The 10 best moments from Scholastic Reads' first year

Emily Morrow  //  Dec 13, 2016

The 10 best moments from Scholastic Reads' first year

Happy birthday, Scholastic Reads! This week, our podcast turns one year old! 

We've spent the last year talking with authors, editors, educators, and librarians about the thing that unites all of us: a love of reading. Check out 10 of our favorite moments here, then be sure to listen to ALL of our episodes at, or by subscribing via iTunes.

1. Getting Harry through Heathrow

In our very first episode, "The Magic of Harry Potter," we were joined in the studio by Cheryl Klein, executive editor at Arthur A. Levine Books and a continuity editor for the Harry Potter series. She told us an incredible story about the time she had to carry the manuscript for book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, through airport security at Heathrow. Here's a clip from Cheryl's story! (Listen to the full episode here)

2. Sharing stories about amazing moms

Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball great Jackie Robinson, joined us in February to talk about her new book, The Hero Two Doors Down: A Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend, and she treated us with a vivid description of her mother. Author and actress Sonia Manzano, who played Maria on Sesame Street, stopped by in March to talk about her memoir, Becoming Mariaand it turns out she had a pretty inspiring mother, too! 

(Listen to Sharon's episode here, and listen to Sonia's episode here

3. Hearing from kids hitting the campaign trail

The election dominated the news cycle this year, and the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps hit the campaign trail to cover it! In February, we heard from two Kid Reporters about their experience covering the election. Listen to their take here


4. Talking about the importance of diverse children's books

In June, we talked diverse books with publisher Arthur A. Levine and authors Francisco Stork and Mike Jung. Listen to "We Have Diverse Books" here. And in September, editors Maria Dominguez and Nancy Mercado shared their experiences reading and editing Spanish-language or Latino-culture-driven children's books in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Listen to that episode here.

Here's Mike Jung talking about why we need diverse books: 

5. Celebrating 30 years of the BSC

With nearly 250 titles in print, and new graphic novel adaptations by Raina Telgemeier, The Baby-sitters Club remains one of the most beloved series of all time, and this year, it turned 30! In this episode, we talked with BSC creator Ann M. Martin and her longtime editor, David Levithan, about the groundbreaking series and its loyal following. 

6. Riding a rollercoaster of emotions

From laughing out loud with Kate Beaton, creator of the wildly popular comic strip Hark! A Vagrant and the author of the new picture book The Princess and the Ponyto getting a little (okay, A LOT) spooked with Shadow House author Dan Poblocki, the past year has been nothing short of emotions!

Listen to Kate introduce The Princess and the Pony here

Listen to Dan talk books with scare power here


7. Cheering for librarians

It's no secret that we at Scholastic really, really love librarians. And we were thrilled to get to celebrate the work they do several times this past year on the podcast! First, librarians John Schumacher ("Mr. Schu"), Deimosa Webber-Bey, and Kristina Holzweiss tell us why they became librarians, how to find the right book for the right child, and why libraries matter. Listen to that full episode here. Then, in Episode #26, author James Patterson talked with us about his pledge to save school libraries, and why he considers libraries to be "the heart and sould of a school." Listen to his podcast episode here.

Here's a clip from Episode #13 "Librarians: Making Hearts Large Through Story":


8. Discovering the true story of Cecil the lion 

In episode #12, author Craig Hatkoff and his daughter Isabella joined us to talk about Cecil's Pride: The True Story of a Lion King and gave us an in-depth look at the famed lion's life, along with a bittersweet look at how the lion pride has coped after Cecil's death.

Listen to "Cecil's Pride: The Life of a Lion King" here

9. Learning about disasters with Lauren Tarshis

The I Survived series is wildly popular with young readers and chronicles harrowing, momentous events such as the sinking of the Titanic and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Author Lauren Tarshis joined us in Episode #19 to discuss why she thinks these stories resonate so deeply with readers. Listen to the full episode here, and listen to Lauren share where she gets her ideas here: 


10. Getting excited about empowering young readers

In the past year, we've heard from so many people who are truly passionate about getting books into the hands of young readers. In Episode #3, we talked with literacy experts Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell about how to make every child a super reader. And in Episode #10, we talked with expert Phyllis C. Hunter who told us that reading is a civil right.

In this clip, Pam talks about her hope that children will make a summer leap instead of a summer slide: 


We can't thank you enough for listening this year — we have a lot more fun in store for 2017, so be sure to stay tuned!