The Upcoming Year in Books

We’re taking the opposite approach of The New Yorker’s recent “What We Read This Year” article and looking ahead to our book plans for 2010. It’s a brand new year, a brand new decade, and a brand new chance to broaden our collective horizons, so I asked the OOMers and some Scholastic friends which books are on their must-read-in-2010 list:

Ivy: “I’d like to learn to cook more in 2010, so I think this book will be the key to achieving my goal: Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard. It weaves recipes in with a romantic love story set in France! Now it’s just a matter of putting down the book and picking up the spatula.”
Jen: “I’m a little embarrassed to admit this…but I’m looking forward to April when the young adult prequel to Sex and the City comes out. Candace Bushnell’s The Carrie Diaries is on my must read list for 2010 (albeit in small, illegible handwriting).” (Note from Morgan: There is nothing embarrassing about wanting to get the fashion-filled, angsty, teenage scoop from Carrie Bradshaw!)
Sarah: “Carrie Ryan’s The Dead-Tossed Waves.”
Amanda: The Hunger Games #3 by Suzanne Collins. Duh.”
Tyler: “Would it be totally lame to say The Hunger Games #3? Whatever the title may be…The other one I want to read right now is Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Know anyone who has a copy?”
Kyle Good: “Of course, I can’t wait to read the 3rd book in the Hunger Games trilogy but because everyone else will say the same thing, I’ll add that I’m anxious to read Solar by Ian McEwan because it’s about an individual who is skewered by the media. How could I resist?”
Suzanne Freeman: “The third book in the Hunger Games series! It’s the most exciting trilogy I’ve ever read! Why, why, why must we wait so long!?”
Sara Sinek: “I can’t wait to dig into The Help by Kathryn Stockett!”
Cathy Lasiewicz: Miami Babylon, by Gerald Posner. I lived and worked there for five years…during the Cocaine Cowboy era, before South Beach became trendy and when Crocket and Tubbs were conceived. This should be a fun read.”

As for me, is it too ambitious to say “all of the above?” Probably; in which case, I should narrow it down: Maureen Johnson’s Scarlett Fever; Carol Goodman’s Arcadia Falls; The Baby-sitter’s Club prequel; and obviously, the final installment of the Hunger Games trilogy*. What books are you all looking forward to in 2010?

*note from OOM: In retrospect, we should have known our contributors would choose the final installment of the Hunger Games trilogy as the most anticipated book of 2010! Hey, at least we’re in good company.

Photo by Moriza

Previously On Our Minds:

* (Holiday) Lights, Camera, Action!
* OOM’s Top 10 Posts of 2009
* Save the date! August 24, 2010


Scholastic Kids Press Corps year in review

2009 has been a big year in news and a big year for the Scholastic Kids Press Corps. Of course, it started with the inauguration of the first African-American President of the United States. In many ways, Scholastic coverage of the historic event was the pinnacle of a lot of hard work by more than 75 Kid Reporters from Florida to Nevada and all points in between.

The political coverage didn’t end there, as Kid Reporters nabbed interviews with members of the new administration, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and even Executive White House Chef Christeta Comerford!

Like its adult counterparts in the media, Kids Press Corps also covered the H1N1 virus story. In fact, one Kid Reporter gave her first-hand account of having the virus.

Kid Reporters also interviewed sports stars Michael Phelps, Melanie Oudin and Tony Hawk…entertainers Meryl Streep, Daniel Radcliffe and Taylor Swift…and authors James Patterson, R.L. Stine and Kate DiCamillo.

As the year comes to a close, our young reporters have been sending in stories for the special report “Kids and the Economy.” They’ve been reporting on how the economy is affecting their communities, families and friends, with stories that they suggested, researched and wrote themselves, everything from how one school district is dealing with an increase in homeless students, to 4-H Clubs facing cutbacks because of the economic downturn.

We’re all looking forward to seeing what the Kids Press Corps has in store for 2010. Stay tuned!

Previously On Our Minds:

Upfront video contest winners announced!

We usually post a “5 Questions” video on Mondays, but today we’re sharing a video created by the talented eighth graders at Bannockburn School in Bannockburn, Illinois. They are the winners of the first ever New York Times Upfront video contest.

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Upfront (the national news magazine for teens) invited junior high and high school students from across the country to create a video up presenting what they think are the Top 10 News Stories of 2009.

Check out the grand prize winner!

Previously On Our Minds:

* Video contest for teens
* 5 Questions with Art Director Valerie Trucchia
* Best Teen Writing of 2009 is here!

Free e-book: Suite Scarlett!

We’ll likely be unplugged here at OOM for the next 72 hours or so. But before we go, here’s a gift from us here at Scholastic.

