Tag Archives: Reluctant Readers

Thanksgiving!

23 Nov

It’s almost here, everyone–Thanksgiving is just around the bend. To celebrate, we thought we’d talk about some of our favorite books for this Thanksgiving!

Thank You Bear

Though not a traditional Thanksgiving picture book, Greg Foley’s Thank You Bear is a beautiful story about recognizing the value of thoughtfulness. Some of the other animals may not think that Bear’s gift for Mouse is anything special, but Bear’s doubts are laid to rest with Mouse’s exclamation that his present is the “greatest thing ever!” The soft illustrations and moving story make this a perfect book for younger and older readers alike. You can find Thank You Bear on Firefly this November!

I SPY Thanksgiving

On SeeSaw this November we have a brand new I SPY reader from Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick: I SPY Thanksgiving! This is a wonderful way to help your kids gain reading confidence and get them excited about all the traditional trappings of Thanksgiving!

 

Happy Thanksgiving, Curious George

What can we say? It’s Curious George and Thanksgiving, so you can be sure there are a lot of laughs and heartfelt moments. George is so excited about Thanksgiving, he loves everything: the food, the parade, and especially his family and friends. Told through a series of fun, rhyming poems, this tabbed board book is perfect for little fingers. Find it on November’s Honeybee!

Scholastic Special: Reach Out and Read!

18 Nov

Did you know that every November, Scholastic offers a very special catalog specifically aimed at providing great reading materials for the youngest readers? It’s true! We’ve partnered with Reach Out and Read, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preparing young children to succeed in schools by working with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.  With our special Reach Out and Read! offer, we hope to not only provide your child with the best literature for the season, but also for children in need as well. With every item you order from this catalog, Scholastic will donate one book to Reach Out and Read’s worthy organization.  It’s that simple!

Some very special titles that we’re excited about are:

Let’s Get a Checkup!

 

Pascal Lemaitre (of Firefighter Ted fame) is fast becoming one of our favorite illustrators, and this collaboration with author Alan Katz makes for a funny and informative animal story about going to the doctor!

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse

One of my all-time favorite stories about a little mouse and his wish for a real friend. We love author/illustrator Leo Lionni!

Christmas with You

This is a very sweet holiday story that’s great for introducing family traditions during the season—a fantastic read-aloud!

Disney Classic Pooh: Mind Your Manners

Winnie-the-Pooh has been invited to a party, but can he use good manners to get along with others? A sweet manners lesson featuring classic Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations.

Knees and Toes!

Follow the teddy bears as they teach you about your head, shoulders, knees, and toes! Includes tabbed pages for easy turn-the-page fun for the littlest of learners.

For more reading tips and information about this great organization, visit www.reachoutandread.org. What do you and your child do as part of your reading routine?

Comics in the Classroom

13 Oct

Call them what you will—comic books, graphic novels, illustrated guides—but these formats are permeating the mainstream. On Monday, we posted a mini picture post from our adventures at New York Comic Con this past weekend, and you guys had plenty to say! The comments covered everything from comic books being just like TV and video games to comic books being a great gateway into reading. Just like any other medium, comics are both these things and many others.

We were lucky enough to attend a lecture given by Scott Westerfeld on Sunday. He spent a few minutes talking about how he decided to write a series of novels (the Leviathan trilogy) with illustrations, and reminded us that, historically, most novels were once illustrated. On the right, you’ll see illustrations from a late 18thcentury edition of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. He noted an edition of The War of the Worlds that heralded the illustrator’s name far larger than that of H.G. Wells! Illustrations are beginning to regain the reputation they lost for being just as legitimate as the words themselves.

Comic books aren’t comic books because of their content—they are comic books because of the heavy use of illustrations to denote action that interacts with the text. They can contain any type of story or information: Comic books can be about superheroes or space aliens, but they can also be about history (as with the Maus graphic novels) or science (as with The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook)! For some children, sequential art makes difficult concepts easier to grasp.

Elephant & Piggie, a series of beginning readers by award-winning illustrator Mo Willems, feature common comic-book styles while still using the repetitive text and illustrations classically used in the genre. Compare these illustrations below: On the top, you have Elephant & Piggie and underneath, you have a strip from Scholastic’s own middle-grade graphic novel series, Amulet. Both use sequential art and speech balloons while also containing positive themes that students can relate to…but one is a reader and one is a comic.

Books for older children are also embracing traditional comic-book characteristics. Did you know that Jeff Kinney actually started the ever-successful Diary of a Wimpy Kid as a Web comic? Now the very same series has kids thrilled about reading! It also deals with issues kids face every day: bullying, growing up, friendship—look how excited these kids were to get their copies of the fourth book, Dog Days.

Graphic novels, illustrated guides, comic books—however you want to refer to them—have evolved into an excellent reading tool. Many of them cover complex issues and concepts in an accessible design. Some of you noted that this format has aided students with learning disabilities, others mentioned that these books were a great way to get kids interested in reading. After reading your comments, we decided to put together a list of classroom-appropriate graphic novels that cover a variety of subjects. If you have any suggestions, definitely leave a comment! We’d love to see what books you use!

Ghostopolis | Tab October
Bone | October
Amulet | Teens September
Resistance | Teens September
Maus | Teens September
Diary of a Wimpy Kid | Pre-order #5
Calvin and Hobbes | Fall
Dork Diaries | Arrow October
Popularity Papers | Arrow September
Adventures of Ook and Gluk | Lucky September
Elephant & Piggie Pack | SeeSaw October

Team Lucky Talks Ook and Gluk!

