Webcast: a preview of Scholastic’s 2011 spring books

Wouldn’t it be neat to travel into the future just to see what new books there will be next year? Actually, now you can and it doesn’t even involve “Doc” or a DeLorean! On October 19, we will be previewing some of the hottest titles Scholastic will be releasing in Spring 2011 in a live, fast-paced webcast that’s free to everyone. That means, all you have to do is register before Oct. 19th and have a computer to watch the event.

You’ll be able to meet the editors of our trade imprints as they unveil the new picture, fiction and nonfiction books we’ll be publishing in Spring 2011. This year’s webcast will feature books from some of your favorite authors, including Judy Blundell, Meg Cabot, Lois Lowry, Garth Nix, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Jeff Smith, Roland Smith, Shaun Tan, Mark Teague and many more – plus, some new authors! Be sure to visit the website to see which editors and authors will be participating on-location and through Skype.

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Exclusive clip from J.K. Rowling’s interview with Oprah

As any true Harry Potter fan already knows, J.K. Rowling will appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show for the very first time this Friday. But there’s even bigger news…

The Oprah Winfrey Show has granted Scholastic an exclusive clip from the interview! The full interview will not air until Friday’s show, but if I were you…I’d advert my attention from Facebook for just a minute and watch the clip now.

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A librarian’s thoughts on Banned Book Week

Banned Book Week started this week. As a librarian, I take Banned Book Week very seriously. I believe in the First Amendment right to freedom of expression and what it stands for. Deep down, this belief is partly why I decided to become a librarian in the first place.

Over the past few years some of my favorite books have appeared on the ALA’s Challenged or Banned List. Books such as Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott, Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers, the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Baby Be-Bop by Francessa Lia Block and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga have all been challenged or banned around the country in the past few years. (For a complete list of books challenged or banned in the last year go here.) Often most of the bans have involved access to books in public places such as libraries and schools. Over and over again, libraries and librarians have been on the front lines protecting the right of readers and authors alike.

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An audience-eye view of NBC’s Teacher Town Hall

If you’re a teacher, there’s a good chance you might have tuned in online or on MSNBC to Sunday’s Education Nation Teacher Town Hall — a conversation with teachers from across the country hosted by NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams.

One of our colleagues, Dina Paul-Parks, was lucky enough to be in the audience in New York. Here’s her take on it:
With so many of our posts before the Education Nation Teacher Town Hall encouraging you all to participate, we thought it was only right to report back on our impressions of the forum and what we think the important takeaways were. As you may remember, Scholastic is a sponsor of Education Nation, and we worked hard to make the Teacher Town Hall a reality. In the end, we were pleased that it did exactly what we hoped it would do. It provided teachers a platform on national television to speak the truth about the challenges and opportunities they face in our nation’s classrooms. It was also important to us that teachers have this opportunity at the start of Education Nation so that the teacher voice was front and center, before the other conversations with Summit attendees took place.

2010 Kids & Family Reading Report results announced

Today, Scholastic announced the findings of the 2010 Kids & Family Reading Report, a national study of children age 6-17 and their parents. The study, conducted every two years, explores a wide range of topics around reading in the 21st Century.

One of the main findings from this year’s report is that the more kids use technology, the less time they spend reading books for fun. The Kids & Family Reading Report found that from age 6-17, the time kids spend reading books for fun declines while the time kids spend going online for fun and using a cell phone to text or talk increases. And the parents surveyed in the report expressed concern that the use of electronic and digital devices negatively affects the time kids spend reading books, doing physical activities, and engaging with family.

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Blueberries for Jen

Just a few hours ago, I helped OOMer Jen carry the boxed remains of her office into a cab. Why, do you ask? I’ll let Jen explain — but before I do, on behalf of all of us at OOM, I extend a warm, heartfelt “Thanks, Jen!” to her. She will be missed greatly! – Morgan

One fine day in April, I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch and was just sitting down to work on the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The next thing I knew, I was in the hospital giving birth to a baby girl, the lovely and talented Ramona. (Talents include hiccuping, sucking on her hands and paying rapt attention to Grumpy Bird three times in a row.]

Since then I’ve been at home taking care of Ramona, reading Mockingjay and looking forward to rejoining my peeps in Corp Comm…but I believe it was John Lennon who said that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

In October, I’ll be moving to Maine with my husband and daughter! It’s the way life should be – it says so right on their license plates. But before I head north, I wanted to say goodbye the OOM way – with a list.

Top Ten Things I’ll Miss About Scholastic:

1. Helping kids, in my own small way, to love books and reading
2. The Scholastic Kids Press Corps!
3. Having meetings with the folks at the Alliance and being introduced every year to a new crop of amazing young artists and writers
4. Brainstorming in the “publicists’ pit”
5. Chocolate croissants from the Red Bar
6. The informational prowess of the library staff
7. Our fearless leader Kyle coming around at 5:30pm looking for “something chocolate”
8. Meeting with the Classroom Magazines editors and watching the evolution of Scholastic News
9. Walking on the “credo carpet” every day, my eye always zeroing in on the word “dignity”
10. Doing Book Clubs’ Classrooms Care every fall and spring (aka nerding out with my co-workers)

Believe me, I could go on and on. This has been more than a job to me and I’ll miss it terribly. The blog will also remain firmly entrenched in my Google reader so I can keep up with the goings on at Scholastic.

Bye, guys and thanks.

First photo via
Second photo via

How do you make a talking banana or a clay hero?

Today’s guest post is from Stephanie Wong at Klutz headquarters in California. Take it away, Stephanie…

Have you seen what people have been saying about The Klutz Book of Animation? Check out our featured videos at the stops on The Official Blog Tour for The Klutz Book of Animation.

Today we have Nicholas Berger, co-author of the book, answering a few questions we had on our minds.

Continue reading How do you make a talking banana or a clay hero?