Presenting…the final Harry Potter cover! (Plus, some surprises!)

HPCover_007It’s been months and months since we announced the all-new covers for the U.S. trade paperback editions of the Harry Potter series, designed by Kazu Kibuishi. One by one we’ve unveiled the covers of books 1-6; today, your patience is about to be rewarded!

Presenting — the final cover! What do you think? (It might be my favorite of all seven new covers…) Don’t forget, you can see all seven hi-res images right here.

Of course, we have a few tricks up our sleeves, too. (Just call us the Weasley twins.)

Continue reading Presenting…the final Harry Potter cover! (Plus, some surprises!)

How do you immerse yourself in your surroundings?

photo 2A few weeks ago, fellow OOMer Nadia posted about our Scholastic desks that are filled with various objects that are either personal, such as photos or cards, or work-related.  We are very lucky to have very fun work items like my Clifford and Liz stuffed animals, Harry Potter books and Scholastic Art & Writing artwork.  It seems to be inherent in our nature to surround ourselves with inspiration and reminders of what we are here for each day.  I recently had the privledge of attending the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy with my colleagues from Math Solutions and saw perhaps the root of why we do this – classrooms.

As I sat in a blank canvas of a conference room with teachers doing a fun math lesson, I was taken by how the hosting teachers took it upon themselves to plaster the walls with learning.  There was simply no question what we were there for – we were going to learn and it was going to happen all over the room and in all sorts of ways.  You can check out more about my observations of the experience here on #frizzle!

All this is to say – thank you, teachers!  Your extra effort to immerse students in learning is a lesson we take beyond the classroom.  Thanks for showing us how it is done and while you’re setting up your classrooms this summer, let the inspiration flow.

A slow savoring

divinersThe world is always hurrying. Here in New York we run to catch trains, run to be on time for meetings, run for a few miles after work to make up for all the sitting that happens in between the running.

The art of hurrying has served me well. I can speed through a book a week, reading only during my morning and evening commute, being jostled by my fellow riders, hanging on for dear life as the F train barrels under the East River. It feels like a race: how quickly can I read this book? Can I finish it before my stop? There are always more books to read, so the aim seems to always be, “read them faster.”

Last year, though, I found a book that made me change my mind about speeding through words as quickly as possible.

Continue reading A slow savoring

Literary vacations: the Beach

Summer is the perfect time for vacations. If you are like me, packing up and setting off for a fun getaway is not in the cards thisBeauty Queens Cover year. Does this mean you have to give up visiting your favorite vacation destinations? Absolutely not! All summer long we are using books to take literary vacations to exciting destinations. So head down to your local library or favorite book store, find your comfy summer reading spot and pour yourself a cool drink. Let the literary vacation begin!

Warm sun shines down on you.  Cool blue water shimmers invitingly.  Light filters through the shade of a big beach umbrella.  Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for beach books!  Claim your bit of sun warmed sand, your sunblock and don’t forget your book!  Here are some that all take place on the beach!

Looking to laugh out loud while wearing a tiara?  Beauty Queens is for you!  A plane load of Miss Teen Dream Pageant contestants crashes on a deserted island.  Or is it a deserted island?  This book has pirates, commercial breaks and footnotes that should not be missed.

Got little readers?  Beach by Elisha Cooper is perfect.  It looks at one whole day at the beach and shows it all throughout the day.  This book will capture readers with stunning illustrations and an engaging story.  You’ll be reading this one all summer long. Continue reading Literary vacations: the Beach

LitCamps: Letting kids be kids, from Harlem to Kenya

Ronald PhilippinesAs part of Scholastic’s global literacy campaign, Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life., we’ve identified organizations that work every day to see that children learn to read, love to read, and have access to books. We call them “Literacy Champions” and we want to acknowledge their hard work here on the blog in our Literacy Champions series. In this next installment, we’re focusing on one of our more recent Literacy Champions, LitWorld’s LitCamps. 

As more and more kids poured out of the vans that arrived on the first morning of the LitCamp, one boy in the crowd stood out. He sat apart from everyone, the only child without a bright blue T-shirt or a nametag. Instead of holding a book or a ball in his hands, he stood with over 15 hand woven placemats he needed to sell to support his family.

Like many of our campers, the boy, who introduced himself as Ronald, was recently relocated to the rural area outside of metro Manila from the slum in which he was born. Like many of our campers, Ronald was too young to work but working anyway. Like many of our campers, Ronald’s everyday life did not leave enough space for joy. Continue reading LitCamps: Letting kids be kids, from Harlem to Kenya

Writing children’s books: A profession or a pastime?

HungryCaterpillarI read an interesting article recently on what it means to be a children’s author, and it highlighted a question children’s authors get asked often: when are you going to write for adults? It got me thinking: do we as a society value children’s authors less than we do adult authors?If so, why?

Any good writer must observe and understand his or her audience. The writer’s relationship with readers depends on the author engaging and interesting them, challenging them, provoking them, teaching them; while at the same time not intimidating or boring them. It’s clearly a tricky and methodical process. Now add kids to the mix. Writing for an audience one to two generations removed from your own can’t be easy.

As a young child, I read and absorbed whatever books I could get my hands on, but at that age, reading was somewhat superficial. You read a book and understood the plot. You liked it or you didn’t. Now as a young adult, it’s interesting to go back and reread some of my childhood favorites to see how my change in age has affected the way I view the story and its author.

Continue reading Writing children’s books: A profession or a pastime?

In Our Feeds: Book dresses, visualizing diversity, best opening lines and more

IOF-big-300x300Every Friday, we share a handful of links that we found funny, provocative or just plain cool. We call it In Our Feeds. Have a great weekend!

It’s Friday!  It’s always a great feeling when you can feel yourself getting close to quitting time.  Are you planning a night on the town?  If so, maybe you’ll want to consider a dress made of pages from a dictionary.  Megan found this cool set of of photos and I couldn’t believe the detail.  The front panels are even in alphabetical order!  I think she’d get along well with some of our Scholastic Art & Writing Awards winners like Greg Dugdale.

Now that’ you’ve read my opening lines, have you ever thought about what makes an opening sentence inviting or memorable?  As bloggers us OOMers probably obsess over it so it was great to see this link from Morgan about authors discussing their favorite openers. Continue reading In Our Feeds: Book dresses, visualizing diversity, best opening lines and more