Tag Archives: Teachers

Labor Day Weekend Reads

3 Sep

Now, we know that you may think that Labor Day means one thing: BBQ. But for the Book Talk crew, it means we get one extra day to do what we love best: read.

Yes, we will enjoy copious amounts of grilled delicacies, family, and friends, but we’ll also enjoy catching some rays while reading some fantastic books. What could be better? Not much, we say!

Here’s an inside lens into our Labor Day Weekend Reads (of course, we want to hear from you too!):

Preeti: My hopes are probably too high for this weekend, but I’ll be at the beach with more than a few reads. I’m most excited about Entwined, a young adult novel about my faaavorite fairy tale, “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” I also intend to relive the excitement of Scaredy-Cat, Splat! , which I am going to share with my friends so we can squeal over its cuteness!

Trevor: I’ll be reading an adult title (GASP!)—Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad—as well as reading the final installment in The 39 Clues® series, The 39 Clues®, Book Ten: Into the Gauntlet!

Erin: This weekend is filled with traveling, so I’ll have a lot of time to devote to some BIG books. I’m rereading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (for about the seventh time…). And because I can’t just read children’s books ALL the time (sigh), I’m going back to my history major tendencies and reading The Pillars of the Earth. Have a great weekend!

Jen: My weekend is going to be filled with family read-alongs! I’ll be rereading Mockingjay with my 14-year-old cousin. I’ll also be diving into the world of medicine with My Body (from Firefly September) so I can keep up with my loved ones, many of whom are doctors (hey, I’ve got to learn it somehow!).

What are you all reading this weekend?

NYTIMES Came for a Visit…

2 Sep

…To talk about you! Thanks for helping to make our social media community, well, such a community! Check out this NYTIMES article that featured our Twitter, Facebook and Blog (that’s you!) collective missions: to help connect teachers to teachers, teachers to parents, and children’s booklovers across the nation.  Let’s keep helping children nationwide become readers!

Oil Spill: Disaster in the Gulf

2 Sep

Some of you may have noticed the book Oil Spill: Disaster in the Gulf on September’s Arrow and Lucky clubs. What you may not know is that this is the first book, children’s or adult, to be published on this unfortunate disaster. You may also have seen something about this by our friends at On Our Minds who recently posted about how our Scholastic Kids Press Corps reporters are covering the oil spill. Oil Spill: Disaster in the Gulf was the result of a lot of hard work and long hours, but it was worth it to have a book out in the market for kids so they can understand the effects of a tragedy such as this. Our Editorial Director David Allender wanted to share some thoughts on how this book came about and why we felt we had to publish such a book.

Dear Teachers and Parents,

Nonfiction is invaluable because it connects children to their world. When catastrophe struck in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this year, we knew we had to offer a book about this subject in September Book Clubs so that kids could learn about it in a way that would be meaningful for them.

The only problem was that there was no book available. So we decided to make it ourselves. You might say this is how Book Clubs spent our summer vacation—three intense weeks in June and July creating this book.

Oil Spill: Disaster in the Gulf tells what happened and explains how and why. The book was thoroughly vetted by experts, and is profusely illustrated with photographs, diagrams, and illustrations. As you’d expect from Scholastic, the book supports the curriculum in so many ways, including inspiring kids to conduct their own inquiries into the science of energy.

We are very proud to publish the very first book about this environmental catastrophe. It helps us fulfill a central part of Book Clubs’ mission: to provide a connection between young minds and information. And that connection can truly change the world.


David Allender
Editorial Director, Scholastic Book Clubs

Back to School!

31 Aug


Strange new teacher.
Strange new toys.
Lots of kids and lots of noise!

Llama Llama Misses Mama! Like many kids this fall, Llama Llama is heading to school for the first time. Anna Dewdney has provided teachers and parents alike with a great story to encourage social and emotional development. Brand new on Firefly this September, Llama Llama must learn how to get along with a new teacher and new friends and without Mama Llama. Check out our Firefly editor’s review of Llama Llama Misses Mama! Our friends at Penguin have also put together a collection of classroom activities go along with Llama Llama Misses Mama, grab them here!

In celebration of back to school stories, we Book Talkers thought we’d let you know about some other great September titles for all ages!

Ready for Kindergarten, Stinky Face?

