Scholastic Reads

Our podcast about children’s books and the joy and power of reading

About the show

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.

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Episodes

  • Multiplatform Storytelling: The Team Behind Horizon

    March 29th, 2017  |  34 mins 38 secs

     

    What do you do with a story that's too big to be contained in a book series? This week, we're talking about Horizon, a new multiplatform adventure for 9- to 12-year olds. Joining us in the studio are New York Times bestselling author Scott Westerfeld (UgliesLeviathanAfterworlds), game designer Gavin Brown, and editor Nick Eliopulos to talk about the unique approach Scholastic's multiplatform team takes to storytelling. As Nick says, "The books that we love become these spaces that we want to play in." 

     

    Additional Resources:

    Guests:
    • Scott Westerfeld is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Uglies series, which has been translated into 35 languages; the Leviathan series; Afterworlds; and many other books for young readers. He was born in Texas, and alternates summers between Sydney, Australia and New York City.
    • Nick Eliopulos is an editor at Scholastic.
    • Gavin Brown is a digital product director at Scholastic.
  • Amazing, Delightful, Happy Dreamer

    March 23rd, 2017  |  35 mins 26 secs

    Author Peter Reynolds is redefining what ADHD stands for. In his world, and in his new picture book, Happy Dreamer, it's simply an acronym for Amazing Delightful Happy Dreamer. This week, we talk with Peter and educator Lester Laminack about how we can encourage dreamers of all forms to feel included, engaged, and welcomed whether it's at home, in the classroom, or on the playground.

    Additional Resources:

    Guests:

    • Peter H. Reynolds is an author and illustrator of children's books, including The DotIshThe North Star, and Happy Dreamer. He is also the founder of the educational media company FableVision.
    • Lester Laminack is an award-winning author and educator and Professor Emeritus from Western Carolina University where he taught writing workshop, children's literature, and reading. 
  • Once Upon a Fractured Fairy Tale

    March 10th, 2017  |  21 mins 43 secs

    How many times have you heard the story of Cinderella? Or Beauty and the Beast? Probably dozens. And yet somehow, they never get old. No matter how they're told and re-told, we know good will triumph over evil, our heroine will find love, and everyone will live happily ever after. But why do those stories have so much appeal?

    Today, we have two fairy tale experts joining us to share their thoughts on why these stories have endured generation after generation: authors Sarah Mlynowski and Garth Nix. Sarah and Garth are two writers who have often fractured, or re-told, fairy tales. Sarah, for her bestselling Whatever After series, and Garth, in his most recent YA novel, Frogkisser!

    Additional Resources:

    Guests:


    • Sarah Mlynowski is the New York Times bestselling author of the Whatever After series, the Magic in Manhattan series, Gimme a Call, and a bunch of other books for tweens and teens, including the Upside-Down Magic series, which she is cowriting with Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins. Originally from Montreal, Sarah now lives in the kingdom of Manhattan with her very own prince charming and their fairy-tale-loving daughter

    • Garth Nix is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Old Kingdom series, The Seventh Tower sequence, The Keys to the Kingdom series, Troubletwisters series, and many other fantasy novels for young adults and children, including Frogkisser!. Garth lives in a Sydney beach suburb with his wife and two children.

     

  • The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet: Giving Children a Voice

    February 23rd, 2017  |  39 mins 32 secs

    This week, we're talking about the importance of raising children's voices. First, we're joined by Carmen Agra Deedy, the acclaimed author of the new picture book The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!, an allegorical tale of a brave, little rooster in a town where singing has been outlawed. Carmen shares the story of her own childhood as a Cuban refugee living in Decatur, Georgia, and talks about the importance of the message that children should be encouraged to speak their truths. Next, we talk with Dana McDonough, a second grade teacher who was named the 2016 State Teacher of the Year from New York. Dana tells us how she works to make every child feel heard in her classroom.

