See What’s New for ClassroomsCare Spring 2011!

31 Jan

You may have noticed some changes to this spring’s ClassroomsCare program. Teachers told us they were having a difficult time getting full participation in the reading challenge during the busy spring semester, so we decided to make it easier for you. This March, just place a classroom order, and Scholastic Book Clubs will donate a book to a wonderful literacy and mentoring organization called Everybody Wins! USA.

Scholastic Book Clubs encourages its employees to get involved with local schools in the New York area; so when I began working here two years ago, I knew I’d volunteer my time and services, but where? When a colleague asked me if I wanted to volunteer for the Everybody Wins! Power Lunch Program, I immediately looked into the literacy and mentoring program and was impressed. Two independent evaluations by the US Department of Education, and Loyola University of Chicago, documented the positive impact the program has had on low-income elementary school students nationwide. Their reading comprehension, general motivation and overall academic performance, classroom behavior, self confidence and social skills all improved as a result of this one-on-one mentoring program.

What began for me as a once-a-week commitment to making a difference in a child’s life has grown into a flourishing partnership for both of us. Nearly two years later, I’m still meeting my buddy, Linda, for our lunchtime reading sessions at her lower Manhattan Public School. We have a great time choosing books to read together, working on writing and other activities, and chatting.

Interested in learning more about Everybody Wins!, please visit everybodywins.org

January Bestsellers

11 Jan

Picture Books

1. Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff ($2 in Firefly)
2. You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy? by Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt ($4 in SeeSaw)
3. Penguins by Liz Pichon ($3 in
Firefly)
4. Groundhog Weather School by Joan Holub ($4 in
SeeSaw)
5. Grumpy Gloria by Anna Dewdney ($2 in
Firefly)

Transitional Readers

1. Gus Makes a Friend by Frank Remkiewicz ($2 in Firefly)
2. Fancy Nancy: The 100th Day of School by Jane O’Connor ($3 in
SeeSaw)
3. Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl! by Tedd Arnold ($3 in
SeeSaw)
4. Ant Hill: Big Heart! A Valentine’s Day Tale by Joan Holub ($2 in
SeeSaw)
5. It’s the 100th Day, Stinky Face! by Lisa McCourt ($3 in
SeeSaw)

Early Chapter Books

1. Moonlight on the Magic Flute (Magic Tree House® #41) by Mary Pope Osborne ($2 in Lucky)
2. Horrible Harry on the Ropes by Suzy Kline ($2 in
Lucky)
3. My Weird School: Mr. Macky Is Wacky! by Dan Gutman ($3 in
Lucky)
4. Geronimo Stilton: The Giant Diamond Robbery ($5 in
Lucky)
5. Horrible Harry and the Dead Letters by Suzy Kline ($2 in
SeeSaw)

Chapter Books

1. Dear Dumb Diary: Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers by Jim Benton ($3 in Arrow)
2. Wild Card by Tiki and Ronde Barber ($3 in
Arrow)
3. Goddess Girls: Aphrodite the Beauty by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams ($3 in
Arrow)
4. Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord ($3 in
Arrow)
5. Matilda by Roald Dahl ($3 in
Arrow)

Middle Grade

1. Saving Zasha by Randi Barrow ($4 in Arrow)
2. Rules by Cynthia Lord ($3 in
Arrow)
3.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan ($4 in
Arrow)
4. Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko ($5 in
TAB)
5. Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan ($12 in
TAB)

Young Adult

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins ($7 in TAB)
2. Rules by Cynthia Lord ($3 in
Arrow)
3. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine ($4 in
TAB)
4. Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko ($5 in
TAB)
5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins ($7 in
TAB)


Nonfiction

1. If You Were a Penguin by Wendell Minor ($3 in SeeSaw)
2. Bad Pets by Allan Zullo ($2 in
Lucky)
3. Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books by Kay Winters ($4 in
Lucky)
4. Meet George Washington by Patricia A. Pingry ($4 in
SeeSaw)
5. Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport ($4 in
SeeSaw)

 

Scholastic Book Clubs’ Bestsellers are the most popular books offered across all age groups (PreK–8) each month. The ranking is based on the unit sales of titles available at the time through Scholastic Book Clubs. Books available each month for $1 are not included.

