly reduced interest in reading.

Here are some of the stats:

  • 57% of 8-year-olds said they read books for fun 5 to 7 days a week. But by age 9, that drops to a mere 35%.
  • 40% of 8-year-olds say they love to read. By age 9, only 28% say that.

We find similar decreases in the numbers around access to books (more 6- to 8-year-olds have a classroom library than 9- to 11-year-olds) and the presence of reading role models (more 6- to 8-year-olds say they have people in their lives who enjoy reading than 9- to 11-year-olds). Additionally, nearly half of 9-year-olds say they have trouble finding books they like. 

What's causing the "decline by nine"? And what can we do about it? We talked with education and reading experts to find out.

Additional resources:

Guests:

  • Lauren Tarshis is the Senior Vice President and Editor-In-Chief/Publisher, Scholastic Classroom Magazines. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling series I Survived.
  • Michael Haggen is the Chief Academic Officer, Scholastic Education.
  • Jaime Vandergrift is a third grade teacher at Sara Harp Minter Elementary.
  • Kristen Cruikshank is a third grade teacher at Lamar Consolidated ISD.
  • Dr. Donyall Dickey is an author and consultant for Scholastic Literacy.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

May 28 2019

25mins

Play

How to Share Your Story: Ally Carter and Raina Telgemeier

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Aspiring writers and illustrators, this episode is for you! Maybe you keep a running list on your Notes app of book ideas, possible titles, and first lines. Maybe you have a sketchbook in the bottom of your drawer. But where do you go from there? Ally Carter and Raina Telgemeier are here with answers. They’ll talk about their new books, Dear Ally, How Do I Write A Book? and Share Your Smile, which aim to help creators transfer their ideas to the page.

Additional Resources:

Guests:

  • Ally Carter is the New York Times bestselling author of the Gallagher Girls, Heist Society, and Embassy Row series as well as the standalone novel Not If I Save You First. Her books have been published all over the world, in over 20 languages. You can visit her online at allycarter.com.
  • Raina Telgemeier is he #1 New York Times bestselling, multiple Eisner Award-winning creator of Smile and Sisters, which are both graphic memoirs based on her childhood. She is also the creator of Drama and Ghosts, and is the adapter and illustrator of four Baby-sitters Club graphic novels. Raina lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. To learn more, visit her online at goRaina.com.

Special thanks:

  • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
  • Sound mix and recording by Daniel Jordan and Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Edited by Mackenzie Cutruzzula
  • Produced by Emily Morrow

May 02 2019

35mins

Play

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Scholastic Reads

By ccaajj - Mar 10 2016
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The host and her guests have great conversations about books and reading.

Scholastic Reads

By Ordinary FB user - Jan 29 2016
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Great conversations about books for kids and getting kids to read! Love the mix of personalities.