On SeeSaw this September, Stinky Face has a million questions for his mother – What if the sink pours grape juice instead of water? Just how strange will Kindergarten be?

Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School

Meet our favorite mixed-up lady as a young girl, in this Lucky September offer! Amelia Bedelia can’t WAIT for school!

Dexter the Tough

On Arrow this fall, Dexter starts his first day in the fourth grade at a new school by slipping and falling in front of everyone – could it get any worse? This is a wonderful chapter book chronicling a boy’s trouble fitting in – in school and life.


What are some books that have helped your kids get ready for school? Leave a comment and let us know!

Teacher Advisors: Our Eyes and Ears

16 Aug

Although we here in Book Clubs love to read children’s books, and some of us even have children of our own, we rely heavily on the teachers out there on the frontlines to help us understand the pulse of the classroom year to year.  We are so lucky to be able to work with these wonderful educators who are just as excited as we are about new books and finding new ways to use them in their classrooms.  This year, you’ll be hearing from a few of these “Scholastic Teacher Advisors” as they  review hot new titles, but don’t be surprised if they pop up on the blog from time to time just to say hi!

Here’s a sneak peek of two of the September Teacher Advisor Reviews that went up on our Facebook page this morning:

Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill

[Available in Seesaw September]

It’s fire safety week in Miss Mingo’s room!  This book introduces fire drills and safety in a unique and fun way. This would be a perfect read aloud for teachers to introduce fire safety or for parents to ease their child’s worries! This book is great for animal lovers as well because it gives fun non-fiction facts about the animal characters in the book. If your child loves animals or learning about school, they would love this book. Enjoy!

—Brittany Begg Lee, First-Grade Teacher

[Available in Arrow September]

Scholastic fans young and old would enjoy THE SLIGHTLY ODD UNITED STATES OF AMERICA if they (1) have ever dreamed of being a contestant on Jeopardy, (2) would like to meet Alex Trebek, or (3) could impress millions of television viewers with their intelligence. If only (2) applies to you, I can’t help you much. Try his agent? THE SLIGHTLY ODD UNITED STATES OF AMERICA reinforced for me what a great, sometimes zany, country America is. Continue reading

What’s New: ClassroomsCare Fall 2010

13 Aug

Want to get involved in an easy way to help donate up to one million (yes, one million!) books to kids in need? Then this year’s ClassroomsCare program is perfect for you and your classroom.

ClassroomsCare is essentially a volunteer and motivational reading program all rolled up into one. That’s right, this year every student will have a personal reading goal of ten books. It’s our hope that this goal will encourage students to read in class and at home, because each child’s ten books will help classrooms across America trigger a one-million-book donation to amazing organizations like Reach Out and Read, Save the Children, and the Pajama Program. Plus, we’re here to help you, too. On the Web site, you’ll find FREE printables and resources to help motivate your students to read to give.

To get your classroom started, make sure to look out for the ClassroomsCare poster and bookmarks that will be included with your first order in September/October. What’s more, when you register online, we’ll send you 250 Bonus Points to help buy books for your students. We’ve also expanded the Web site to include a “Where the Books Go: See How Your Reading Makes a Difference!” page. This page is open to teachers, parents, and students. It will highlight how we work with our charity partners to get books to children who need them most so that students can really see how they are helping kids in need.

Join ClassroomsCare starting August 17, 2010.

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?


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!

Steve Brixton, Boy Detective!

11 Aug

When you think of the all time great detectives, certain names come to mind: Sherlock Holmes, the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Steve Brixton–wait! Steve Brixton?! Who is that? you might be asking. Steve Brixton is the sole detective of the Brixton Brothers Detective Agency. And he is the main character in the Brixton Brothers series (which you can find in September’s Arrow and Just Right Reads!)

After solving The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity, Steve decides to open his own detective agency since his services are in high-demand. Granted, Steve is not the most astute 12-year-old detective–he is clumsy, has a knack for attracting trouble, and always seems to get his best chum Dana into all kinds of crazy situations–but with his trusty companion, The Bailey Brothers Detective Handbook, what could go wrong?

These books are hilarious, action-packed adventures that Middle Grade readers will love! I, for one, could not put them down and even LOL’d on the subway train while reading them. Enough from me, why don’t we hear about Steve Brixton and the new book in the series, The Ghostwriter Secret, from author Mac Barnett and illustrator Adam Rex!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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!