Meet Book Clubs: Editorial Part 1

21 Jul

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…

13 Responses to “Meet Book Clubs: Editorial Part 1”

  1. Lori July 21, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    I am so excited about the continuation of your story. Your job sounds like my dream job. I already read children’s books and have become the expert with family and friends regarding reading selections. It’s really quite enjoyable to be able to have a literary conversation with my 10-year old daughter. Thanks for all that you do!

    • Preeti July 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

      Thanks for the comment, Lori!

      I actually spend a lot of time discussing books with my eleven year old cousin, so I know what you mean! (I may or may not also genuinely enjoy collecting picture books because they’re very pretty.)

      We’ve got the continuation post coming up next Wednesday, so be sure to swing by and let us know what you think 😀

  2. Edi July 21, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    I’m so glad to see Scholastic having transparent dialog about children’s books. I look forward to being part of it!
    (OOM sent me!!)

    • Preeti July 22, 2010 at 9:11 am #

      Ooh! Definitely check back! (And our hearty thanks to OOM for the readers :D)

  3. Bonnie July 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    I’ve been out of teaching for three years now and I really miss those exciting first looks at the book club leaflets! I was able to amass such a classroom library and it was hard to pass them on to others (except the ones I kept for my grandchildren.) I loved the illustrations in so many of the picture books! And the authors became old friends. Thank you Scholastic for all you do!

    • Preeti July 22, 2010 at 9:12 am #

      Thank you for reading our books! We love to hear your stories too 🙂

  4. Bonnie July 22, 2010 at 10:40 am #

    LOVE the Post!!!!! Love getting behind the scene info!
    When my daughters were young they couldn’t wait to get the Scholastic flyer! What a wonderful way to encourage the young readers!!
    Thanks for the post and can’t wait to read Part 2!
    PS Bella and Finny loved it too!

  5. Bonnie A Wayne July 22, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    LOVE the post!! Love getting the behind the scene info!!
    When my daughters were young they couldn’t wait for the Scholastic flyer! It’s a wonderful way to encourage young readers!
    Thanks for all you do to help children become life long readers!
    Can’t wait for Part 2!!
    PS Bella and Finny loved it too!! :))

  6. Bonnie A Wayne July 22, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    OOPS!! Sorry about the double post :{

  7. Michael Elam July 22, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    My daughter gets the flyers from preschool, and she’s as excited about them as I was many years ago when I got them in gradeschool also. It’s a joy to read about the process (which I’m sure is much more intense and fun than can be said here). I think of Scholastic Book Club as an insitution, and I hope it continues . . . well, forever.

  8. Anissa July 22, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    I am absolutely additced to children’s books. I was doing mental health work in schools and some teachers joked I could sniff out new book orders. I just took a new job this month and litterally jumped for joy when they told me they do Scholastic Book Clubs–I had been worried how I could get my ‘fix’ after leaving the school setting!

  9. Jeanette Moyer August 2, 2010 at 10:57 pm #

    I was interested in reading this post. I also read part 2. My school is a Christian school and our principal will not let us send home Scholastic flyers anymore because of objectionable material. I do not know what exactly was the offensive title. I am guessing it is somthing having to do with a non traditional family setting..involving two mommies or daddies.

    I was not happy with this decision, simply because I like the opportunities Scholastic gives our parents to purchase inexpensive books. I have accumulated many points and can’t use them since I am no longer ordering.

    I sent an email to Scholastic but have gotten a response. Please consdier keeping the book selecgtion more mainstream.

    • Jen A. August 4, 2010 at 10:56 am #

      Hi Jeanette, thanks for your post.

      Scholastic offered Luv Ya Bunches on the December Arrow Book Club and in our middle school book fairs last year. The fact that one character, Milla, has two moms is a realistic reflection of the world in which we live. There are many children in communities all across the nation who have two moms or two dads or other kinds of non-traditional families. This book deals with the relationships among a group of pre-teen girls and includes positive themes about friendship and support, embracing our differences, and the importance of being true to who you are.

      We recognize that not every book is right for every young person and that is why we encourage parents and caregivers to take an active interest in their children’s reading choices. Because we respect the right of parents and teachers to monitor children’s reading, we provide a “no questions asked, money-back guarantee” if ever a child, parent, or teacher is not completely satisfied.

      We care deeply about our young readers and are proud to distribute and publish many award-winning, librarian-approved children’s books and educational materials. Part of our mission to encourage all children to learn to love to read is fulfilled by making available a wide array of titles for children to choose from. This enables every child to find a reflection of him or herself in a book we offer.

      Thank you again for your post. We hope you will consider using Book Clubs in the future.

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