    Additional Resources:

    Guests:


    • Carmen Agra Deedy is one of America's most foremost storytellers. Her many award-winning books include Martina the Beautiful Cockroach, which received a Pura Belpré Honor, and her New York Times bestseller 14 Cows for America. Born in Havana, Cuba, Carmen drew on her love of folklore to create The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! She lives with her family in Atlanta, Georgia. 

    • Dana McDonough is the 2016 State Teacher of the Year from New York. She teaches second grade at Fostertown ETC Magnet School in Newburgh, NY.

     

  • Read Out Loud: Celebrate World Read Aloud Day

    February 15th, 2017  |  43 mins 37 secs

    On February 16, we are celebrating the power of the read aloud with World Read Aloud Day. Every year, this global celebration calls attention to the importance of sharing stories by challenging participants to grab a book, find an audience, and read out loud. In fact, data from Scholastic's Kids & Family Reading Report shows us that reading aloud to children regularly from birth is crucial for their happiness and their development as readers. Today, we'll explore why that is and hear from four guests who have all been powerfully impacted by their memories of childhood read-alouds.

    Guests:

    • Pam Allyn is a literacy expert and the founder of LitWorld, the organization behind World Read Aloud Day. She is also a co-author of Every Child a Super Reader.
    • Ernest Morrell is an award-winning author, teacher, and researcher, and a co-author of Every Child a Super Reader.
    • Nick Cannon is an actor, comedian, rapper, and the author of Neon Aliens Ate My Homework.
    • Andrea Davis Pinkney is a Coretta Scott King Award-winning author and an editor at Scholastic.

    Additional Resources:

    Special Thanks:

    • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
    • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan and Christopher Johnson
    • Produced by Emily Morrow
  • Episode 30: Survey says: Kids like reading for fun

    February 6th, 2017  |  16 mins 53 secs

    In the sixth edition of our Kids & Family Reading Report, we asked U.S. parents and children about their attitudes and behaviors around reading books for fun, and now the results are in! Key findings reveal what kids and parents look for in children's books, the increase in reading aloud to children from an early age, the inequities around access to books in the home, and more.
    View all our findings and learn more about the methodology behind the survey at scholastic.com/readingreport.

    Be sure to keep an eye out for forthcoming episodes diving more deeply into the topics of reading aloud and summer reading!

    Guests: 

    • Kristen Harmeling is a senior vice president at YouGov, a third-party, international market research firm, and the manager of the Kids & Family Reading Report national project. 

    • Donalyn Miller has taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grade language arts and social studies in the Fort Worth, TX, area and was a finalist for 2010 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year. She is a reading advocate, the author of two professional books, The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild, and a reading ambassador for Scholastic Book Fairs.

    • Deimosa Webber-Bey is the Library Manager at Scholastic and responsible for the corporate archive, readers advisory, cataloging, and the employee book club. She also taught for several years in public schools in Queens, Brooklyn, Albuquerque, and the Pueblo of Jemez.

    Special thanks:


    • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl

    • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan 

    • Produced by Emily Morrow

     

     

  • Best of Scholastic Reads: A Year in Review

    January 19th, 2017  |  11 mins 40 secs

    Scholastic Reads recently celebrated its first anniversary, and we wanted to mark the occasion by sharing some of our favorite moments from the last year! In this short episode, we'll hear clips from Lauren Tarshis (I Survived series), Sonia Manzano (Becoming Maria), Edwidge Danticat (Untwine), Dav Pilkey (Captain Underpants series), Ann M. Martin (The Baby-sitters Club series), Arthur A. Levine (publisher and editor), David Levithan (author and editor), Cheryl Klein (editor), and Pam Muñoz Ryan (Esperanza Rising). Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or visit scholasticreads.com to listen to all of our episodes! Links to the full episodes for each clip are below.

    Special thanks:

    • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
    • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan and Christopher Johnson
    • Produced by Emily Morrow
  • Dav Pilkey: Using Humor to Get Kids Reading

    January 4th, 2017  |  17 mins 42 secs

    Laughter is a universal language, and Dav Pilkey speaks it fluently. The award-winning author and illustrator of the Captain Underpants series joins us in the studio this week to introduce his newest series, Dog Man, and to talk about why funny books are often the right books to spark a love of reading. Dav also shares his own story about growing up with ADHD, dyslexia, and behavioral problems, and leaves us with some wise words of hope and encouragement for children who might be struggling with similar issues today.

    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 editing by Daniel Jordan and Christopher Johnson

    • Produced by Emily Morrow

     

     

  • Holiday Book Fair: Must-have Books for 2016

    December 19th, 2016  |  19 mins 48 secs

    The holidays bring many wonderful thing to Scholastic, chief among them, the employee book fair! There's something for readers of every age, from picture books, coloring books, and cookbooks, to how-to books, graphic novels, and memoirs. In this episode, we talked with colleagues who are shopping and volunteering at the fair to find out what are the must-have books this holiday season.

    Here's a list of all the books mentioned in this episode with links to their Goodreads pages:

    Special thanks:


    • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl

    • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan and Christopher Johnson

    • Produced by Emily Morrow

     

  • Pam Muñoz Ryan: Getting Readers to Turn the Page

    December 5th, 2016  |  25 mins 10 secs

    Pam Muñoz Ryan, the celebrated and critically acclaimed author of Esperanza RisingThe Dreamer, and Riding Freedom, among many others, joins us in the studio today with her editor, Tracy Mack, to talk about her writing process, the genesis of her latest New York Times bestselling, Newbery Honor novel, Echo, and why so many of her novels contain themes of social justice. 

    Additional Resources:

    About Echo:

    Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica.

    Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo.

    Guests:

    • Pam Muñoz Ryan is the author of the Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestseller, Echo, as well as the recipient of the Kirkus Prize, the NEA's Human and Civil Rights Award, and the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award for multicultural literature. She has written more than thirty books for young readers. Her celebrated novels, Esperanza RisingRiding FreedomBecoming Naomi LéonPaint the Wind, and The Dreamer, have received numerous accolades, among them two Pura Belpré Awards, a NAPPA Gold Award, a Jane Addams Children's Book Award, and an Americas Award. Ryan's acclaimed picture books include Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Rideand When Marian Sang, both illustrated by Brian Selznick, and Tony Baloney, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham, as well as a beginning reader series featuring Tony Baloney. Kirkus Reviews described Echo as "a grand narrative that examines the power of music to inspire beauty in a world overrun with fear and intolerance." Ryan lives near San Diego, California with her family. You can visit her at pammunozryan.com.
    • Tracy Mack is a vice president and publisher at Scholastic, and Pam Muñoz Ryan's editor.

    Special thanks:

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

  • James Patterson: Saving Lives with Libraries

    November 14th, 2016  |  21 mins 26 secs

    Libraries are the heart of a school, but many suffer from chronic under-funding. Author James Patterson is working to change that. In this episode, he joins us to discuss his pledge to donate $1.75 million to school libraries for the second year in a row. We also hear from librarian Teresa Israel, who works at one of the schools that received a grant from Patterson’s 2015 pledge. 

    Guests:

    • James Patterson received the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community at the 2015 National Book Awards. A tireless champion of the power of books and reading, he has created a new children's book imprint, JIMMY Patterson, whose mission is simple: "We want every kid who finishes a JIMMY Book to say, 'PLEASE GIVE ME ANOTHER BOOK.'" He has donated more than one million books to students and soldiers and has over four hundred Teacher Education Scholarships at 24 colleges and universities. He has also donated millions to independent bookstores and school libraries. Patterson will be investing proceeds from the sales of JIMMY Patterson Books in pro-reading initiatives. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.  
    • Teresa Israel is a 25-year veteran of the New York City School System. During that time she has worn many hats, always in the elementary school setting. Six years ago her principal asked her to take over the abandoned school library and there has been no turning back. A graduate of Fordham University, she received a scholarship through the department of education to work on her master’s degree in school librarianship and information technology from Mansfield University in 2013. Israel lives in Rockaway Park, New York with her three children and feels blessed to be able to share her love of books with children each day.

    Additional Resources:

    Special Thanks:

    • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
    • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan and Christopher Johnson
    • Produced by Morgan Baden
  • "Dream Jumper" and the Rise of Graphic Novels

    November 2nd, 2016  |  44 mins 20 secs

    Graphic novels are having a moment. Inspired by the rise of this popular genre, we asked Greg Grunberg, actor and author of the recently released Dream Jumper, to share the story of his inspiration. Illustrator Lucas Turnbloom also discusses his role in the book and his artistic process. Finally, David Saylor, the founder and editorial director of Scholastic's Graphix imprint, joins us with an exciting announcement: a new Graphix contest, where aspiring graphic novelists can get published.

    Guests:

    • Greg Grunberg has appears in the award-winning series Heroes, Alias, and Felicity, among others. Grunberg's film credits include Mission: Impossible III, Austin Powers, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens directed by J.J. Abrams. Greg is also co-host of AMC's "Geeking Out," a new late-night talk show hosted by Kevin Smith and Grunberg that takes a timely look at pop culture through a fanboy lens and features talk, clips, celebrity interviews, and out-of-the-studio segments. Dream Jumper is his first graphic novels. 
    • Lucas Turnbloom is an award-winning cartoonist and illustrator who's best known for his comic strip, Imagine THIS, which is syndicated through Universal Press/Uclick. He was a contributing artist for Darkhorse's Axe Cop graphic novel series. Turnbloom's first picture book, Dragon and Captain, was recently published by Flashlight Press. His work has also appeared in USA Today and TIME.com. Turnbloom currently resides in San Diego with his wife and two sons.
    • David Saylor is a VP and Creative Director in the Scholastic Trade Publishing Group. In 2005, he founded Scholastic's groundbreaking graphic novel imprint, Graphix. In addition to art directing the American editions of the Harry Potter series, he has art directed many award-winning books, including many which have received recognition from the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the Society of Illustrators, the New York Times Book Review, the Bookbinder’s Guild of New York, and the American Library Association.

    Additional Resources:

    Special Thanks:

    • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
    • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan and Christopher Johnson
    • Produced by Morgan Baden
  • Books with Scare Power: Dan Poblocki on "Shadow House"

    October 17th, 2016  |  22 mins 17 secs

    Just in time for Halloween, Dan Poblocki, author of the new multiplatform series Shadow House, joins us to talk about the origins of his spooky tales. The series comes with an app, which is perfect for young readers. In the episode, Dan (pictured here with his bewitching editor, Erin Black) reveals all of the creepy things that have happened to people who have worked on the Shadow House series. Join us for some scary stories!

    Guest:

    • Dan Poblocki is the author of The Stone ChildThe NightmarysThe Ghost of GraylockThe Haunting of Gabriel AsheThe Book of Bad Things, and the Mysterious Four series. He lives in Brooklyn with two adorable cats and more books than he has room for. Visit him at danpoblocki.com. Dan welcomes readers to Shadow House, a new multiplatform series filled with ghostly apparitions, spooky noises, and things that go bump in the night. The Gathering, Book 1 in the series, is in stores now. Book 2, You Can’t Hide, is coming in January 2017.

    Additional resources:


    Special thanks:


    • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl

    • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan and Christopher Johnson

    • Produced by Morgan Baden

     

     

     

  • Barry Cunningham and M.G. Leonard Talk Books (and Beetles!)