It’s a free e-book of Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson! The sequel, Scarlett Fever, comes out February 1st in hardcover and e-book format. So if you haven’t read the first one yet — be sure to download it through the widget below.

Happy Holidays!

Previously On Our Minds:

*An International Feast: Hunger Games covers from around the world
*In honor of Teen Lit Day!

(Holiday) Lights, Camera, Action!

We’ve talked a lot about holiday books and how and rewarding it is to gift the gift of reading, but the OOM team also enjoys a great holiday flick now and again. The Stacks recently did a great post on holiday movie traditions, and here’s some from the OOM team:

Tyler: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Sarah: Elf…Nothing like Buddy to get you in the Christmas mood!

Morgan: My family and I watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation together every year, and it’s a race to see who can quote it the fastest. But I also have a soft spot for Love Actually, Elf, and any of the old animated films like ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and Frosty the Snowman.

Jen: My traditional pick is It’s A Wonderful Life, which I first saw with my grandparents at the MGM Grand movie theater in Las Vegas. I was eight and ordered two Shirley Temples from the cocktail waitress! My non-traditional pick is Trading Places with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd: “It was the Dukes, it was the Dukes.”

Ivy: My all-time favorite holiday movie is The Santa Clause (yes, with an “e”!) because it mixes light adult humor with a children’s classic story. I’ve loved the movie since it came out on VHS. Now I have it on DVD and I watch it every night in December.

Personally, I can’t believe no one counted A Charlie Brown Christmas among their favorites. Good grief! I’m also a huge fan of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (“Bumbles bounce!”), The Santa Clause, and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Our friend WordGirl is getting into the holiday spirit too – check out this clip from her special holiday episode:

OOM’s Top 10 Posts of 2009!

The best part about closing out one year and diving into another? The chance to reflect, of course. So I reflected, and clicked through the OOM archives, and came up with the following 10 OOM posts that best captured our year here at Scholastic.

I present: OOM’s Top 10 Posts of the Year!

10. National Siblings Day Sometimes, we’re kind of random. Like on this day in April when Jen found out it was National Siblings Day, which obviously called for a blog post about our favorite sibs in literature. (For the record, I still vote for the Weasleys!)

9. Got Goosebumps? Because no one can top R.L. Stine when it comes to sheer creepiness, in all its fun, funny glory! Tyler snagged five minutes with the bestselling, world-famous author after he hosted a webcast at Scholastic Headquarters. Spooky!

8. The Vampire is Just Not That Into You Our dear, sweet vampire friend, Vlad, took time out of his busy blood-sucking schedule to answer some questions. Who knew creatures without pumping hearts could be so servicey!

7. It began. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? By being a winner of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, of course. A beautiful tribute to the year’s awesome teen recipients.

6. The decade’s 10 big ideas in education A list that makes an honest attempt to round up what’s happened in the past 10 years in the education space? Sarah tried – and succeeded.

5. 2009: A breakout year for multi-platform publishing? In short: yes! From The 39 Clues to Skeleton Creek, storytelling now incorporates more platforms than ever before.

4. A school library ditches its stacks Maybe we at Scholastic are just partial to the word “Stacks,” but this blog entry stands out as so perfectly 2009 – because in any other year, a library going digital would have been the stuff of science fiction.

3. We’re not just learning about #iranelection, we’re participating Behold the power of Twitter. This entry reminded us how technology can unite people in ways never before possible.

2. An international feast: Hunger Games covers from around the world This entry got tons of pickup by other Tweets and blogs, and I’m going to assume it’s because it was so darn cool to see how the dystopian world of Suzanne Collins was perceived outside the US!

1. A tour of Scholastic headquarters in 105 seconds The most important thing to remember about working at Scholastic is that it’s capital-letter FUN. This video gives just a glimpse into the reasons why!

Did you have a favorite OOM post this year? Let us know in the comments. Happy (early) New Year, readers!

Previously On Our Minds:

* Along a natural gas pipeline, literacy blooms
* Tis the season for holiday news
* Mountains of pajamas for kids in need

Have you joined The Lonely Hearts Club?

Last week we heard from YA author Elizabeth Eulberg about her new book The Lonely Hearts Club, plus we gave OOM readers a tough task to puzzle out. We asked you to tell us how many Beatles songs you could find in the first paragraph and headline of the blog post.

Congrats to Tannie’s Chatter, Marie Devers and spikeluv 13 who were the first three people to guess the correct number…which, because it’s the Beatles, is nine!

Hey, Jude! A special shout-out to you for astutely observing: If we’re going to be technical, I’d say 9 and a half, counting “Lonely Hearts Club” as a partial. And it’s a shame you didn’t use “I will” instead of “I’ll” in that second-to-last sentence, or we could have had another one! 😉

Now here’s a little something for everyone.

Previously On Our Minds: