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    July 11, 2014: Apply for a Thurber House residency!

    Thurber House has a Children’s Writer-in-Residence program for middle-grade authors each year and  guidelines and application form for the 2015 residency were just released.

    This unique residency has been in existence since 2001, offering  an opportunity for authors to have time to work on their writing in a fully furnished apartment, in the historic boyhood home of author and humorist, James Thurber. Deadline is October 31, 2014. For details, go to READ MORE

    July 10, 2014:

    Spread MG books in unexpected places 7/19
    Drop a copy of your own book or of another middle-grade favorite in a public place on July 19 -- and some lucky reader will stumble upon it.
    Ginger Lee Malacko is spearheading this Middle Grade Bookbomb (use the hashtag #mgbookbomb in social media) -- much in the spirit of Operation Teen Book Drop.  Read more ...

June 16, 2014:
Fizz, Boom, Read: Summer reading 2014

Hundreds of public libraries across the U.S. are celebrating reading this summer with  the theme Fizz, Boom, Read! Find out more about this year's collaborative summer reading program and check out suggested booklists and activities. Read more ...
 

April 30, 2014:
Join the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign and help change the world

The conversation on diversity in children's books has grown beyond book creators and gate keepers to readers and book buyers. What can you do? Take part in the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign May 1 though 3 on Tumblr and Twitter and in whatever creative ways you can help spread the word to take action. Read more ….

April 11, 2014:
Fall 2014 Children's Sneak Peek
A peek at forthcoming middle grade books (as well as picture books and YA books) in a round-up from Publisher's Weekly. First printed in the February 22 issue, but now available online. Time to add to your to-read list. Read more ...

April 9, 2014:
How many Newbery winners have you read?
You could make a traditional list of all the Newbery Medal Award-winning Children's Books you've read, but there's something so satisfying when you check them off and get a final tally on this BuzzFeed quiz. Read more ...

March 28, 2014:
Middle Grade fiction is hot at 2014 Bologna Children's Book Fair

For the second year in a row, publishers are clamoring for middle-grade, reporters Publishers Weekly. "I’ve been coming [to Bologna] for 12 to 15 years, and I’ve never had as many European publishers asking for middle-grade," said Steven Chudney of the Chudney Agency. Read more ...

February 14, 2014:
Cybils Awards announced
Ultra by David Carroll (Scholastic Canada) wins the Cybil for middle grade fiction; Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (Disney Hyperion) wins for Speculative Fiction. Read more.

January 27, 2014: And the Newbery Medal goes to ...
Kate DiCamillo won the Newbery Medal for "Flora & Ulysses"; Rita Williams-Garcia won the Coretta Scott King Author award for "P.S. Be Eleven." Newbery Honor awards to authors Vince Vawter, Amy Timberlake, Kevin Henkes and Holly Black. For all the exciting ALA Youth Media Award News ... READ MORE

November 12, 2013:
Vote in the GoodReads semifinal round

Readers' votes have narrowed the middle-grade semifinals down to 20 titles. Log in to your GoodReads account and vote for your favorite middle-grade (and in other categories, of course). Read more ...

November 9, 2013:
Publishers Weekly Top Children's Books of 2013

Middle-grade and young adult titles selected by the editors of Publishers Weekly as their top picks of the year. Let the season of "top ten books" begin! Read more ...

October 14, 2013:
Middle Shelf: Cool Reads for Kids debuts January 2014

Shelf Media Group, publisher of Shelf Unbound indie book review magazine, will launch a new free digital-only publication for middle-grade readers. The debut issue features interviews with such notable authors as Margaret Peterson Haddix and Chris Grabenstein as well as reviews, excerpts, and more. Middle Shelf will be published bi-monthly beginning in January 2014.
Read more ...

September 19, 2013: Writer-in-Residence program at Thurber House

Dream of time and space to focus on your own writing project? Applications now being accepted (11/1/2013 deadline) for The Thurber House Residency in Children's Literature, a month-long retreat in the furnished third-floor apartment of Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio. Read more ...