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Picture Books

1. Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff ($2 in Firefly)

2. You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy? by Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt ($4 in SeeSaw)

3. Penguins by Liz Pichon ($3 in Firefly)

4. Groundhog Weather School by Joan Holub ($4 in SeeSaw)

5. Grumpy Gloria by Anna Dewdney ($2 in Firefly)

Transitional Readers

1. Gus Makes a Friend by Frank Remkiewicz ($2 in Firefly)

2. Fancy Nancy: The 100th Day of School by Jane O’Connor ($3 in SeeSaw)

3. Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl! by Tedd Arnold ($3 in SeeSaw)

4. Ant Hill: Big Heart! A Valentine’s Day Tale by Joan Holub ($2 in SeeSaw)

5. It’s the 100th Day, Stinky Face! by Lisa McCourt ($3 in SeeSaw)

Early Chapter Books

1. Moonlight on the Magic Flute (Magic Tree House® #41) by Mary Pope Osborne ($2 in Lucky)

2. Horrible Harry on the Ropes by Suzy Kline ($2 in Lucky)

3. My Weird School: Mr. Macky Is Wacky! by Dan Gutman ($3 in Lucky)

4. Geronimo Stilton: The Giant Diamond Robbery ($5 in Lucky)

5. Horrible Harry and the Dead Letters by Suzy Kline ($2 in SeeSaw)

Chapter Books

1. Dear Dumb Diary: Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers by Jim Benton ($3 in Arrow)

2. Wild Card by Tiki and Ronde Barber ($3 in Arrow)

3. Goddess Girls: Aphrodite the Beauty by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams ($3 in Arrow)

4. Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord ($3 in Arrow)

5. Matilda by Roald Dahl ($3 in Arrow)

Young Adult

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins ($7 in TAB)

2. Rules by Cynthia Lord ($3 in Arrow)

3. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine ($4 in TAB)

4. Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko ($5 in TAB)

5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins ($7 in TAB)

Nonfiction

1. If You Were a Penguin by Wendell Minor ($3 in SeeSaw)

2. Bad Pets by Allan Zullo ($2 in Lucky)

3. Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books by Kay Winters ($4 in Lucky)

4. Meet George Washington by Patricia A. Pingry ($4 in SeeSaw)

5. Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport ($4 in SeeSaw)

Your 2011 Newbery and Caldecott Winners!

10 Jan

Congratulations to Clare Vanderpool and Erin E. Stead, the 2011 Newbery and Caldecott winners!

The Caldecott Medal goes to A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Erin Stead, written by Philip Christian Stead
In this heartwarming picture book with a classic feel, zookeeper Amos McGee is nursed back to health by some very unusual visitors! Surprising, funny, and very, very sweet.

The Caldecott Honors books are as follow (and you can find both on Book Clubs this January!):


Dave the Potter
by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill

The perfect balance of depth and beauty, this is a rich picture book about an enslaved potter and talented poet living in South Carolina in the 1800’s. You can find Dave the Potter on Voices this January!

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
You will laugh uproariously at this absolute gem of a picture book – without a doubt one of the year’s funniest and most clever read-alouds! You can find Interrupting Chicken on Firefly this January!

The Newbery Medal goes to Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
A true page-turner, this debut novel is a compelling mystery and rich coming-of-age story set during the Great Depression.

The Newbery Honor books are as follows:

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen
Delicious language, rich vocabulary, and interesting science converge on the pages of this beautiful book of poems about nocturnal life.

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
This is a captivating seafaring adventure based on the remarkable true story that took one teenage boy from Japan to America and back again, beginning in 1841.

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm
This charming and funny adventure swirls in lively fashion around Turtle, a tough and witty 11 year-old, and the eccentric relatives she meets in Depression-era Key West. Laughs galore!

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
In this truly entertaining ode to the 1960’s, Rita Williams-Garcia introduces readers to three likable and precocious sisters, whose entertaining squabbles are an absolute delight.

Join the Club! The Girls’ Reading Club

7 Jan

Have your kids finished their favorite series and can’t seem to find another they like as much? Are you worried they won’t want to read anymore without their favorite characters? Good news! Promotions Manager, Jen, will talk about a new program to introduce tweens to even more series just right for them. We guarantee they’ll find something they just can’t put down!

My absolute favorite books to read growing up were The Baby-Sitters Club! I loved reading about ordinary girls just like me. My favorite stories were about Claudia—who (like me) is Asian American and loves art. By the end of the fifth grade, I had devoured every single book in the series about Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey, Dawn, Jess, and Mallory’s babysitting adventures. After I finished the series, I craved books that were similar to BSC but wasn’t sure how to go about choosing them. I ended up reading parts of series and stopping because they just weren’t right.

