Category Archives: Books

A salute to books, our unwavering travel companions

catastropheWe all know that summer is the perfect time of year to catch up on our reading.  We even plan for it.  Books travel by car, train, plane, foot, bike, etc. to make exotic destinations or just the tree nearest to your home.  And today, we salute books as our unwavering travel companions because as you’ll see from our stories, it can be a perilous journey!

Have you ever had a book catastrophe? A moment when, to your horror, your book is no longer in one piece (maybe not even just two pieces) or simply gone forever?  If you have, you aren’t alone. One of my greatest accidental destruction of books was poolside in the blistering heat.  I was about midway through a paperback novel – you know, one of those really thick ones that you need a little muscle to keep open – and when I turned to the next chapter I noticed that a page was loose.  Not realizing I had discovered a serious problem with my book, I read on.  A few minutes later, a next page just came out in my hand.  Then a few more.  My book binding had MELTED! To make matters worse, I had borrowed this book and even when I brought it back to safety in air-conditioning, I needed to purchase a new one to return. So my wounded warrior of a book remains on my shelf.  But at least the book is among friends because I am also sad to say, I’ve sinned and left a library book on a plane.  It is my only library crime to date and I paid my dues, literally, but I confess this to you today and I hope that my book made a different traveler’s day. Continue reading A salute to books, our unwavering travel companions

Book pet peeves

When it comes to reading, I am a pretty easy going person.  As long as it is reading, I don’t really have many issues.  I don’t have pre-judgments messy booksabout genre or format.  I’ve read series and stand-alone books.  I’ve helped people find books on vampires, werewolves, politics, physics, cooking, baseball, make up, and bugs.  I’ve seen it all, read a lot of it, and not much bothers me.

That easy breezy attitude does not extend to books.  It may sound silly but I was really surprised to find out certain things bothered me.  I was standing on the platform waiting for my train when I saw a man who had a paperback book.  He had broken the spine so that the front and back covers of the book touched; making it so he could read it with one hand.  Have you ever wanted to pet a book and apologize to it?  I hadn’t until that moment.  Continue reading Book pet peeves

Taking reading and writing on the road

blog_FB_449x443Today we have a guest post from Maggie McGuire of the Scholastic Parents site! As the summer draws to a close, it’s time to start thinking about back-to-school prep. Maggie has some great tips for keeping reading and writing alive for your kids during summer vacation!

Whether you’ve got weekend road trips or a longer family vacation planned for the remaining weeks of summer, keeping your kids reading and writing along the way pays off big time when it comes to their reading readiness in the new school year. Here are six quick tips from my family’s recent vacation that kept my boys reading and writing along the way. Continue reading Taking reading and writing on the road

Book news: David Baldacci’s ‘The Finisher’ coming this March

David Baldacci_photo credit Alexander James

Baldacci fans, this one’s for you. Coming in March 2014, Scholastic is publishing the author’s debut novel in the fantasy genre— it will be called The Finisher. If it’s anything like his previous work, namely the last book in The 39 Clues series, Day of Doom, it’s sure to thrill readers.

Here’s glimpse into new book, from Publishers Weekly: “In The Finisher, a 14-year-old girl named Vega Jane lives in a village called Wormwood where the citizens have been told that the forest surrounding them is full of monsters. When Vega’s mentor disappears, leaving behind a secret message, she begins to realize, Scholastic said, that Wormwood is “a village built on dangerous lies.”

Intrigued yet? For more on the announcement, read AP’s “Big Story” here. Continue reading Book news: David Baldacci’s ‘The Finisher’ coming this March

How literature aids diversity

shadesofblackThe old adage goes “you are what you eat.” But what about the idea of “you are what you read?”

Many happy childhood moments can be traced back to bedtime stories, reading circles and exercises in class (and even at Scholastic’s own book fairs, where we were exposed to exciting new titles to read and own). The stories we were told in our youth have helped to shape our thinking and encourage our imaginations. With literature having such an impact in the shaping of young ones as they transition to their teenage and adult years, the lessons we want them to learn must be weighed heavily each time we chose to place a book in their hands.

One of the greatest lessons that can passed down from generation to generation is tolerance and acceptance. Our world is truly global; people are now, more than ever, faced with differences they’re not used to. This time in our history acts as the perfect time to introduce the importance of accepting others to our kids. With so many books out there that highlight and celebrate the struggles and triumphs of different cultures, there’s no better way to teach kids about the world around them than with literature.

Continue reading How literature aids diversity

Literary Classics: What’s the classic definition?

Shot_001With all the buzz surrounding Harry Potter right now, it seems fitting that I recently came across an online poll that posed an interesting question: “Does the Harry Potter series deserve to be called a classic?” This question immediately intrigued me, because it lead me to another more probing one: what makes a book a classic in the first place?

When I think classic literature, I think of the books I read in high school: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Animal Farm by George Orwell. I can appreciate my forced exposure to these types of books because studying them helped me become a better reader and a better writer. I believe that each of these titles and the others like them propose an inquiry into a fundamental theme of the human condition, and that the reactions they evoke within their readers reflect their literary genius.

However, I would be lying to say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading most of what falls under the general consensus of classic literature. I found the majority of these types of books to be boring or dense, full of antiquated language and slow plots. These are not the first on my list of books to read over and over again, and they aren’t the kind of books that have truly changed or impacted my life.

Continue reading Literary Classics: What’s the classic definition?

Winning librarians!

kkhp-box-front-lgYou may remember, a while back we hosted a call for submissions: in honor of the 15th anniversary of the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, we asked public libraries across the country to tell us how they planned to celebrate the day. We narrowed down the entries and chose 15 to be named winners of the Harry Potter Public Librarian Contest!

Librarians are creative types, so it was no surprise to read their awesome submissions. From Harry Potter-themed food to trivia contests, house-sorting parties to Quidditch matches, wand-making to Potions classes, we saw some great ideas! These Potter parties will be held on or around August 27, 2013, the date when the new editions of the books featuring all new covers by #1 New York Times bestselling author/artist, Kazu Kibuishi are released.

So who are the lucky winners?

Continue reading Winning librarians!