September 18, 2013: Vermont College of Fine Arts Scholarship opportunity

Barry Goldblatt Literary launches The Angela Johnson Scholarship, a talent-based grant for writers of color attending the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults program at VCFA. Up to two $5,000 grants will be awarded each year. Read more ....

September 16, 2013:
National Book Awards longlist for youth literature

For the first time, the NBA is presenting lists of 10 books/authors on the longlist in each category. The 2013 young adult literature list includes five middle grade novels and five YA. Read more ...

Sept. 13, 2013: Spring preview
Check out Publishers Weekly roundup of upcoming children's books to be published in spring 2014. Read more...

August 21, 2013:
Want to be a Cybils Award Judge?

Middle grade categories are fiction, speculative fiction, nonfiction. Applications due August 31! Read more ...

August 19, 2013:
S&S and BN reach a deal
Readers will soon be able to find books from Simon & Schuster at Barnes & Noble. The bookstore chain was locked in a disagreement with the publisher over how much it was willing to pay for books. Read more ...

August 6, 2013:
NPR's 100 Must-Reads for Kids
NPR's Backseat Book Club asked listeners to nominate their favorite books for readers ages 9 to 14. More than 2,000 people nominated titles, and a panel of Newbery authors brought the list to 100. Most are middle grade books. Read more ...

 
July 2, 2013:
Penguin & Random House Merger

The new company, Penguin Random House, will control more than 25 percent of the trade book market in the United States. On Monday, the newly formed company began to take shape, only hours after a middle-of-the-night announcement that the long-planned merger had been completed. Read more ...

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  • School Book Clubs and the Lifelong Reader

    Giveaways, Miscellaneous, Op-Ed

    I’m from a family of seven, and while money wasn’t tight in the Charlie Bucket sense, I was no Eloise rollerskating down the hallways at The Plaza, either.  Every expenditure had to be justified.  Except.  Except when I requested money for Scholastic Book Club books.  Then the answer was an automatic YES.

    Each time the teacher handed out those newsprint book orders, I’d read through the story summaries and put an X after the selected titles.  Then I’d present the order form to my dad and, without hesitation, he’d write a check or give me cash.  The next day I’d hand over the envelope to my teacher and several weeks later, come in from recess to find a stack of books on my desk.

    Some of my old Scholastic Book Club books

    The entire process felt magical.

    I’m not the only one with fond Scholastic Book Club memories.  Jennifer Hubbard says “I got a bunch of Marguerite Henry books, also one called A PLACE AND A TIME that I read to pieces.”  She still has a few of them.

    Robin Prehn specifically remembers getting THE WESTING GAME when she was in 4th grade.  “I devoured it,” she says.

    Cynthia Lord recalls “the excitement of carrying the envelope back to school, tipping it back and forth to feel the coins rolling in the envelope.”  She still has some of those books with her name written in “loopy childish cursive inside the front cover.”

    Laura Hamor’s childhood purchasing power was limited to rubber pinky balls from the five and dime store, “Until, oh glory day!  The Scholastic Book order came to school. And my mother said, ‘Yes.’ YES! I could pick a book!”

    During those book order years, I didn’t realize I was doubly fortunate.  Not only could I buy the books I wanted, but I lived in a household that valued reading.  We had multiple bookshelves and I identified as a reader.  I dabbled in gymnastics, marching band, and curling (yes, the shuffleboard-on-ice sport), but reading was for life.

    A recent op-ed piece reinforces the notion that when children build their personal libraries, they self-identify as readers.  Public libraries are absolutely essential for our communities, but as Stephanie Blake said, “I checked out and read stacks of books each week, but was always sad when it was time to take them back.”  She wanted her own books so badly she’d cut out the order form and paste it into her notebook, checking off the books she dreamed of owning.  In a perfect world, every child would have a collection of books to read on her own timeline.

