So much history, so little space

In many ways, the collection here at Scholastic is special.  There are not many publishers who keep a collection in quite the way we do.  Not only is the archive an asset to the people who work and create at Scholastic, but we are also in some ways a curator of the history of Scholastic .  The history of Scholastic just happens to be an integral part of the history of children’s publishing as a whole.  As you can see, we take the responsibility of keeping our archive very seriously.

So, how do you manage a collection of 143,000 items that is growing when you start to run out of space?  We box them up for archival preservation.  Continue reading So much history, so little space


The sky shines with gold tonight

It is finally here!!!  The National Celebrations honoring the 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Award winners kick off tonight.  More than 800 teens and their families and teachers are coming to town for this weekend’s celebration.  Tonight, they will be welcomed to New York Citywith shining lights in gold as the EmpireStateBuildingis lit in their honor. Then tomorrow night, they will all get their opportunity to be on stage at Carnegie Hall.  The ceremony is jam packed with special moments. Literary rapper MC Lars will perform and Ed Sorel, who won a Scholastic Award in 1947 and went on to become a renowned illustrator of covers for famous publications like The New Yorker and The Atlantic, will receive this year’s Alumni Achievement Award.  Oh, and did we mention Meryl Streep is coming and giving a special address?  WE. ARE. SO. EXCITED.

I personally promise pictures to follow but in the meantime you can keep getting to know the amazing teens that blew the judges away and won a national medal here.

Plus, you can start viewing more of their work here.

Please share in congratulating our winners!  Congrats artists & writers and welcome to the National Celebration!!!!


Photo courtesy of the Empire State Building.  The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers is a proud lighting partner. 

Calling all book people!

That's Jay, standing inside a RIF logo!

Recently, one of our literacy partners, Reading Is Fundamental, launched Book People Unite, a campaign raising awareness about childhood literacy. Today, Jay Brown, RIF’s director of integrated marketing, is here to tell you more about it. Thanks. Jay!

I have a horrible memory. My wife can recount vivid narratives from her childhood, but my brain works in pictures and flashes – often brought on by my own kids. And it was like that when my daughter brought home her first Scholastic Book Club flyer from pre-school.

Checking off the boxes on that thin newsprint to mark my selections.  Carefully spending down the allowance my mom would give me for each order. Remembering the excitement of taking home those new books every month.

I was one lucky kid. Fast forward a few decades and my daughters now have their own Scholastic books on the shelf. And I’m now at Reading Is Fundamental, where we’re working with partners like Scholastic to give kids who otherwise wouldn’t have books on their shelves the ability to pick out books of their very own.

But there are more kids than we can reach. Millions more.

Continue reading Calling all book people!

Remembering Leo Dillon (1933-2012) and Ellen Levine (1939-2012)

The children’s book world is reacting to sad news today: both author/illustrator Leo Dillon and author Ellen Levine have passed away.

Leo Dillon, one of the world’s most celebrated children’s book artists—internationally applauded for creating a world of stunning multicultural books using a broad diversity of art styles and ethnic backgrounds—died on Saturday, May 26, in Brooklyn, New York. He was 79.

Ellen Levine, award-winning author, teacher, mentor and fierce fighter for social justice, died on May 26, 2012, after a valiant 19-month battle with lung cancer. She died peacefully with her beloved spouse and partner of 40 years, Anne Koedt, and her devoted sister Mada Liebman and adored brother-in-law Burt Liebman by her side.


Continue reading Remembering Leo Dillon (1933-2012) and Ellen Levine (1939-2012)

“City reading,” or the reading matter of everyday life

I’ve lived in New York City for almost four years. Since moving here from the suburbs, many things about my life have changed; my primary mode of transportation, the square footage of my living space, the kinds of foods I eat, where I go and what I do with my friends, to name a few. These are natural changes to be expected when one relocates. But a recent assignment for a class I’ve been taking has made me think about how I’ve changed in another more subtle way: as a reader.

In New York, I have been exposed to so many wonderful new writers, indie bookstores, readings and events, and I credit it to living in a place that is overflowing with literary brilliance and energy. I think because of this—the knowledge I’ve consumed and the diversity of texts I’m reading—I have grown as a reader. But living in a major city has changed me as a reader in another way too, one that is very closely tied to the physical space I inhabit each day. I’ve become a city reader. Let me explain.

In 1998, an author by the name of David Henkin decided to investigate what it means to be a reader, and how space plays a fundamental role in how, why, and what we read. Henkin described the act of reading in the early nineteenth century as occurring silently, primarily indoors, and in solitude. He writes, “…it is worth observing how the familiar model implicitly relegates nineteenth‐century reading to the periphery of urban life by locating it indoors rather than outdoors and in seclusion rather than in the company of strangers. Reading appears in this model as a means of escaping from or coping with urban interactions (and social and economic life generally)” (Henkin, 6). In other words, he claims reading was an act of avoidance, done primarily alone and in silence. (And I have to admit that when reading a novel, this is precisely what I tend to do.) He calls this kind of reader a private reader.  Continue reading “City reading,” or the reading matter of everyday life

Extra! Extra! Read all about it… online

The Times-Picayune, New Orleans’ daily newspaper, made a major announcement last week: starting in the fall, it will cut back on print editions and only publish three days a week. For a newspaper with a 175-year history, that’s a huge step, and when it happens, New Orleans will be the biggest city in the U.S. without a daily newspaper.

Here on OOM, we’ve spent time examining the art of (e)reading, and whether or not electronic devices like Kindles and iPads have the power to replace books and libraries altogether. But what about newspapers? In an increasingly digital age, breaking news is constantly at our fingertips. Whether it’s through the online version of a newspaper, a smartphone app, or a Twitter feed, technology is playing an increasingly vital role in the way we consume current events. As print revenues decline, it seems inevitable that newspapers nationwide will be forced to face the same sorts of cutbacks in their print editions — but the changes haven’t gone without criticism.

Continue reading Extra! Extra! Read all about it… online

Instant recess to enhance student learning

It’s that time of year again: the sun is out, the beaches are open, school is coming to an end, and your students are getting restless. At this point in the year, many teachers may feel as if they have “lost” their students to the temptation of summer. I remember those days all too well from when I was a student; the minute weather warmed up, my friends and I would start the countdown until summer break. School was the farthest thing from my mind and sitting in class during those prime beach and pool days was brutal. How could any teacher expect me to concentrate? Continue reading Instant recess to enhance student learning