Archive | December, 2010

January Dollar Books!

16 Dec

Hey BookTalkers, we have a special holiday treat for you… it’s the January $1 books! Click through for more! Continue reading

May the Force Be with You

15 Dec

I’ll say it: I had (and still have) a crush on Han Solo.

Not on Harrison Ford, mind you—Indiana Jones is all right—but on Han Solo himself. And it seems that I’m not alone—another Scholastic blogger made the same confession earlier this week. I guess great minds crush alike.

But this is supposed to be about BOOKS, right?

Well, I’m happy to tell you that the greatness that is Star Wars doesn’t have to stop on the screen. And if I were a Star Wars geek (ahem), I would turn directly to the fifth page of our Holiday Gift Books catalog for a whole slew of books about your (my) favorite characters. There’s the Star Wars® Rebel Force Collection as well as Star Wars® Blueprints: Rebel Edition, where you can examine the ins and outs of some truly awesome starfighters (rebel ships ONLY)!

If you’re not excited enough already, check out this silly video about dads trying to have “the talk” (the Star Wars talk, that is) with their kids. And if anyone knows how to make that Yoda hat, please, please, let me know.

This post was brought to you by Liz, guest blogger and aspiring Jedi Knight.

Reach Out and Read: Making a Difference Nationwide

14 Dec

You may remember reading about the ways in which Scholastic Book Clubs partners with Reach Out and Read (a nonprofit that works with doctors and nurses to promote early literacy) (Reach Out and Read: Through a Doctor’s Eyes) to encourage school readiness. Now we’d like to share with you a few of the many inspiring success stories from this wonderful program.  And, as always, remember to read every day!


“I cannot imagine not having the Reach Out and Read program.  The developmental ob servations I make and use as an opportunity to support the mastery of the child and parent is invaluable.  It is great that children no longer ask for a lollipop, they want a book!”
-Family Physician, Los Angeles, CA

“One day a little girl and I read together for about 45 minutes in the
waiting room.  When it was time to leave, her grandmother came over and
told me that the girl had recently been through lots of trauma in her
life, and that this was the first time in days she had seen her smile.”
-Volunteer Reader, Denver, CO


“Many of our patients have financial difficulties and are unable to
purchase books on their own.  Providing books for children that allow families to read together in the clinic and at home has strengthened both the physician-child and the parent-child bonds.”
-Family Physician, Kansas City, KS


“Thank you very much for taking care of us.  We love the children’s books
you gave us and the stickers at the end of our visits.”
-3-year-old, 6-year-old, and 9-year-old siblings, Somerville, MA


“The Reach Out and Read program gets children ready to read and parents
like me wanting to read. From birth, my son loved to hear me read books
to him. Now he is an active 2-year-old who can never get enough of
reading. With a new book at every well visit, he always has a book to
– A Reach Out and Read Parent, Philadelphia, PA


“The short-term and long-term benefits of Reach Out and Read are
immeasurable: families bonding with children through reading, children
developing an early love of books, more success in school, and
ultimately more success in life.”
-Maternal Child Health Services Director, Colchester, VT


“It means a lot knowing that our doctor cares about the development of my
daughter’s learning skills.  And it’s always nice to get a book that we
can read together.”
-Mother, Honolulu, HI




“One of my 18-month-old patients got a toy doctor’s kit for Christmas.  A
few days later she was examining her doll – she listened with the
stethoscope, gave the doll a shot, and then went to her bookshelf and
took out the book she got at her checkup and gave it to the doll.”
-Pediatrician, Phoenix, AZ


“Thanks to the generosity and support of Reach Out and Read we have
wonderful new books to give our young patients at their routine health
checks while at the same time educating their families on the importance of making reading a fun everyday event. We are sincerely grateful for the support and we hope to continue together on this quest to make our children’s future the brightest possible.”
– Dr. Albert, Dr. Blum, Eileen Barlow, Lanica Evans, Christie Brooks,
Jamie Hicks, and Henriette Freeman Kids 1st Pediatrics
Watkinsville, GA