    When I solicited input for this post, I expected only happy book club memories.  Naïve, I know.  Instead, I discovered many of my peers came from families that struggled financially, or had parents who considered books a waste of money.  Those children felt like outsiders on book order days.  Melodye Shore likened the book order form to “the Sears Gift Catalog – all wishes, but nothing obtainable.”

    But as adults, many are creating happy book club memories through children.  Melodye donates books to disadvantaged youth, and Brian Terbest says, “Now I overcompensate for my children and let them buy every time–multiple books, in fact.”  And Stephanie Blake told me, “My kids know I can’t say NO to a book.”

    The positive outlook seems to be that those who were denied want to create a different literary future for their kids, and those of us fortunate enough to grow up with our own books want to continue that legacy.

    Because my kids know they also have a mother who can’t say NO to a book, we have bulging bookcases.  And my sons and I want to share.

    A sample of recent book club additions

    So, if you’re a child yearning for books, or if you know such a child, please leave a comment below and on Saturday we’ll draw one name.  The winner will get an assortment of brand new and gently read middle-grade books.  The not-new books will come from my kids’ Scholastic Book Club library.

    I’m grateful for the book club that visited my classroom each month, and so is Kelly Fineman.  Her family struggled, but she says, “As an adult, I know that the reason those books were purchased at all was because they were affordable every now and again.”

    And guess what?  We’re readers and writers.

    When Tracy Abell isn’t hooping or trail running in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, she’s writing contemporary middle-grade fiction.  And trying to squeeze a few more books onto her shelves.

    46 Comments

    46 Comments

    1. June Morgan (chorkie)  •  Jul 21, 2010 @6:41 am

      I tutor elementary and middle school students in a very low budget tutoring program. During the summer, we have an academic camp. I buy new books from Amazon, look for book swaps on Goodreads, buy books on Ebay, go to my local library book sales, and try to stay as current as I can. My books run from pre-k to YA.
      I have always believed that if you are going to tell a child about a book, you need to be able to give him the book right then. Telling them to go to the library may or may not happen.
      Since I have set up this personal library, I also am the librarian. The children in the day camp have library twice a week and check out books. My goal is to get students to desire to read a book cover to cover. Regular teachers nor librarians cannot watch that. Now, if they don’t like a book and can justify their reasons, we talk about another book.
      So, thank you son for the willingness to donate his books. Then, please enter me in the drawing.
      Thanks so much.

    2. Caroline Starr Rose  •  Jul 21, 2010 @7:50 am

      Hooray for book clubs! I’m a former teacher, and what you might not know is teachers earn points for every book ordered. Those points can be turned in to bring more books into the classroom.

      Win win for everyone.

      I remember ordering A SEPARATE PEACE from a seventh-grade book order. It’s still a favorite (and that same copy is on my shelf today).

    3. deniz  •  Jul 21, 2010 @7:53 am

      Oh what a lovely idea! I still remember how exciting those Scholastic catalogues were and my parents, too, were generous with letting me choose the books I wanted. I wish I’d kept a record of all the ones I read, because I can’t recall what my 10 year old criteria for choosing books was, and I’ve only got a shelful of the books left. As I remember titles, I’m trying to buy them again :-)
      Last time I visited New York City I happened to walk past the Scholastic building and I stopped and stared in awe for a little while – like a kid finding out his teacher is a real person who actually goes grocery shopping. I even snapped a photo!

    4. Karen B. Schwartz  •  Jul 21, 2010 @7:56 am

      What a thoughtful post. My son loves bringing home the Scholastic book orders and spends a lot of time going through and marking off what he wants. We too have bulging bookshelves!

    5. Sheri Larsen  •  Jul 21, 2010 @8:15 am

      Book clubs are great! My kids gorge on the flyers when they get home. “I want this. I want that!” We have four children, so just imagine the support we’ve given these clubs. I’m grateful.