Luckily, tweens today have a better option! Scholastic Book Clubs has created a new GIRLS READING CLUB, which debuts this month in Arrow. Each month in the spring (from January–May), Arrow will feature a new book from a series starring supercool girls we guarantee kids just won’t be able to put down! What’s even more exciting is that each new book in the series will include a letter from the author.  Plus, there’s a Web site to preview chapters, answer fun poll questions, and even win prizes! Check out more online at www.scholastic.com/grc!

Check out what’s coming up this spring!

Cinderella Cleaners (Arrow January)

Welcome to Cinderella Cleaners! Drop-off service! Quality care! Total transformation…

Thirteen-year-old Diana is not thrilled about having to help out at her family’s none-too-glamorous dry cleaning business every day after school. But with the help of the savvy tailors in the back room, Diana starts borrowing the cool clothes from Cinderella Cleaners—and that’s when her fabulous adventures begin!


Petal Pushers (Arrow February)

In the chaotic Bloom household, Delphinium “Del” Bloom has always been the responsible one—not her three sisters, Rose, Aster, and Poppy, and certainly not her scatterbrained parents! So when the Blooms take over the family flower shop, Del knows that it’s going to be up to her to keep things from wilting! But who knew working at a flower shop would involve so much DRAMA?



Candy Apple, Miss Popularity (Arrow March)

Bubbly, stylish, and superfriendly, Cassie Knight is the fashion queen at her Texas school. But when her father’s job moves the family to cold, snowy Maine, Cassie’s in for a huge culture shock. The students at her new prep school are prim and proper—and worst of all, they don’t find Cassie as fabulous as she knows she is!

 

 


 

Poison Apple (Arrow April)

Thrilling. Bone-Chilling. These Books Have Bite!

Do you love thrilling ghost stories, spectacular supernatural tales, and spooky mysteries? Then bite into these Poison Apple books! In these stories, girls like you face the usual issues—like friendships and crushes—but there’s a twist: They’re also figuring out how to deal with haunted houses, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, curses, and more!



The Baby-Sitters Club (Arrow May)

When four friends form a babysitting club, anything can happen—and usually does! Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey started The Baby-Sitters Club to have fun and make money—but they never counted on wild toddlers, prank phone calls, out-of-control pets, and other problems! However, there’s one thing that will help them get through it all—their friendship!

Author Interview: Kathryn Erskine

6 Jan

This January, Book Talk was lucky enough to pose a few questions to Kathryn Erskine, author of the National Book Award–winning Mockingbird. (You know how excited we are about this book!)

Read on to find out how Erskine came up with Caitlin and the whole Mockingbird story, as well as her own history as a reader.

Book Talk: You just won the National Book Award; are you going to Disney World after this?

Kathryn Erskine: Well, I came home from New York to a broken fridge-freezer and rotten, stinky, dripping food, so I got to clean my fridge! Woo hoo! Actually, I thought it was pretty funny—no chance of the award going to my head when I was on my hands and knees scrubbing out the fridge!

BT: How does it feel to win the National Book Award?

KE: Pretty amazing. It’s still sinking in. When I read an article about it in my local paper, that’s when it felt real. I guess I’m such a reader that I have to read something to believe it!

BT: After you finished the book, did you know you had written something special?

KE: Because Asperger’s is so much a part of my life, I thought it might be too ordinary, but others who don’t live with it every day assured me that it was something quite different and special. People seem so touched that I think there must be something special about it.

BT: When you first conceived of the idea of this book, which came first for you—the plot or the characters?

KE: The characters always come first for me. They have conversations in my head and whole scenes take place. The plot is often hard to pin down. After the Virginia Tech shootings, however, I knew I had to incorporate a school shooting aspect into the plot and, since it’s a book for kids, I wanted that event to have already occurred before the book opened, so it wouldn’t be so scary.

BT: In your mind, is this a book about a girl with Asperger’s or a family dealing with an unspeakable act of violence?

KE: It’s more about a girl feeling alone in dealing with her brother’s death. To her, the fact that it was a school shooting is not as huge as it is to the rest of the community. For Caitlin, the bottom line is that she has lost her brother who was her link to the outside world. And, because she has Asperger’s, she has a particularly tough road to travel to make connections with her community again.

BT: Caitlin is so endearing. Was there an inspiration for her character?

KE: As always, my characters contain bits and pieces of people I know. Caitlin, in particular, was inspired by a close family member, but mostly she’s a made-up character. She is, so to speak, her own person.

BT: How did you manage to get inside Caitlin’s head in order to write from her point of view? Did you have much prior knowledge of Asperger’s?