12 Aug

September is an exciting time, not only is it back-to-school for teachers, parents, and students but it is also when we here at Scholastic Book Clubs get to introduce new and exciting characters and books for the new school year! This September is definitely not lacking in new characters and exciting books. One such book is the new hilarious romp from Captain Underpants author Dav Pilkey, The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future. Our Lucky editors, Shelly and Caitlin, are so excited about this new title in September’s Lucky that they had to tell you about it. Click here for Shelly’s review. Click here for Caitlin’s top 5 reasons she loves Ook and Gluk!

Shelly Tells us All about Ook and Gluk!

Book Talk: Shelly, how would you describe The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future?

Shelly: EPIC!  LEGENDARY!  HISTORIC!  Make that, PREHISTORIC!

Book Talk: Wow! Can you tell us a little about the book?

Shelly: Sure! Travel back in time to 500,001 BC and meet Ook and Gluk, wild and adventurous kung-fu cavemen from Caveland, Ohio!  Life is great for these two best friends: Swinging on vines; hanging with their dinosaur pal, Lily; and outsmarting their nasty leader, Big Chief Goppernopper.  Everything seems fine until an evil corporation from the future invades their town and pulls Ook and Gluk through a time portal to the year 2222 AD.  Will their brains and talents in Kung Fu be enough to save Ook and Gluk and bring them home safely? With help from Dav Pilkey, George Beard and Harold Hutchins (the creators of Captain Underpants) bring you The Adventures of Ook and Gluk Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future, packed with more of the laffs, fun, and flip-o-rama action that you’ve come to enjoy from the Captain Underpants series.

Book Talk: Thanks Shelly!


Caitlin’s Top Five Favorite Things about Ook and Gluk!

Want more Ook and Gluk? Check out our friends at On Our Minds for the book trailer!

Reading at Home. Discuss.

10 Aug

Life these days is a whirlwind. You wake up, scramble to get everyone out the door for school, eat breakfast on your commute to work, make it through the work-day, pick up the kids, take them to their after-school activities, pick them up, make dinner, check your email, help the kids with their homework, and collapse into bed only to start the day all over again. Are we forgetting anything? Probably.

You may ask, during a day like this, who has time to read?

We all do.

Read Skippyjon Jones when you’re waiting for dinner to finish cooking. Ask your child to read Junie B. Jones at the counter with you as you all prep for the next day ahead. Snuggle in bed with Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  Make family time reading time, and you’ll all win.

Research has shown that reading at home for just 20 minutes every day can make a difference in your child’s life…so get on the reading train if you aren’t on it already.

What are your tips to make reading at home part of your family’s daily routine?

The Real Deal: Editors David and Abby Preview Fall Titles

9 Aug

It’s back-to-school season, all right.  The squeak-squeak songs of new sneakers in the crowded hallways, the tap-tap dance of new lunchboxes on young knees, and the grind-grind of sharpened pencils wafts from the classrooms-school’s back (or will be soon!), and we’re looking forward to sharing in the enthusiasm of a new year.

We’re bursting at the seams here at Book Clubs, especially our editors, who think that this is the BEST year yet for children’s books in Clubs.  But with so many options, we know it can be hard to find the books that are just right for your child (or student). Will they be age appropriate?  Will they hold your child’s interest? Will they be the right reading level?  And this is where we love to help.  Our editors have worked tirelessly to hand-select the best new books of the year that will not only keep them interested, but will boost their reading levels and success in school.

Make sure you check out this video featuring two of our resident experts/all-stars/children’s book gurus, Editors David and Abby, to learn a little more about some of their favorite September titles.  In David’s words, “We’ve spared no effort to provide you with the very,very finest books that can be found on planet Earth in  Scholastic Book Clubs.”

Do you agree? Open up your Book Clubs September flyers (in print or online) and just bask in the wonder, the joy, and the genius of children’s books.  We have found an awesome selection of just-right books for kids across America, and we hope you think so too!

Mythology Meets the Modern World!

3 Aug

If you haven’t read Rick Riordan’s series “Percy Jackson & The Olympians”, this is the year to start!  Not only is the fifth and final book coming out in paperback this fall (exclusively from Scholastic Book Clubs!) but there is also a brand-new Camp Half-Blood spin-off trilogy being released on October 12, which will feature brand-new demi-gods and a few well-known characters from Riordan’s first series (more on that next month!)

The Percy Jackson series has been a blockbuster hit—#1 Bestselling New York Times series, a movie that was released in February—and teachers and parents everywhere have learned that it’s a perfect way to get reluctant readers interested in reading.  The series combines ancient Greek mythology with contemporary action so deftly that readers hardly realize they are learning along the way.  When we meet Percy in Book 1, he is a struggling student who can’t seem to stay out of trouble, or in school.  He’s been kicked out of every school he’s attended, and weird stuff happens wherever he goes. How could one middle-schooler have such bad luck?  The character is immediately identifiable, which makes his adventures all the more engaging.

Rick Riordan, who first created the series for his son as bedtime stories, was a middle school teacher and a reluctant reader himself.  He knows exactly what his audience is looking for, and the result is a series that will appeal to every reader – reluctant or not!

Recommended for Arrow and Tab level readers (Grades 4-7), this series is a must have for home and classroom libraries alike.  Just don’t be surprised when your 9-12 year old can’t stop reading – even at the dinner table!