    6. Keri Lewis  •  Jul 21, 2010 @8:32 am

      I *adored* the book clubs, and my parents would always allow me to buy. It was such an exciting day when the order came in! When I taught, I had the same giddy experience looking through the order forms, with the added bonus of using points earned by student purchases to supply additional books to the class library. Thanks for sharing!

    7. Jana Warnell  •  Jul 21, 2010 @8:32 am

      I love the picture of your old books! Book clubs were always a highlight for me growing up and now as a teacher!

    8. Nicole  •  Jul 21, 2010 @9:18 am

      I loved the SBC when I was a kid as well. My parents never said no. Also my elementary school paired Scholastic Book Fair with Grandparent’s day and my Grandpa could never say no to me either. I recently got to be a VIP (they changed Grandparent’s Day to VIP day to be more PC) for my cousins. Taking them to the fair and buying THEM books was an amazing experience for me!

    9. Laura  •  Jul 21, 2010 @9:56 am

      Wonderful memories!

    10. Melodye  •  Jul 21, 2010 @9:57 am

      Wonderful article, Tracy! I love all the ways that book-related memories draw writers and readers together, and that Scholastic Book Clubs helped provide those opportunities.

      I don’t want to leave anyone with the wrong impression about my own experiences. I don’t feel sorry for myself, not at all. While my childhood experiences were more grim than fairy tale, I’m grateful for the opportunities I now have to help fill library bookshelves for other disadvantaged youth. xoxo

    11. Sheela Chari  •  Jul 21, 2010 @10:11 am

      I don’t wish to be entered, since I’m a member, but I wanted to chime in and say that book clubs was one of those mysterious, precious things from my memories of elementary school. Getting a book was like getting a treasure. My parents supported my reading habits by sending me to the library often. :-) Buying a book was an occasional treat.

      Of course today, I’m one of those moms who can’t resist a book. Only now when I’m buying books for my kids, I really do think of it as building a personal library that we can all go back and dip into whenever we want.

    12. Stephanie  •  Jul 21, 2010 @10:17 am

      What a great piece, Tracy! Thanks for the memories.

    13. Jemi Fraser  •  Jul 21, 2010 @11:03 am

      I have some of the books I ordered from Scholastic in grade school in my classroom now. I still use the book club in my classroom – and I can never resist buy a bunch myself. The kids estimate I have about 1500 novels in my class :)

      PS – please don’t enter me either – save it for someone in need!

    14. Rasco from RIF  •  Jul 21, 2010 @11:15 am

      I, too, remember the feel and smell of that sweaty newsprint column I carefully cut from the two-to-four page flyer in order to check which books I wanted and then taking my money from home as I also was one of the lucky ones whose parents were book buyers! I remember getting Misty of Chincoteague, what a treasure! Today at Reading Is Fundamental I also experience teens and adults coming up to me or writing us to tell us about their RIF books as their families often could not afford book club purchases. I am very appreciative of the PTA’s and other groups that provide for children at Book Club time to have money to buy a book if there are no funds available for the child at home. This coupled with possible RIF books or other book distribution groups helps to make certain all children have access to books for ownership, an important part of literacy acquisition! Here’s to Book Clubs!

    15. Shoshana  •  Jul 21, 2010 @11:24 am

      I remember ordering Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary in sixth grade. When it arrived, my teacher whispered to me, “This is a beautiful book,’ and I felt like my choice and I were officially Approved.

    16. Michele  •  Jul 21, 2010 @11:54 am

      My favorite Scholastic book club book was Sister of the Quints. Twenty years later and I still remember it! I was obsessed with that book.

      I work for a charter in Detroit and would love more books for my kids. I love connecting them with books, especially since so many of them do not have books in the home and school is the only place they have access to books. Plus, we don’t have much of a budget for books here. Thank you for the opportunity!

