32 episodes

A family podcast about classic children’s books and the impact they have on us long into adulthood. In each episode, we talk about one popular children's book from the past, uncovering the unique story behind the story. While sitting down with famous, award-winning authors, we investigate the timeless themes in kids’ books.

Remember Reading Podcast HarperCollins Publishers

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 114 Ratings

A family podcast about classic children’s books and the impact they have on us long into adulthood. In each episode, we talk about one popular children's book from the past, uncovering the unique story behind the story. While sitting down with famous, award-winning authors, we investigate the timeless themes in kids’ books.

    Crossing Cultures: Inside Out and Back Again (ft. Thanhhà Lại, Rajani LaRocca, & Jasmine Warga)

    Crossing Cultures: Inside Out and Back Again (ft. Thanhhà Lại, Rajani LaRocca, & Jasmine Warga)

    Middle grade is a time when readers can be especially moved by the books they pick up. Books can center kids marginalized by conflict, can inspire other readers to decenter themselves, to listen better, and to be more intentional with welcome signs. In one sense, borders are fiction, lines made up by winners of wars. In another sense, borders have a potent impact on the lives of the people who cross them, often as a result of those wars. but the truth of crossing borders is in the smallest details of people’s lives and in the white space between those details.

    In this episode, three authors reveal the experiential journey of their child characters who cross borders and merge cultures in their books. Thanhhà Lai, Rajani LaRocca, and Jasmine Warga share their personal journeys of arriving in a new land, learning English, making friends, and what inspired them to find their character’s voice in poetry. Stories like theirs remind all readers that just by being mindful of the way we treat each other, we can make the world anew … every day.

    To learn more about Thanhhà Lại’s, Rajani LaRocca’s, or Jasmine Warga’s books, visit harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/thanhh-lai
    harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/rajani-larocca
    harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/jasmine-warga

    Do you have a story about how a classic book changed your life? Tweet @readingpod or email us at readingpod@harpercollins.com. Learn more at rememberreading.com. And, leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

    [:25] Rajani and Jasmine share treasured moments from Inside Out and Back Again.

    [3:32] Thanhhà describes her book as a recollection of her daily routine living amid war and the shock of adjusting to Alabama and English.

    [8:04] Jasmine and Rajani describe what inspired them to structure the narrative of their books in prose poems.

    [10:45] In Other Words for Home, Jasmine portrays the tension points of dealing with Islamophobia in the U.S. and the joy that exists in the Arab and Muslim community for her young adult character, Jude.

    [12:51] In Red, White, and Whole, Rajani’s protagonist, Reha, swirls between Indian and American culture while her mother is sick with Leukemia.

    [14:52] Falling back into her past allowed Jasmine to channel Jude’s adolescent voice.

    [16:15] Thanhhà describes how she blends a youthful point of view into a complicated situation.

    [17:00] War, refugees, freedom, and the truth of crossing borders.

    • 22 min
    The Forbidden Truth: The Giver (ft. Lois Lowry, Karina Yan Glaser, & Anne Ursu)

    The Forbidden Truth: The Giver (ft. Lois Lowry, Karina Yan Glaser, & Anne Ursu)

    Children’s literature offers a rehearsal for the real world. A safe place for young readers to practice seeing beyond the easy narratives that are handed to them by their communities or that they might see in the media or even that they are taught in schools. It is the foundation for critical thinking. Children come to books already having a deep and wide emotional landscape they will use to navigate the world. Books can pull back the curtain on how things work and give kids a head start on making their corner of the world a little brighter.

    In this episode, Karina Yan Glaser and Anne Ursu reflect on the influence of Lois Lowry’s powerful Newbery award-winning, The Giver, and explain how their books disclose the injustices of patriarchy, power, and pallidity on society. Lois shares her personal experience of having her books banned and ponders the future of children who have not been exposed or provoked through literature.

    To learn more about Lois Lowry’s, Karina Yan Glaser’s, or Anne Ursu’s books, visit harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/lois-lowry
    harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/karina-yan-glaser
    harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/anne-ursu

    Do you have a story about how a classic book changed your life? Tweet @readingpod or email us at readingpod@harpercollins.com. Learn more at rememberreading.com. And, leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

    [5:50] Lois, Karina, and Anne recount the purposeful words used to describe the nefarious conditions in The Giver.

    [12:46] The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy was, in part, a response to Anne Ursu’s rage after witnessing the patriarchal narrative during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.

    [16:32] Karina shares the principal theme of her book, A Duet for Home.

    [22:34] Characters who challenge misinformation is a theme that runs through The Giver, A Duet for Home, and The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy.

    [25:33] Anne contends that by banning books and taking away history our ability to empathize will also be eliminated.

    [26:26] Lois’ book, Number the Stars, has also been added to a few banned book lists.

    [29:11] Lois’ advice for authors who find themselves on a banned book list.

    Continue Your Journey:
    Lois Lowry
    Karina Yan Glaser
    Anne Ursu
    HarperCollins
    Remember Reading Podcast
    @ReadingPod on Twitter

    • 33 min
    Myths, Magic, and Fantasy Worlds (ft. Megan Whalen Turner, Roseanne A. Brown, & Garth Nix)

    Myths, Magic, and Fantasy Worlds (ft. Megan Whalen Turner, Roseanne A. Brown, & Garth Nix)

    Magic and fantastical elements can get kids reading. Young adult fantasy novels construct portals readers can get sucked into, and when they emerge, they often have more nuanced and keen insights for making or remaking the world around them. The parallels to contemporary society can even give kids another way to see themselves. In this episode, Megan Whalen Turner, author of the Queen’s Thief series, Roseanne A. Brown, author of A Song of Wraith and Ruin, and Garth Nix, author of the Old Kingdom series, describe how the real world can be an inspiration for fantasy worlds, how a civilization’s myths and religions offer depictions of the people, how to create compelling and dynamic characters who overcome even when great harm befalls them, and the many forms of magic in stories.

    To learn more about Megan Whalen Turner, Roseanne A. Brown, or Garth Nix’s books, visit harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/megan-whalen-turner
    harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/roseanne-a-brown
    harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/garth-nix

    Do you have a story about how a classic book changed your life? Tweet @readingpod or email us at readingpod@harpercollins.com. Learn more at rememberreading.com. And, leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

    [1:21] Looking back at how Megan created The Thief’s fantastically detailed world.

    [5:16] Historical and geopolitical strife are not common components in Young Adult novels.

    [8:16] Roseanne describes how adding myths to a story gives readers an understanding of how characters see the world.

    [11:24] Megan describes the unique process she used when writing the Queen’s Thief series.

    [12:09] The role of storytelling and folklore in Roseanne’s book, A Song of Wraith and Ruin.

    [13:59] Upending the idea of what a hero should be to create stories with integrity.

    [17:27] Garth and Rosanne describe how they create and utilize magic in their stories.


    Continue Your Journey:

    Megan Whalen Turner
    Rosanne A. Brown
    Garth Nix
    HarperCollins
    Remember Reading Podcast
    @ReadingPod on Twitter

    • 24 min
    Coming-Out Stories (ft. Becky Albertalli, Abdi Nazemian, & Jason June)

    Coming-Out Stories (ft. Becky Albertalli, Abdi Nazemian, & Jason June)

    Books help young people wrap their minds around who they are, how they fit into the world and give them the language to demand the world make space for them. Queer Young Adult books can guide young readers through the myriad of experiences of coming out in different contexts and cultures. And, love stories can help young gay kids imagine themselves into meaningful adult lives and into fulfilling relationships that validate, nourish, and sustain them. In this episode, three authors of queer YA books share their personal coming-out experiences, which they later translated into their character’s coming-out journey, and share the impact reading queer YA books can have on generations of gay kids in developing their personal agency.

    To learn more about Becky Albertalli, Adbi Nazemian, or Jason June’s books, visit harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/becky-albertalli
    harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/abdi-nazemian
    harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/jason-june

    Do you have a story about how a classic book changed your life? Tweet @readingpod or email us at readingpod@harpercollins.com. Learn more at rememberreading.com. And, leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

    [1:00] In 2015, Becky Albertalli published the award-winning novel about a gay teen, Simon vs. The Homosapien Agenda.

    [5:02] Author of Like a Love Story, Abdi Nazemian describes how coming out today is different than in decades past.

    [9:00] Part of Abdi’s personal coming-out story is similar to his character's experience in Like a Love Story.

    [10:40] In Jay’s Gay Agenda, Jason June wanted to move the main character past his coming-out story.

    [12:03] Without a thriving gay community, love, romance, and sexual experiences can be out of reach for gay teens as Jason June explores in Jay’s Gay Agenda.

