A Linger Preview and Giveaway!

Maggie Stiefvater‘s Shiver has become an international sensation – publishing rights for the book have been sold for 32 foreign editions, Unique Features has nabbed the movie rights, and did I mention it’s also a bestseller? And with readers around the world enthralled by this unique love story, there’s one question on everyone’s mind: What will happen next?

Enter: Linger, the sequel, which I finished reading this morning. I won’t reveal any major plot points here, but I will tell you: all the things that made Shiver so memorable – the alternating narration, the powerful characters, and the not-so-classic love story are back in full force. And you should probably start bracing yourself for the ending now, because it’s a doozy.

The bad news? You’ll have to wait to find out until July 20 to find out what happens to Sam and Grace. The good news? OOM is giving away advance copies to THREE lucky readers! To enter, leave a comment below and tell us “What makes you Shiver?”.

(Must be 18 or over to enter. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. View official rules here.)

Updated: Thanks to random.org, We have our winners! Congrats to:

#5 – Cari: Luke from Lament makes me Shiver he is so delicious!

#90 – the janice: there are two things that make me shiver. one, the thought of not being able to dance ever again in my life, and two, losing my eyesight and not being able to see or read anything else ever again! my two biggest physical fears.

#188 – jmspettoli : What makes me Shiver… That’s easy the cold! I hate the cold! But also a good ending to a book makes me shiver because of the satisfaction and a bit of sadness that its over.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Previously On Our Minds:

* YA Gives Me Goosebumps (The Good Kind)
* YA News Flash: Linger Cover and Excerpt Released
* An International Feast: Hunger Games Covers From Around the World


Turning dropouts into All-Stars

It’s fitting that another round of NAEP reading scores came out last week, just as we are sitting down to pick this year’s nine READ 180 All-Stars.

It’s touching and inspiring to read personal essays we have recieved written by students who have turned their lives around by learning to read. There are the students who said they almost certainly would have dropped out if it weren’t for Read 180, the students born in foreign countries who are thrown into schools where no one speaks their native tongue, and the students who were in trouble with the law or suspended for bad behavior a year ago and now say they want to go to college. And there are stories of students like Michael Hale.

I think of stories like these when I read these nominations… They are evidence that any struggling student can turn his or her life around.

But I also am reminded of the statistics this week:

There’s a lot of work left to be done.

5 Questions with Ann M. Martin AND a sneak peek at the new prequel

We’ve got a dibbly-fresh blog post for all you BSC fans today! (And if you’re not as into The Baby-sitters Club as some of us are, you’re probably wondering what on earth “dibbly-fresh” means, eh?)

First up? A few weeks back, we stole a few crucial minutes of Ann M. Martin’s time in order to hear her musings about The Baby-sitters Club prequel, The Summer Before, and to find out how she reacts to the sheer passion BSC fans have for her and her work. We were holding on to this 5 Questions for just the right time, and considering The Summer Before will be in stores this Thursday, April 1, and considering we’ve been getting Tweets wondering when we were going to post it, we’ve decided TODAY is the perfect time. Here is this week’s OOM 5 Questions guest, Ann M. Martin!

But! That’s not all! Even though The Summer Before isn’t out for a few more days, you can read the first chapter right here, right now.

We have even more exciting BSC things happening later this week. Yours truly will be live-blogging and Tweeting directly from this Thursday’s amazing event here at Scholastic headquarters, as editorial director David Levithan interviews Ann M. Martin. I’ll be posting insider info as it happens–what David’s asking, what Ann’s answering, reactions from last week’s Twitter sweepstakes winner (who will be in attendance!), and much more. So save the date – Thursday, April 1! – for some cool, first-hand BSC info.

And finally, did you know there’s a completely revamped BSC web site? Check out www.scholastic.com/thebabysittersclub for booklists, quizzes, polls, and much more — not to mention the brand-new message boards. New readers will be able to dive right into all things BSC, including taking the membership quiz to see how they fit into the club (for the record, I scored “Claudia”).

Plus, The Stacks has brand-new BSC character profiles! Kids who read The Stacks can read all about Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey and then friend them from their Stacks profile page, so spread the news to the kids in your life! Meanwhile, Ink Splot 26 will publish a special interview with Ann M. Martin this Wednesday — a total must-read for BSC fans, past and present.

So, enjoy these BSC goodies, and stay tuned for more!

Previously On Our Minds:

* My excitement cannot be contained in 140 characters.
* Scholastic CEO, Dick Robinson, Delivers Call-to-Action for Children’s Reading and Literacy
* Can You See What I See (at The Scholastic Store window?)?

Let me introduce you to SAM…

He can fetch and obey. He’s reliable and stable. And he doesn’t have bugs!