“I’ve seen the positive effect this program has on parents and children.
For many of the families we serve, books are a luxury.  Reach Out and
Read makes it possible for children to start their own library by the
time they reach kindergarten.”
-Program Coordinator, Fort Wayne, IN


“One of our patients is a mother of three and a domestic violence victim.
She and her children move often between shelters to stay safe, and every
time they move, she allows her children to only keep one toy.  Every
time, the children choose to keep one of their Reach Out and Read books
-Volunteer, Boston, MA


“Today I read to two 4-month-old babies.  One of their mothers couldn’t
believe her baby would be so excited about books.  She had never read to
him before, but said that she would start tonight!”
-Volunteer Reader, Kalamazoo, MI


“For the high-risk population we serve at our clinic, the opportunity to
be read to and to develop a love of books may make the difference
between future success and failure.”
-Pediatrician, Minneapolis, MN


“After handing a book to an 18-month-old, his mother told me that she
couldn’t read and felt ashamed.  I reassured her that she could tell the
story from the pictures and helped her enroll in a learn-to-read
– Pediatrician, Kansas City, MO

New York

“Reach Out and Read is a gift to us, the providers.  It enables us to
further our ultimate goal, the improvement of the health and well-being
of children and their families, by way of a novel, interactive, and fun
-Pediatrician, Brooklyn, NY


“The parents are always so surprised by the importance our physicians
and especially our staff puts on reading books to young children. I
never tire of the look on parents’ faces when they see particularly the
board books for infants.”
– Sara Guerrero-Duby, M.D. F.A.A.P.
Children’s Medical Group
Akron, OH


“The children come to expect a book every time they see the doctor.  I
walked into an exam room the other day and a Spanish-speaking child
greeted me by saying “libro” (book) before I could even say hello.
-Pediatrician, Alexandria, VA

Find out more about Reach Out and Read at

Find out more about ClassroomsCare

December’s Bestsellers

14 Dec

Picture Books


1. Little Critter’s The Night Before Christmas by Mercer Mayer ($2.00 in Firefly)
2. The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup ($4.00 in SeeSaw)
3. Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright ($4.00 in SeeSaw)
4. The Night Before New Year’s by Natasha Wing ($2.00 in Firefly)
5. The Little Reindeer by Caroline Repchuk ($3.00 in SeeSaw)


Transitional Readers and Early Chapter Books

1. I SPY Santa Claus riddles by Jean Marzollo, photos by Walter Wick ($2.00 in SeeSaw)
2. Tangled: Kingdom of Color ($3.00 in SeeSaw)
3. Magic Tree House® #29: Christmas in Camelot by Mary Pope Osborne ($2.00 in Lucky)
4. A Cars Christmas ($3.00 in Firefly)
5. Ready, Freddy! The Perfect Present by Abby Klein ($2.00 in Lucky)

Chapter Books

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney ($7.00 in Arrow)
2. The Pup Who Cried Wolf by Chris Kurtz ($2.00 in Arrow)
3. The Christmas Genie by Dan Gutman ($3.00 in Arrow)
4. Tangled: The Junior Novelization ($4.00 in Arrow)
5. Thirteen Ways to Sink a Sub by Jamie Gilson ($3.00 in Arrow)

Middle Grade Fiction

1. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan ($9.00 in Arrow and TAB)
2. The Winter Room by Gary Paulsen ($3.00 in Arrow)
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling ($8.00 in Lucky, Arrow, and TAB)
4. Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter ($5.00 in Arrow)
5. Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn ($3.00 in TAB)

Young Adult Fiction

1. How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier ($5.00 in TAB)
2. Accidental Love by Gary Soto ($4.00 in TAB)
3. Missing by Catherine MacPhail ($4.00 in TAB)
4. The Dying Breath by Alane Ferguson ($5.00 in TAB)
5. Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs ($4.00 in TAB)

Nonfiction (All Ages)

1. 3-D Thrillers! The Ice Age and Incredible Pre-Historic Animals ($4.00 in Lucky)
2. How to Do Homework Without Throwing Up by Trevor Romain ($3.00 in Lucky and Arrow)
3. Scholastic Book of World Records 2011 ($9.00 in Lucky)
4 Why Is the White House White? by Connie and Peter Roop ($2.00 in Lucky)
5. Thirty Days Has September: Cool Ways to Remember Stuff ($3.00 in Arrow)

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.

