We all remember circling our favorite books on Scholastic Book Club fliers to take home and beg and plead and hope that our parents would let us get them ALL. Maybe you have recently had this experience with your student or child? There are so many great books, aren’t there? How do you choose?
There are a lot of people involved in getting Scholastic Book Clubs from our minds to your schools, and every week we’re going to introduce you to a different part of Scholastic Book Clubs.
Today, it’s all about Book Clubs editorial, where we spend long hours reading and searching through thousands of books to find the best ones for kids everywhere.
So how do we start?
Well, we weren’t kidding about that searching through thousands of books part! We get visits from dozens and dozens of book publishers who come to tell us all about their new titles. We go through all of them and make lists of what we think are the absolute must-have books for the year. There are teams that go through picture books and readers, chapter books and middle grade books as well as young adult. As you can imagine, we read A LOT! But that’s ok, because we love it! Don’t believe us…check out all these books we have to read.
After reading all of these books, we whittle down which ones we think would best suit young readers. Is one book better for boys than another? Are vampires still in (daily discussion that never has a clear answer, ha!)? Should we offer this amazing book even though it has the word h-e-double-hockey-sticks in it? Will this picture book appeal to teachers as a read-a-loud? These are the types of discussions and questions that we have and ask when we read all of these books.
And we can’t forget about the older titles that sometimes get overlooked by regular bookstores. Book Clubs prides on not only having the newest and most engaging books, but also having a great mix of older titles that will get kids excited about reading. Other conversations and questions we have are: Is David Goes to School a better $1 book than Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus? Are the Sideway School books still relevant (um, yeah—they’re awesome!)? Which Caldecott/Newbery winner from ten years ago is better to offer than another?
One perk of being in editorial is that we get to read books long before they come out. There are even times when editors’ fight over who gets to read a certain book first. (those are fun days)
In addition to that, we look for help from blogs and other media outlets to see what is getting good reviews or even starred reviews. We also ask our trusted teacher advisors for some assistance as well.
This all happens before we even start putting the list together for each month. After narrowing all the books down to 90 or 100 titles, the real work begins.
To be continued…