A colleague sent this 7-year-old video my way recently — and we just HAD to share. The “Sam” you see in the video is actually a Scholastic employee’s dog. The real SAM is a nifty piece of technology Scholastic developed a few years back.

SAM, short for Scholastic Achievement Manager, is technology built into many of our education programs — like READ 180, System 44, FASTTMath and ReadAbout: — that tracks students’ learning progress throughout the program. It delivers the data on each student that help teachers individualize instruction and target intervention.

Sam is a good boy.

Previously On Our Minds:

*I got tested in phonics. What the heck is a flaindle?
*The future of reading, writing and literacy instruction
*Taking control of my reading and learning

Scholastic CEO, Dick Robinson, Delivers Call-to-Action for Children’s Reading and Literacy

Many of our colleagues, including Scholastic’s Chairman, President and CEO Dick Robinson, are in Bologna, Italy this week for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (lucky ducks!) But this year’s trip is extra special. Many folks will go home not only talking about the future of distopian YA, but many visitors, publishers and authors will be talking about the call-to-action Dick Robinson delivered today to worldwide children’s book publishers, inviting them to join Scholastic in a campaign for global literacy for all children.

He gave his remarks in front of a group of nearly 500 members of the children’s book industry, reminding everyone that “literacy – the ability to read, write and understand – is the birthright of every child in the world as well as the pathway to succeed in school and to realize a complete life”

Watch Robinson’s remarks here:

We’ve included the full text below:


“Welcome to our 90th Anniversary celebration. All of us children’s book publishers are lucky to be working on the future — for the children who are reading our books today will be the parents and the citizens of the world in 2050. So, as children’s publishers, we are always living in the future, looking forward rather than back.

For those who were in this hall five years ago for our 85th celebration, you remember a world before iphones, a world when J. K. Rowling had two Harry Potter novels left to publish and a time when digital content was not yet a cliché.

But as we begin the second decade of the 21st Century — and for Scholastic, the run-up to our 100th birthday — the printed book may be on its way to becoming a relic. Yet reading has never been more important; for we know that for young people now is a time when reading is the door-opener to the 21st Century.

We know that teachers around the world are better now at getting children to learn to read, to decode, to recognize words and symbols on a page. But even when children can read, they often are not motivated to read. And that is why children’s publishers must provide the great stories, the amazing facts and the astonishing presentations that will fuel the imagination and present information that will help young people understand their inner and outer worlds.

Here is what we believe about literacy and reading in the second decade of the 21st Century:

* We believe that literacy – the ability to read, write and understand – is the birthright of every child in the world as well as the pathway to succeed in school and to realize a complete life.

* We believe that the massive amounts of digital information and images now transmitted daily make it even more important for a young person to know how to analyze, interpret and understand information, to separate fact from opinion, and to have deep respect for logical thinking.

* We believe that literature and drama, whether in printed pages, screens, on stage or film, help young people experience the great stories of emotion and action, leading to a deeper understanding of what it means to be truly human.

* We believe therefore that young people need to learn to read nonfiction for information and literature for imagination.

* We believe that reading widely and reading fluently will produce children who will read more challenging texts for life.

* We believe every child has a right to his own “textual lineage” — a reading and writing autobiography which shows the progress of who he is by connecting to the stories and information he has experienced. This textual lineage will enable all young people to have a reading and writing identity which helps them understand who they are and how they can make their lives better.

* We believe every child should have access to books, computers, e-readers, and text on phones – but access is not enough. Teachers need to provide dynamic, focused instruction which will give young people the skills to read and interpret the information they encounter.

* We believe every child should know how to connect to the great stories of character and feeling which drives all human behavior. Without this heritage, life lacks meaning, coherence, understanding and soul.

* We believe every child should have literacy confidence — the ability to read, write and speak about what he knows, what he feels and who he is.

We must help every child realize the power of literacy – for information to achieve understanding of the world, for imagination to achieve self-knowledge.

Finding the right books is the key – and our creative relationships with all the people in this room and other publishers and authors everywhere help us find together more than 500 million books each year which children around the world receive through our channels.

At a time when the digital revolution is challenging us, we want more than ever to work with you to bring books in print or digital form to all young readers. Tonight we salute you as we affirm our commitment to work together to bring reading and deeper understanding to children around the globe. In our 90th year, thank you for joining in this campaign for literacy and reading in the 21st Century.”

Previously On Our Minds:

* Books are media too
* Scholastic & the Gates Foundation Release Largest-Ever Teacher Survey
* The future of reading, writing, and literacy instruction

BREAKING NEWS: The Real Magic of Harry Potter arrives today

Ahh – it’s here! Today is the launch of the all-new reading adventure “The Real Magic of Harry Potter” for new readers (and some of us oldies alike.) Aside from a brand new website for young readers, coming tomorrow with new games, spells and mysteries to reveal, young fans also have a chance to win a trip for four to Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which opens this Spring!