‘Tis the Season…for Snow Forts!

13 Dec

Last week we had the first snow of the season here in New York. Granted it was just some flurries, but it had everyone buzzing with excitement in our offices! So we thought we’d gather some of our favorite snow reads for when we get back inside after spending all day in the stuff!


Cynthia Rylant’s quiet lyrical text and Lauren Stringer’s beautiful illustrations together make Snow a wonderful love letter to, well, snow! It’s a perfect bedtime story after a full day of snowmen and snow angels for little ones. You can find it on SeeSaw December!

Sneezy the Snowman

This snowman cannot stay warm! Every time his friends try to help, he ends up melting and they have to rebuild him. Find out how they fix Sneezy’s snowy problem in this hilarious read-aloud on SeeSaw December!

Mouse’s First Snow

Join Mouse as he experiences all the best parts of winter! Ride along with him on his first sled, and watch as he and his father build his first snow house and as Mouse makes his own snow angel. This Firefly December title is perfect for beginning readers

The Magical Snowman

Told with simple text and engaging illustrations, The Magical Snowman is a story about friendship. Little Rabbit makes a snowman one morning, and while his father says the snowman isn’t real, Little Rabbit will find out just how real the snowman is! Available on Firefly December!

Where the Snowflakes Fall

With an adorable arctic seal on the cover, little readers will love this book all about arctic animals that live in snow! Find it on Honeybee this December!

Snow Science Pack

As an added bonus, on SeeSaw this December you can find a kit to make your own snow! (I won’t lie, I may bring this with me when I visit Florida!)

Disney’s Tangled!

10 Dec

(Or, how I turned into a ten-year-old girl for two hours.)

Full disclosure: I am a product of what I like to call the golden age of Disney cinema—the first movie I can remember seeing in the theater is The Little Mermaid and I’m fairly certain I watched my Aladdin VHS every day for a month…or until it wouldn’t play anymore. I can still play Beauty and the Beast songs on the piano, and my iTunes still has a very extensive Disney playlist.

That being said, I went into Tangled with some trepidation. Disney had yet to recapture that, dare I say, magic quality it had in abundance when I was younger.

Tangled easily took me back to that time. There’s the princess, Rapunzel, locked away in her tower, the rakish (but still heroic) Flynn Rider, the sidekicks, and, of course, the evil villain, Mother Gothel…and to top it all off, music by Disney heavyweight Alan Menken. The story is funny, adventurous, and romantic.

But my favorite part of Disney movies (and Tangled is no exception) is how strong the female characters are. Rapunzel is not a damsel in distress—she fights for herself, maintains her independence, and saves the hero! She, like princesses before her, is strong, capable, and confident.

We’ve got several books available so that kids of all ages can read about the fairy tale as well!

In Firefly December, you can find Tangled: A Dazzling Day, a picture book perfect for reading aloud.

In SeeSaw December, you’ll find the early reader, Tangled: Kingdom of Color. This is great for kindergartners or first graders just beginning to read themselves.

In Lucky December, we have a stepping-stone reader, Tangled: Rapunzel’s Tale, for slightly more advanced readers.

Lastly, in Arrow December you can find the junior novelization for kids who want to relive the movie (I know that I did!).

Bad Kitty!

9 Dec

Nick Bruel’s Bad Kitty is back! And this time, it’s Bad Kitty vs Uncle Murray: The Uproar at the Front Door. Kitty’s owners are going away for a week and while they’re gone, Uncle Murray’s going to be watching Kitty and Puppy. This cannot possibly go well. In what is now his standard, Bruel brings together easy-to-read text, great kitty teaching points, and hilarious turns of events in the latest Bad Kitty book. And just in time for you to find it on Lucky December, he’s launched a new Web site! has all sorts of extras. There’s an interview with Nick Bruel and games for every reader, like word searches and the “Bad Kitty BAD Libs.” For teachers, he’s even got a few classroom resources for students from kindergarten to 3rd grade. Check out the trailer below for the Bad Kitty series!