KE: I do have experience with Asperger’s, but I also did a lot of research. Just as every kid is different, every kid with Asperger’s is different, so I needed to look at a wide variety of personality traits, behaviors, and habits in order to create an authentic character on the autism spectrum. I went to seminars and workshops, read a lot of books and articles, talked with teachers and parents who interact daily with kids on the spectrum, and I know kids with Asperger’s, too. For me, it felt perfectly natural to be inside her head, and the story just flowed.

BT: Caitlin starts the book by looking up the word “closure.” Language is a big aspect of Mockingbird with certain syllables of words being capitalized and Caitlin’s own infatuation with language. Did this evolve naturally from Caitlin’s character or did you want language to be a part of the book from the beginning?

KE: It’s really a part of Caitlin’s character and I wanted to preserve the unconventional way she wrote throughout the book as a constant reminder to the reader that she sees things differently. Also, words and books are a source of comfort to Caitlin because they don’t change. She can rely on them because they’re constant. Finding a definition is another way for her to hold on to something and have control over her world.

BT: This is such a heartbreaking story; did you cry while writing it at anytime?

KE: Yes, particularly at the end. I needed to rewrite the final chapter because it wasn’t quite working, and my editor told me that when I was crying at my keyboard, I would know I’d hit the right ending. And that’s what happened.

BT: When you hear from kids, what do they tell you they’ve learned or thought about as a result of reading Mockingbird?

KE: Younger kids tend to be very pragmatic about it. They say that now they get people like Caitlin and they think she’s funny—but ha-ha funny, not weird funny. Older kids, teens, and adults feel the poignancy and are grateful to have a chance to understand those like Caitlin. And people, young and older, with Asperger’s have thanked me for “nailing it” and telling this story.

BT: Were you a big reader as a kid? If so, what books?

KE: I’ve always loved reading and read a lot as a kid. I went through phases: series, biographies, mysteries, adventures, encyclopedias (really!), nonfiction on specific topics (horses, Australia, earth sciences, etc.), and specific authors like Enid Blyton and Arthur Ransome. I tended to pull books off our shelves at home, so I read Nevil Shute and Graham Greene when I was 10 and 11. We were allowed to read anything, encouraged to, actually. That’s why I read To Kill a Mockingbird at 8. I don’t think any of the books scarred me; in fact, they helped me look at the world from viewpoints I’d never imagined…sort of like Caitlin does.

You can find Mockingbird on TAB this January!

Caldecott and Newbery Predictions!

5 Jan

The Caldecott and Newbery awards are just around the corner, and our offices are all abuzz with excitement. The Caldecott and the Newbery awards are given to outstanding children’s books each year. Past winners include Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me (2010 Newbery Medal winner) and The Lion & the Mouse (Jerry Pinkney’s 2010 Caldecott Medal winner).

We here at Book Clubs take children’s literature seriously—all year we follow what books have the best reviews, which ones are the most popular, and the cult favorites. Thanks to that, we all have opinions about what books will win! In the spirit of that excitement, we wanted to share what some of our senior editors predicted to be the award winners.

Steve M., our Senior Editor for younger clubs, has the following Caldecott predictions:

Medal:

City Dog, Country Frog written by Mo Willems and illustrated by Jon J Muth

Honors:

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors written by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beckie Prange
Farm
written and illustrated by Elisha Cooper
Art & Max
written and illustrated by David Wiesner

Lucille S., Senior Editor of Acquisitions, sent in her Newbery predictions:

The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan, with illustrations by Peter Sís
Mockingbird
by Kathryn Erskine
Countdown
by Deborah Wiles
Keeper
by Kathi Appelt
The Cardturner
by Louis Sachar
Forge
by Laurie Halse Anderson

Of course, like many of us, Managing Editor David A. is rooting for Mockingbird!

New Year, New Titles!

3 Jan

Happy New Year! It’s a brand-new year and there is so much to look forward to. Everyone is invigorated after a nice long break (and some snow!) and we are SO excited to show you what we’ve been planning over the last few months. The January flyers are filled with incredible new titles, big-time deals, and rewards for YOU, our trusted partners in literacy. So go ahead, take a look at our JANUARY TOP 10 Books, then check out the entire selection online!

Teachers: Introduce your students to these TOP 10 NEW Books and watch their love of reading grow like never before. And in January, enjoy GUARANTEED 5X BONUS POINTS UP TO 6,000 Points, PLUS $10 to Spend Right Now!*

Parents: Did you know? You’re helping your child’s classroom library grow! Every dollar you spend through Scholastic Books Clubs earns your child’s class Bonus Points that teachers redeem for FREE BOOKS!