    17. robin  •  Jul 21, 2010 @12:17 pm

      Lovely post! We were also quite poor, but books were a priority. Although I couldn’t get all of them I wanted (since my wants were quite high), when the book fair visited the school, I could pick out a book or two each time. But I think one of the reasons I’m such a fast reader today is because most of my books came from the library — and I had to read them quickly to return them. Also, we would go to the Tattered Cover and spend hours there — seldom did I buy anything (as we just didn’t have the money), but I could usually read a couple of books in the time allotted.

      (I don’t want to be entered, either…I know others will so benefit from this :D)

    18. Laurie Schneider  •  Jul 21, 2010 @1:07 pm

      My mom belonged to the Book-of-the-Month club and she never hesitated when I brought home my Scholastic order form. I loved the library and carried home as many books as my satchel would hold, but it’s not that same as having your own shelf, with your own books, in your own room.

    19. Wendy S  •  Jul 21, 2010 @1:18 pm

      I came from a family that “did without” quite a bit, too. But I’ll never forget one day being in a bookstore with my dad and he bought a book I wanted for a book report. When I questioned the purchase, my dad said simply, “If it’s for school, then we get it.” His message was clear – books and education came first in our family.

    20. Jennifer Duddy Gill  •  Jul 21, 2010 @3:49 pm

      One of the many great perks of working in a school is having access to the Scholastic book fairs. Taking a group of kids down to the fair where it’s set up outside our cafeteria is exhilarating. I know my students well and I love helping them find just the right book. It’s like a match-making game.

    21. Laura Marcella  •  Jul 21, 2010 @4:38 pm

      This is a wonderful post! I loved those Scholastic book days! My parents always said yes to buying me and my three siblings books. We all had overflowing bookcases in our bedrooms, and there were more packed bookcases in the family room. Reading was cherished in my family. I’m enjoying sharing my favorite childhood books with my nieces and nephews now!

      I appreciate the reminder to thank my parents for encouraging reading!

    22. The Book Maven  •  Jul 21, 2010 @4:40 pm

      I really appreciate that your spoke to both sides of the SBC book flyers. As a child, my parents supported our reading by allowing myself and my siblings to purchase…even though funds were very tight. We each has a month…and got two turns! As a teacher, I see the other side too…those who don’t get to purchase…for many reasons. It’s tough to watch sometimes. All I can do is continue to build the classroom library, encourage visits to our local library and pick up donations wherever I can. I started last year doing book swaps where students can bring in books to swap…but I always have extras so even if a student doesn’t have a book to bring in they can pick a book to take home!

      This year…thanks to our PTO and Scholastic’s fabulous Warehouse Sales, our school bought every student in our school (over 420) a book as an end of the year gift. Our Literacy Team put together gift bags with a variety of titles that were then delivered to Reading classes and every student got to choose their own book! It was one of the best days of my teaching career to watch those students select books…and talk about excited! WOW!

      Thanks for the post…the memories… and the reminder that getting books in kids hands is the priority!

    23. Meridith Halbardier  •  Jul 21, 2010 @4:42 pm

      I am a 1st grade teacher and I love to order books for not only for my students but I also pick out books for my 3 and 2 year olds at home. I can remember getting Scholastic book orders when I was in elementary school and I too can remember painstakingly looking at all the books and circling the 2 or 3 that I wanted. I get so excited to walk into the mail room now and see that white box with my name on it! I love to open it up and see what treasures will be in there this time! I just wish that more of my students were able to order and that their parents were more interested in having books in the home. I work for a title 1 school and those parents really don’t have a lot of extra money and are more worried about paying the rent and putting food on the table. (Which I completely understand!) I wish I could afford to buy each student more than their Christmas book through out the years!