There are other exciting launches, too! Over on Facebook, if you’re not a fan of Scholastic yet, you’ll want to be: Scholastic Facebook fans can visit Scholastic’s Harry Potter Facebook Tab to share the brand-new book trailer! Fans can also unlock and post exclusive virtual stickers and participate in weekly polls on Harry Potter. The Twitterverse can get in on the Harry action, too: follow us on Twitter @Scholastic (look for #harrypotter), and On Our Minds @Scholastic blog for the latest Harry Potter news and giveaways throughout the next few months.

Did you know that almost 12 years after the publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, there are more than 143 million books in print in the U.S. alone? The books are published in over 200 territories in 68 languages and have sold over 400 million copies worldwide! And now, designed specifically for new readers, The Real Magic of Harry Potter will offer millions of kids a very special way to begin their Hogwarts journey today. Starting April 1, special promotions will go into effect at participating retailers, and Scholastic Book Clubs and Fairs nationwide will offer special promotions to participating schools. There’s even a persuasive writing contest where students can enter to win signed copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone!

We blogged about this a few weeks ago, and once again, the memories it triggered in fans everywhere had us reminiscing about our own Harry experiences, too. Many fans were already sharing with us how they planned to pass on the adventures of Harry and his friends. But we’d still love to hear from you! Who do you plan to share the books with next?

Blogger Myra said…
I started reading Harry Potter when I was pregnant with my now nine-year-old son. I can’t wait to pass it on to him and his little brother. My Harry Potter moment came when I finished Deathly Hallows. That’s when I decided that even though I’ll never be a JK Rowling, I had to write my own stories. My debut novel will be published in 2011. 🙂 Thanks Scholastic and JK Rowling for all the wonderful stories.

Sarah A. from Facebook
My favorite Harry Potter moment is sharing Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows with my friend during a summer program in Italy … she made it to Italy before the book was released & all she found was Harry Potter books in Italian … I was lucky to leave my home country the night of the release so I bought in the airport before I boarded … throughout the summer program me & my friend would plan times for each of us to read it 🙂 It was really special, sharing this love for reading & Harry Potter! I would share the books with my nephew who was born that very summer when I was in Italy … I want to be the one who introduces him to Harry Potter.

…and one of my personal favorites:

Destiny T. from Facebook
I have made some of my very best friends through Harry Potter. My Grandma bought me my first Harry Potter book ten years ago for my birthday, a year before the first movie came out. I really got hooked after the second book, and have been seriously involved in the fan community ever since. I grew up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and the series means the world to me. Without Harry Potter, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. It’s taught me so much about life. ♥

Previously On Our Minds:

* Transport your class to the world of Harry Potter
* A new Harry Potter experience for a new generation of readers
* Here, there, and everywhere: Read Across America

Can You See What I See (at The Scholastic Store window?)

Guest blogging today is Michael Strouse, Manager of The Scholastic Store in SoHo…

The Scholastic Store has a lot of really cool areas for our guests but one of my favorite isn’t actually in the store. It’s our window at 557 Broadway! The window that we just installed, though, is much cooler than anything I have ever done. It is “The Jolly Roger” set from Walter Wick’s new book Can You See What I See? Treasure Ship! You may recognize Walter as the photographer of the I SPY series and creator of the Can You See What I See series. This window display offers a unique glimpse into Walter’s creative process and quite literally, brings the book to life! You’ll be able to see just how detailed the sets need to be and maybe even find a few clues!

We’re making this window even more fun with a contest running over the store’s Twitter account, @ScholasticStore!

Here’s how you can enter to win a SIGNED print of the ‘Jolly Roger’ set:
1. Follow @ScholasticStore (That way we can Direct Message you if you’re one of the lucky winners!)
2. Tweet in a guess of how many MINUTES it took Walter and his team to build ‘The Jolly Roger’ set in The Scholastic Store window with the hashtag #JollyRoger
3. Whoever comes the closest between 3/22 and 3/31 wins!
4. We’ll select the winner on April 1st at around 12pm ET.

(Yes, there is a more intricate description at http://bit.ly/LegalRules so make sure to take a look.) And to give you a hint as to how BIG the set is, here it is in the store’s window:

Check out our interview with Walter to learn more about what’s on his mind, how he brings these scenes to life and the most challenging part of creating Treasure Ship:

The set will be on display at The Scholastic Store, 557 Broadway, NY, NY until May 1st! Stop down to take a look (and until 3/31, tweet in a guess to win the contest!) You can stop in to the store to say hi, too! Don’t forget to visit Walter on Facebook to check out behind-the-scenes from building the Treasure Ship set and photographing the set for the book.

Previously On Our Minds:

* Katherine Paterson named new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature
* Who decides what kids should read?
* What kinds of books do boys like?