    October 5th, 2016  |  36 mins 19 secs

    15 years ago, Scholastic partnered with Chicken House, a publishing company based in the UK begun by publisher Barry Cunningham. In this episode, Barry, perhaps best-known for being the original acquiring editor of a little book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in the U.K., shares his vision of book publishing and talks about the state of the industry. He's joined by Chicken House author M.G. Leonard, writer of Beetle Boy, who regales listeners with her story of writing children's books about creepy-crawlies...while being utterly terrified of them.  

    Guests:

    • Barry Cunningham is the founder of Chicken House, a lively and creative company publishing highly original and enjoyable children’s books, with a special emphasis on new fiction. Chicken House launched in the US in 2001 and marked its 15th anniversary here this past summer. Barry is also known for signing up J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone while at Bloomsbury. Together with Chicken House and Scholastic, Barry is proud to have brought the voices of five-time New York Times bestselling author Cornelia Funke (The Thief Lord; Dragon Rider; the Inkheart trilogy), Printz Honor Award-winning Lucy Christopher (Stolen), Kevin Brooks (Martyn Pig; Lucas; Candy), Rachel Ward (Numbers trilogy), Cathryn Constable (The Wolf Princess), and M.G. Leonard (Beetle Boy) to the world.
    • M. G. Leonard is the senior digital media producer at Britain’s National Theatre where she creates podcasts and documentaries about theater. Beetle Boy is her debut novel and the first in a trilogy. Leonard lives in Brighton, England with her family. Please visit her online at www.MGLeonard.com.

    Additional resources:

    Special thanks:

    • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl
    • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan and Christopher Johnson
    • Produced by Morgan Baden
  • Children's Books to Help Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

    September 28th, 2016  |  29 mins 37 secs

    Maria Dominguez, executive editor at Scholastic en Español, and Nancy Mercado, editorial director of Scholastic Press, share their experiences reading and editing Spanish-language or Latino-culture-driven children's books in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. They discuss the books they love and recommend, from Sonia Manzano's Becoming Maria to Christina Diaz Gonzalez's Moving Target. Maria also highlights her own experience growing up in Cuba, while Nancy talks about the importance of reading Spanish-language books to her daughters.

    Guests:

    • Maria Dominguez, executive editor, Scholastic en Español

    • Nancy Mercado, editorial director, Scholastic Press

    Additional resources:

    Books discussed in this episode include:

    Special thanks:


    • Music composed by Lucas Elliot Eberl

    • Sound mix and editing by Daniel Jordan and Christopher Johnson

    • Produced by Morgan Baden




  • Back to School with Judy Newman

    September 9th, 2016  |  34 mins 49 secs

    For generations, teachers have been using Scholastic Reading Club to help their students foster a lifelong love of reading. Judy Newman, President of Scholastic Reading Club, joins us to talk about the unique business, its book-selection process, and her team of book-loving editors. We’re also joined by teacher-customer turned employee Carol Levine; Editorial Director David Allender; and Reading Club Teacher Advisor Beth Prince.  

    Guests:

    • Judy Newman. President, Reading Club and E-Commerce. Judy oversees Scholastic Reading Club, the company's school-based book distribution channel which has been a treasured tradition for teachers and students since 1948. Scholastic Reading Club reaches more than 1 million teachers and 26 million children in classrooms nationwide every year. The Club's e-commerce platforms on Scholastic.com made Internet Retailer’s Hot 100 list in 2009. In 1999, Judy created Scholastic Reading Club's ClassroomsCare initiative, which helps children understand the value of reading and giving. Scholastic donates up to 1 million books to children in need when students in each participating classroom read 100 books. Judy also oversaw the development of Clubs Ordering On-Line (COOL), a service that allows teachers to submit Reading Club orders via the Internet, and Parent COOL, which enables families to submit book orders to their teachers online. Judy also currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Reach Out and Read.
    • Carol Levine, Director of Special Events
    • David Allender, Editorial Director, Scholastic Reading Club
    • Beth Prince, Kindergarden teacher at Hearst Elementary School in Washington, D.C., and Scholastic Reading Club Teacher Advisor.

    Additional Resources: