Top 20 moments from the Scholastic Reads podcast in 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, we're taking a look back at some of our favorite moments over the last year on the Scholastic Reads podcast. From read-alouds and jokes to stories of hardship and inspiration, we've loved welcoming every single guest to our studio. Here are 20 of our favorite moments — we're looking forward to making more memories in 2018!

(Don't forget to subscribe to the Scholastic Reads podcast via the iTunes app or Google Play — or wherever you get your podcasts!) 

1. Starting off the year talking with Dav Pilkey

The creator of Captain Underpants sat down with us to talk about his new graphic novel series, Dog Man, and to share how his parents encouraged his creativity as a child.

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2. Sharing key findings from Scholastic's Kids and Family Reading Report

Our experts talked with us about some of the key findings from our latest Kids and Family Reading Report, including the fact that the average American family has 104 books in the home, that kids actually LIKE reading for fun, and that kids often struggle to find books they like.

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3. Celebrating World Read Aloud Day with our friends Pam Allyn, Ernest Morrell, Andrea Davis Pinkney, and Nick Cannon

In February, we celebrated World Read Aloud Day. Pam Allyn and Ernest Morrell talked about the importance of reading aloud, Andrea Davis Pinkney treated us to a read aloud from her book A Poem for Peter, and Nick Cannon talked about some of the books he loves reading aloud to his children. 

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4. Listening to Carmen Agra Deedy's incredible story of her childhood as a Cuban refugee and her path to becoming a lifelong storyteller

Acclaimed author and storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy joined us in the studio to talk about her newest picture book, The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!, and shared her own, beautiful story about how her family came to America as Cuban refugees, and how she fell in love with reading. We also talked with the 2016 New York State Teacher of the Year about how she encourages her students to speak up, just like Carmen's rooster!

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5. Redefining the acronym ADHD with Peter Reynolds

Peter Reynolds and educator Lester Laminack joined us for this episode to talk about how to engage students with different learning abilities. Peter talked about his newest picture book, Happy Dreamer!

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6. Changing the way we think about reading instruction with Kylene Beers and Robert Probst

Literacy experts Kylene Beers and Robert Probst joined us in the studio to talk about their book Disrupting Thinking, that challenges teachers to revolutionize the way they think about reading instruction.


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7. Celebrating Poetry Month with Calvin Trillin and two extremely talented National Student Poets

In April, we celebrated poetry! Acclaimed poet Calvin Trillin joined us in the studio to talk about his first poetry collection for children: No Fair! No Fair! We also talked to two National Student Poets over the phone, and they shared their incredibly moving work with us. AND we talked to an educator whose Massachusetts school district has seen some amazing results from a new poetry program they've introduced. 

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8. Being charmed and inspired by five Scholastic News Kids Press reporters

We talked with four Scholastic News Kids Press reporters about what their experience covering news for kids, by kids has been. We also talked with an alum of the Kids Press program who is now a producer at NBC!

9. Talking with three authors about why (and how) they write about war for young readers

In time for Memorial Day, we sat down with three authors who write books about war for young readers: Lauren Tarshis, C. Alexander London, and Kate Messner. The trio shared some important insights about why tackling difficult topics for children is so important.

10. Being moved to tears by author Alan Gratz's book Refugee and actor Mandy Patinkin's stories of his work with refugees around the world

We talked with author Alan Gratz about his New York Times bestselling book Refugee, which follows the stories of three refugees from three different time periods: 1930s Germany, 1990s Cuba, and present-day Syria. We also welcomed into the studio Mandy Patinkin, and his wife, Kathryn Grody. They shared heartbreaking, inspiring stories about their work in Syrian refugee camps.

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11. Celebrating 25 years of Goosebumps with author R.L. Stine

To celebrate the series' 25th birthday, we welcomed the Master of Fright himself into our studio! R.L. Stine talked about how he got his start as an author, how he uses just one finger to type everything, and what it's like to have his wife double as his editor!

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12. Talking dragons and graphic novels with Wings of Fire author Tui T. Sutherland

The bestselling author of the Wings of Fire series joined us to talk about the latest book in the series, Darkness of Dragons. She and her editor also talked about the process of turning the books into graphic novels — the first graphic novelization of the series comes out in January!

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13. Sitting down with Dr. Karen Mapp to discuss the importance of family and community engagement in classrooms

Family and community engagement is something very near and dear to our hearts at Scholastic, so we were thrilled to talk with Dr. Karen Mapp about the theories and best practices behind her new book, Powerful Partnerships. We also talked with the 2016 New York State Teacher of the Year, Dana McDonough, about the creative ways she engages families and her community in the classroom.

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14. Talking magic and representation with Daniel José Older

We welcomed besteslling author Daniel José Older in to the studio to talk about his latest book, Shadowhouse Falls. He talked about his background as an NYC paramedic and why it is so important that children see themselves in the books they read.

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15. Getting the scoop from Maggie Stiefvater's family about what she was like as a kid

Just in time for the release of All the Crooked Saints, we talked with Maggie Stiefvater and her editor, David Levithan, about writing, editing, metaphors and more. As a special treat, we surprised Maggie's dad and brother with some questions about what Maggie was like as a kid!

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16. Hearing authors and illustrators share the first time they saw themselves in a book

We asked several authors and illustrators to answer the question: When was the first time you saw yourself in a book, and what did that mean to you? The answers we got were heartbreaking and challenging, but also gave us hope for the future. 

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17. Being wonderstruck by Brian Selznick on location at the Queens Museum

The movie "Wonderstruck," based on the bestselling book by Brian Selznick, was released this fall, and to celebrate, we sat down with author/illustrator Brian Selznick at the Queens Museum — the location of a pivotal scene in the story — to talk about his work.

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18. Discussing why civics education is more important than ever in our classrooms

We sat down with four of our Scholastic Classroom Magazines editors to talk about how they present civics education and lessons on media literacy in kid-friendly, engaging formats. We also talked with a fourth-grade teacher about what civics education looks like in her classroom!

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19. Talking Star Wars with author/illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka

Star Wars fever is running high with the release of "The Last Jedi," so we sat down with our own Jedi Master, Jarrett Krosoczka, the author/illustrator behind the most recent books in the Star Wars: Jedi Academy series. He also talked about his upcoming graphic novel memoir, Hey Kiddo!

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20. Looking ahead and predicting the trends we expect to see in children's books in 2018 

As 2017 draws to a close, we are looking ahead to next year! We asked three Scholastic Book Clubs editors what trends we should expect to see in children's books next year, and for some books to look out for! We also stopped by our annual Scholastic Employee Holiday Book Fair to see what books our employees are gifting this season.

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