    24. Hope Huff  •  Jul 21, 2010 @4:43 pm

      As a child, I LOVED when we would get the Scholastic flyer. My parents would allow me to buy any books I wanted (within reason) and it was such a thrill! Our family also had to stretch our dollars, but I never lacked books!! Now, as a third grade teacher, when I pass out the newest Scholastic flyer, and my students cheer, I feel like a child again! It is so nice to have students excited about books and reading, especially in the low-income school in which I teach. These students long for knowledge, and I love being about to share my love of books with them!

    25. Dagny Denten  •  Jul 21, 2010 @4:49 pm

      I am a teacher and mother. Our bookshelves at home bulge, but at school, they do not. I teach at an elementary school that falls in the middle between a title one school with federal funding, and one with a big PTA and lots of money. We have very little extra resources. I take full advantage of Scholastic free books with bonus points, but to be honest, I don’t have a lot of orders. This makes me sad, because my students get so excited when I pass out the book orders! They take their magic markers and circle all the books they would like to have. With the economy the way it is though, there isn’t always leftovers-even for books.
      Thanks for your generosity, and your son’s as well. We all know how hard it is to part with a good book!

    26. CrazyKate  •  Jul 21, 2010 @4:50 pm

      I love books!!! I loved them as a child and loved getting and reading the fliers that I would get from SBC…Hardly could afford any of them though…I grew up in a single parent household, so money was very tight…thank goodness for libraries and good friends who also were readers that could afford to buy and would share..My mom would also take us to yard sales and second hand stores where we would find books for real cheap…Some of those books were current and popular…I currently have a small daycare and reading is a priority~no matter what the age of the child is…

    27. AndyG  •  Jul 21, 2010 @5:04 pm

      The Scholastic Book Fair has always held, and will always hold, a special place in my heart as well as my daughter’s. She is 7 weeks old and already has more books than I can count on my hands, because I can’t say no to a book that I think she might like some day. I was one of the few who grew up in a household where we didn’t always have money for the book fairs at school; however, my father still stressed the importance of reading and would get us books from other sources, such as the public library’s ‘discount resale’ bin. I also had many friends who were in the “order whatever you want” types of families, and they were such good friends that they’d place their little checkmarks right next to books that I wanted, yet they had no interest in.

      Just writing this little comment gets me excited about when my little daughter starts elementary school and I can go through the excitement and wonder with her when she brings home a Scholastic Book Fair order catalog. Can’t wait!!

    28. Kathy Barnes  •  Jul 21, 2010 @5:09 pm

      Thank you for the sweet story.

      Like so many others, my school memories are often of Scholastic: Books, books, and more books.

      Plus posters of sweet little kittens and puppies to hang on my wall.

      Scholastic also provided my first magazine subscription—Dynamite magazine. It connected all of us to pop culture in the ’70s—to the Muppets, Farrah, Charlie’s Angels, the Hulk, Donny and Marie, and so much more.

    29. Amy Bernhardt  •  Jul 21, 2010 @5:15 pm

      As a teacher and a mom I don’t know who I order more books for my three girls or my classroom library! I love the $!, $2, and $3 books. I often encourage my daughters to buy books that we favorites of mine. I wish I would have kept more books from my childhood. I am encouraging my daughters to keep their favorites to share with their children.

    30. Angie Wiley  •  Jul 21, 2010 @5:40 pm

      My mom always let me order what I wanted from Scholastic–books were always my one allowed ‘luxury’ as a child. I still have most of those books, and my son and daughter help me add to them everytime we get an order form. As a teacher, there are few better ways to add brand new books to my library!!! ;)

    31. Cathe Olson  •  Jul 21, 2010 @6:07 pm

      I’m in charge of an elementary school library and hold a Scholastic book fair every year . . . I love it when the whole family comes in and how excited the kids are choosing their books. I’d love to win the books to use as prizes in our annual read-a-thon (there are many kids at my school who can’t even afford Scholastic books).