1. Gus Makes a Friend by Frank Remkiewicz
NEW Pre-Beginning Reader from the Illustrator of Froggy!

2. The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton
NEW by Julie Andrews! For Fans of Pinkalicious!

3. Penguins by Liz Pichon
NEW Funny, Seasonal Picture Book!

4. National Geographic Little Kids: First Big Book of Animals
NEW Photographic Nonfiction Starring 200 Critters!

5. Grumpy Gloria by Anna Dewdney
NEW Friendship Story from Llama Llama’s Creator!

6. Little Critter®: Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer
NEW VALUE A Book Every Family Can Afford! Only $1

7.  Skippyjon Jones: Shape Up by Judy Schachner
NEW Silly Board Book Builds Mind-Muscle!

8.  We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury
NEW Classic Helen Oxenbury Now in Paperback!

9. Ice Is Nice! All About the North and South Poles by Bonnie Worth
NEW Learn Science Dr. Seuss Style!

10. Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff
NEW Holiday Mouse Book Now in Paperback!

1. How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
NEW Fun-to-Read Book in Best-Selling Series!

2. Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl by Tedd Arnold
NEW by Geisel Award-Winning Author Tedd Arnold!

3. Roar! by Robert Munsch & Michael Martchenko
NEW Read-Aloud from Robert Munsch!

4. You Think It’s Easy Being the Tooth Fairy? by Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
NEW Perfect for Dental Health Month!

5. Who Will See Their Shadows This Year? By Jerry Pallotta
NEW Hilarious Hardcover by the Creators of Who Will Guide My Sleigh Tonight?

6. The Magic School Bus® Arctic Adventure
NEW VALUE A Book Every Family Can Afford! Only $1

7. Hippo and Rabbit in Three Short Tales by Jeff Mack
NEW For Fans of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie!

8. Can You See What I See? Treasure Ship by Walter Wick
NEW From the Co-Creator of  I SPY®!

9. Animal Safari Collection
NEW Nonfiction Set!

10. Fancy Nancy: The 100th Day of School by Jane O’Connor
NEW Learn New Words with Fancy Nancy!

1.  Magic Tree House® #41: Moonlight on the Magic Flute by Mary Pope Osborne
NEW Time-Travel Adventure Now in Paperback!

2. Smart Words Reader: Bones and Muscles
NEW Help Kids Learn Science Vocabulary!

3. Horrible Harry on the Ropes by Suzy Kline
NEW Funny School Story! Best-Selling Series!

4. Jack Gets a Clue: The Case of the Beagle Burglar by Nancy Krulik
NEW Mystery Series by the Author of Katie Kazoo!

5. Kitty Corner: Callie by Ellen Miles
NEW From the Best-Selling Author of The Puppy Place!

6. Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures: The African Safari Discovery
NEW Adventure for Only $1!

7. Ready, Freddy! Science Fair Flop by Abby Klein
NEW The Latest in This Funny Series!

8. Space: A Visual Encylopedia
NEW HUGE Full-Color Encyclopedia!

9. Pony Mysteries: Penny and Pepper by Jeanne Betancourt
NEW Easy-to-Read Series from the Author of Pony Pals!

10. Geronimo Stilton: The Giant Diamond Robbery
NEW Funny Story with Full-Color Art!

1. Mythbusters Science Fair Book
NEW Do-It-Yourself Experiments in Full Color!

2. Dear America: Like the Willow Tree
NEW From Newbery Winner Lois Lowry, Author of The Giver!

3. My Sister the Vampire: Take Two by Sienna Mercer
NEW The Latest in the Fang-tastic Series!

4. Tales of Famous Heroes by Peter & Connie Roop
NEW Photo-Filled, Full-Color Nonfiction!

5. Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors
NEW “A Page-Turning Adventure!” —Kirkus Reviews

6. The Valentine That Ate My Teacher by Dean Marney
NEW VALUE Holiday Favorite Now Only $1!

7. Vincent Shadow: Toy Inventor by Tim Kehoe
NEW Funny Fiction with Illustrations Throughout!

8. Goddess Girls: Aphrodite the Beauty by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams
NEW Fun, Modern Spin on Classic Mythology!

9. Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord
NEW From the Newbery Author of Rules!

10. Profiles: The Civil War
NEW Full-Color, Photographic Nonfiction Series!

*With your first January class order of $20 or more. Cannot be combined with any other offer.