Where have all the school newspapers gone?

newspaperSchool newspapers have always thrilled me. There are countless books, shows, and movies where a school has a thriving newspaper, one that breaks exciting, scandalous stories, shakes up the status quo, and enacts real change. In the fourth grade, inspired by a Sweet Valley Twins kick (Elizabeth Wakefield wrote for the school paper, you may recall), I even created a one-time newspaper for my class, with the help of a good friend (and the free copies her mother was able to make for us at her office!).

While my drive to be a part of a serious newspaper continued, my high school, alas, did not have one of those kinds of papers. We had one, sure, but it was small — maybe three issues per year? — and I remember thinking, as I wrote an article one year, that the experience was nothing like I expected. Worse yet, no one seemed to read the thing.

Continue reading Where have all the school newspapers gone?


How do you keep track of what you read?

JWbookstackThere are so many books and so little time.  Book suggestions and pretty covers are like sirens calling to you.  How do you keep track of what you read or what you want to read?  It is the dilemma of book lovers everywhere.

It is a topic that has had me curious for quite a while.  I would love to say that I am more organized with my book lists than I am.  Not that there isn’t one around, mind you.  They’re everywhere.

Summer is oddly the most chaotic time and the most organized when it comes to my book lists.  Thanks to the book stacks post on OOM, (Thanks, Lauren!) late May finds me putting my stack together and I work through it all summer.  I feel so accomplished come Labor Day!  At the same time, it seems to be the height of book recommendation season and I can’t resist jotting them down. I have list after list of books that I genuinely want to read.  I want to remember them and I want to keep track of what I read. Continue reading How do you keep track of what you read?

The girls of Little Mix share a reading message

The girls of the widely-successful group Little Mix are having a good day. Their debut album ‘DNA’ was released in the U.S. today and is already number two on iTunes! There’s no doubt the girls of Little Mix love to sing, but we’re thrilled to report they also love to read. Not too long ago, they stopped by our offices to record a special reading message for kids and fans around the world.

Here’s what they have to say about books: “Think of all the passion you find in books—the love stories, the heartbreaks, the hope, the despair—it’s all so wonderful. And it’s all right there at your fingertips. You can become a part of it anytime you want.” Watch the full video here! Continue reading The girls of Little Mix share a reading message

90 years of Scholastic Art & Writing Award parties: a guest post

1993 Scholastic Art Exhibition opening at Howard University

If you’re like me, you’re eagerly counting down to this year’s Scholastic Art & Writing Awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall. In just three days, more than 800 talented teen artists and writers who received national recognition in the 90th annual Scholastic Art & Writing Awards — along with their families and teachers — will make their way to New York City for the national celebration. In honor of 90 years of recognizing some of the nation’s most creative and awe-inspiring teens, Haley Richardson, the Scholastic Awards Archivist from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, took a look back at parties past. You can view her original blog post here. Let’s turn it over to Haley!

From the vault: 90 years of parties

1936 Student Achievement issue of Scholastic

This year’s Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall is shaping up to be the biggest celebration the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards have ever seen. With a sold out show and live streaming webcast of the event, there’s a lot to celebrate!

All of this got me thinking about the different ways in which the Awards have been celebrated through the last 90 years.

Before celebrations were held at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Scholastic Art and Writing Awards winners were given shout-outs in Student Achievement issues of ScholasticLiterary Cavalcade, and Junior Scholastic, like the one pictured here.

Continue reading 90 years of Scholastic Art & Writing Award parties: a guest post

A Harry Potter surprise at BEA 2013!

harrypotterkazuHarry Potter fans, your attention please. We have some exciting news to share!

On Thursday, May 30, 2013 (that’s in two days, people!) Kazu Kibuishi, creator of the bestselling Amulet series, and Scholastic will unveil the new cover for the trade paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets at BEA 2013! If you’re attending BEA, park yourself outside booth #1638 at 10a.m. EST for the reveal.

This reveal is part of the ongoing celebration of the 15th anniversary of the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first book in J.K. Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter series. (In case you missed it, read more about the reveal of the first cover—pictured above—and Kibuishi’s thoughts on this special assignment here.) Continue reading A Harry Potter surprise at BEA 2013!

Pam Allyn’s 5 tips for summer reading

300x234KidsBooksPam Allyn is the Executive Director and founder of LitWorld and an ambassador for Scholastic’s Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life. global literacy campaign. Pam recently wrote an article for Scholastic Instructor magazine about her passion for summer reading. We loved it so much we wanted you to see it! Below are excerpts from her article. Read the full piece here

Summer holds many of my strongest and most powerful reading memories. I remember sitting under a tree in the backyard as a child, reading Anne of Green Gables as the shadows crossed the grass. I could not believe such grief was possible when I found out what happened at the end. I remember sitting in the backseat of the car on a long family road trip, sharing jokebooks with my brother and sister and laughing until we cried. I remember bumpy bus rides to my first job as a teen, trying to spend every minute I could reading The Lord of the Rings, wondering how it was possible that an author had crafted those lines. These memories became crucial stepping-stones in my life. I was making choices as a reader and having experiences with books that transformed me. Continue reading Pam Allyn’s 5 tips for summer reading

Summer reading: What’s in our “stacks”?

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, OOM readers! That’s right, this weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and for some of us, the official start of summer reading. As Meghan pointed out earlier this week, many of us have already gotten a jump on our summer reading lists by participating in the Scholastic Summer Challenge. I decided to check in with other minds to see how they were going to rack up their reading minutes this season.

As I mentioned last year, my goal for summer is to plow through thirteen books. My list is a fun mix. I’m currently in the middle of Reconstructing Amelia, which is similar to last year’s twist-and-turn thriller Gone Girl. I’m loving Mindy Kaling’s show The Mindy Project which is all the more reason for me to check out her hilarious book Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me. Also on my list, The Emperor of Ocean park, Paul Rudnick’s laugh-out-loud YA debut Gorgeous, The Inheritance of Loss, N0S4A2, The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, The Beautiful Ruins, and Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld.

Alex: Sadly, I have not completed the Harry Potter Series. Although I have thoroughly enjoyed books 1-5, I have been side tracked with our Scholastic Reading Club (The Summer Price and Gorgeous) among other reads. So my plan this summer is to complete HP books 6 and 7! Also on my list are The Scorpio Races and The Dead and Buried, both recommended by Meaghan Connaire.

Jessica is very excited to sit down with some great YA books.

Megan: I’m going to start with Gorgeous this weekend-everyone has been raving about it. Others include A New Earth, The Children’s Book (I’ve never read anything by A.S.Byatt) and West 10th, which is NYU’s creative writing publication.

MorganI’m really going to re-read all the Harry Potters this summer…and I’m in the middle of the Gallagher Girls series, which I love. And I’ll re-read The Hunger Games trilogy before the fall movie. Plus, I have lots of adult books I’m excited about on my ereader.

Like Jess, Nadia is also getting her hands a fun mix of YA and middle grade titles.

Suzanne‘s books stack isn’t pictured, but you should still be sure to check out the great titles she plans on reading: I’m planning to read The Receptionist, Janet Groth’s account of her years at The New Yorker magazine; The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano, which was edited by my friend and colleague Andrea Pinkney; The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes; and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. Oh, and also The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz.

How are you earning your summer reading minutes? Let us know what’s in your “stack” in the comments!