    32. Michelle Paris  •  Jul 21, 2010 @6:23 pm

      I love books!!! As a speech-language therapist, I love using books in my speech and language therapy. Literacy is soooo important. Children should not be deprived of books!! I always loved getting the book orders as a child and when my own children started school and started bringing book orders home I was super excited!!! I think it is very generous of you to donate your used books. My students and my own children (ages 11 and 13) will absolutely love them.

    33. Lorrin Jurasin  •  Jul 21, 2010 @6:45 pm

      This piece brought back many fond memories from the excitement of getting to purchase “only one book” a month from Scholastic book orders to visiting the bookmobile each summer and riding home with my bike basket overflowing with books. To help each child feel excited about book orders coming in, I try to use my bonus points and money donated from other parents, to purchase the $1 books so that EVERY child receives a new book when the book orders arrive. The children love to read these books and exchange them in our classroom “Take-a-book/Leave-a-book” box. Thank you, Scholastic, for continuing to offer QUALITY literature at an affordable price.

    34. Allison Young  •  Jul 21, 2010 @7:28 pm

      Oh, how I loved Scholastic Book Order Day when I was in school back in the 60s. We also had the Scholastic Book Mobile come once a year — I lived for those visits! We’d bring money and we could actually buy books and and take them home that very day. My favorite Scholastic Book memories include “Striped Ice Cream,” and another book — I’ve forgotten the title, but it was about a young African American boy who was adopted by a white family. My own children have accumulated enough books to fully stock the children’s section of our public library. I’m giving them away as my children grow older, but some I’ll always keep. This was my last year with a child in elementary school, so it’s likely my last as the classroom Scholastic Book Order Mom. This was an especially bittersweet year, as far as Scholastic Book Orders went. I passed out the order forms every month, but only received a total of six over the course of the whole year – and three were for my daughter. I think many of our families struggled to make ends meet this year, and didn’t have funds for even one or two Scholastic Books. My child’s teacher said this was the first year that she didn’t get multiple book orders every month.

      Please enter me in the drawing on behalf of my three nephews. Money is short in their family, but they are all bright boys who like to read. We’ve given them just about all the “boy” books we have.

      Thanks!

    35. Natalie Aguirre  •  Jul 21, 2010 @8:18 pm

      I still love the Scholastic Book Club. One of the benefits of having a kid in middle school. I can’t say no either. I’d love to win and would donate at least some of them to our middle school that no longer has much money to buy books nor do many of the kids there. So they’d go to a good cause.

    36. Michelle B.  •  Jul 21, 2010 @8:23 pm

      Thanks for a wonderful article. I, too, cannot say no to books when it comes to me or my kids (and yes, my girls know it!) I know this year I didn’t order as many books as usual this year because of tight funds too, but I hope that will change this year. My favlorite Scholastic memories are from 7th grade, when my English teacher Mr. Small would talk about each book featured in the flyer. That’s how I read a lot of classics like “Call of the Wild” and “Tom Sawyer”. Mr. Small made every book sound wonderful, and I just couldn’t get enough.

      One idea I’d like to share–my daughter’s school librarian started an end of the year book swap 2 years ago. Kids bring in books they have outgrown to school on designated days. Parent volunteers sort the books by type and reading level. Then each child (whether or not they brought in a book or not) gets to choose at least one book to take home. This ensures that every child will have at least one book to read over the summer. Kids who bring in more than one book to swap are allowed to choose 2 books. This year, the remainder of books were being shipped to Africa with a school family who will be living there during the coming year. The school there had few books in English. I love the swap and am glad our school librarian is so committed to keeping kids reading out of school what.

    37. Allison Young  •  Jul 21, 2010 @8:55 pm

      A friend just remembered the title of the book I mentioned about — about an African American boy adopted by a white family. It was Edgar Allen! Not Ethan. :) I loved that book.

    38. Megret  •  Jul 21, 2010 @9:10 pm

      I love Scholastic — always have. That and Weekly Reader book clubs. I was allowed 1-2 books each order as a child — and now that I have kids, I let them order, too — though we homeschool. I’m so thankful Scholastic book clubs are homeschool-friendly. It’s one experience of public schools our kids don’t have to miss.

    39. Cathy Stakey  •  Jul 21, 2010 @11:19 pm

      I’m a huge fan of the Scholastic Book Clubs! I teach middle graders and each month we all take time to pour over the newsprint flyers and pick our favorites. Some take their wish lists home and return with an order, but for those of whom I know are unable to have their wishes granted at home, I grant them at school!

      We create a classroom library wish list and with “bonus points” earned from other orders or for my own order, I select books for our classroom from that list. When the new books come in, I book talk them and it’s like Christmas every month! Everyone has a chance to get something from the order.

    40. Tracy Abell  •  Jul 21, 2010 @11:24 pm

      Wow. I’m so touched by all these memories of the book club, and of the many ways you all work to get books to young readers. I wish I could send books to each and every one of you. Thank you for all you’re doing to help kids build their own libraries. I’m mulling over ways to get some of these specific ideas for book sharing out into the world so more kids will have their own books; maybe another post aimed specifically at this issue.

      If any of you have other suggestions (classroom books swaps, school swaps, etc), please leave those ideas here. I was so excited to learn SBC now offers $1 books because I don’t remember that being the case when I was a classroom teacher, and that alone could make a huge difference. I also love the idea of swapping books, but wonder if anyone has experience doing that several times a school year (so kids could get several books throughout the year).

      Again, thank you for taking the time to share your stories. You brought tears to my eyes and filled my heart with warm, happy feelings.

    41. Melina  •  Jul 22, 2010 @9:37 am

      I love ordering Scholastic books from school. My brother and I go crazy wanting ALL the books on the order sheets. It is so fun!

      Thank you for sharing some of your own books too. That is very sweet.

      Please don’t enter me in the contest.

    42. Portia Pennington  •  Jul 22, 2010 @3:45 pm

      Great post…brought back quite a few memories for me! Here’s one I will never forget:

      Seventh grade. Braces. Glasses. You know the drill. My book order envelope with clinking change and a few precious bills was buried in the bottom of my purse. I went to the bathroom before my Kentucky History class. Two substantially larger 8th grade girls “mugged” me in the bathroom–yes, in little, old Madisonville, Kentucky. They pushed me up against the sink, looked down at me with my humongous stack of school books crushed to my chest, and demanded I give them money.

      I knew that envelope was down in that bag. But I knew my lunch money was in there, too. Need I say what those girls got that day? A paltry $1.25 (or whatever lunch cost in 1974). The books were ordered. The books were read.

      I could go without lunch every single day of my life if necessary to have books on my shelf.

      Thanks for giving away books–don’t enter me in the contest–spread the love around!

    43. Allison  •  Jul 22, 2010 @3:49 pm

      Thanks for this great giveaway! I have the perfect student in mind!

    44. Tracy Abell  •  Jul 22, 2010 @10:04 pm

      Melina, thank YOU for all you do to promote reading.

      Portia, school lunch or books? I’m with you on the books! (Sorry about the bully-girls messing with you).

      Allison, thanks for entering on behalf of that perfect student. Wish I had books for all the needy kids out there.

    45. jaekaebee  •  Jul 23, 2010 @8:24 am

      I can still remember those book clubs. I adore them, and this blog. And I know I’m too late for the entry, but I had to say it.

    46. Crystal R.  •  Aug 12, 2010 @2:03 am

      Just wanted to say that I LOVED reading this delighful post and that I can identify with practically everyone who commented here about my love for the Scholastic Book Clubs, both now as a mother of 7- and 11-year-old daughters (who also love ordering from Scholastic now), and as a student ordering from the Clubs back in the late 1970s. I think I must have snapped up every Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary book that was offered back then. Not to mention titles from Richard Peck, Norma Klein, Rosa Guy, Paula Danziger, etc. Ahh, those were the days! :)