    [16:18] After Simon vs. The Homosapien Agenda was published, a storm of criticism led Becky to come out publicly in an essay.

    [21:22] Becky, Abdi, and Jason discuss how being able to relate to queer characters in books matters.

    [22:28] Authors share their favorite reads in the Queer Young Adult book space.

    Continue Your Journey:

    Becky Albertalli
    Abdi Nazemian
    Hey Jason June
    HarperCollins
    @ReadingPod on Twitter


    Shareables:

    “Oftentimes when we’re taught history, we’re taught we learn history, so as not to repeat it. And as I was writing the book, I was like, but what if we flip that? And we teach the reverse of it, which is, let’s study the history that we do want to repeat. Let's study ACT UP. How did they form, how did they actually create such a monumental change in the world? How did the queer community come together when everyone turned their backs on them?” — Abdi Nazemian, Author, Like a Love Story

    “We need to explore the magic and the complications and all the layers of getting to be queer and what that means.” — Jason June, Author, Jay’s Gay Agenda

    “When you are trying to write about an experience that looks different for every person it’s hard to definitely say something is right or wrong but I wanted it to feel authentic.” — Becky Albertalli, Author, Simon vs. The Homosapien Agenda

    • 28 min
    Tackling Real-life Challenges in Books: Pax (ft. Sara Pennypacker, Colby Sharp, & Philippe Cousteau)

    Tackling Real-life Challenges in Books: Pax (ft. Sara Pennypacker, Colby Sharp, & Philippe Cousteau)

    There is a magical age, somewhere between eight and twelve, where young people’s wonder at the natural world can be galvanized into meaningful engagement with the threats and challenges that humans bring to bear on nature. It is within this window that the right book at the right time can help a young person make sense of the big feelings that come with adolescence — and with unforeseen hardships, like global pandemics.

    In this episode, with the help of Sara Pennypacker, author of Pax and Pax, Journey Home, Colby Sharp, literacy advocate and teacher, and Philippe Cousteau, co-author of The Endangereds series, we discuss the serious, real-life challenges that young readers face and how animal characters in books can help them identify and express their feelings of grief, loss, and trauma.

    To learn more about Sara Pennypacker’s or Philippe Cousteau’s books, visit harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/sara-pennypacker
    harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/philippe-cousteau

    Do you have a story about how a classic book changed your life? Tweet @readingpod or email us at readingpod@harpercollins.com. Learn more at rememberreading.com. And, leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

    [2:33] The reaction Sara received from a group of fourth-graders after reading a chapter of Pax, led her to make changes to the original text.

    [4:24] Sara prefers to write about how wounded children attempt to carry on and heal their wounds after trauma.

    [5:18] A scene in the book, when Peter decides not to return to the therapist, spurs Colby to consider the state of his children post-pandemic.

    [8:56] Sara describes why Pax is purposefully written to exclude a distinct time or place.

    [12:07] After interviewing several animals, for Sara, there was no question the character Pax would be a fox.

    [14:37] Philippe Cousteau describes his book series, The Endangereds and how learning from animals helps children identify with the major environmental crisis we face.

    [18:17] How writers can introduce young readers to serious, real-world issues.

    [20:02] Pax’s ending left readers with the opportunity to envision their version of what happens to the characters but as questions emerged Sara decided to write the sequel Pax, Journey Home.

    [29:09] Colby’s non-fiction, Gamechanger, addresses the need to get books in the hands and minds of children.

    Continue Your Journey:
    Sara Pennypacker
    Mr. Colby Sharp
    Philippe Cousteau
    HarperCollins
    Remember Reading Podcast
    @ReadingPod on Twitter

    Shareables:

    “There's nothing like a read-aloud on this planet, sharing a book with a bunch of kids in the classroom and having those conversations. And, I believe that kids in my class will remember our reading aloud of Pax for the rest of their life.” — Colby Sharp, literacy advocate and author

    “'I’m not the writer who writes about the damage happening to kids. As a writer, I'm more interested in what they do afterward. So, I want to be really respectful of kids who have been wounded or have had losses in this way.” — Sara Pennypacker, author, Pax

    “Passion and excitement and adventure need to be part of any good story. Those are kinds of universal rhetorical truths about storytelling that I drew from when working on The Endangereds. How could we tell stories that could make kids excited, but then also try to give them a little bit of agency?” — Philippe Cousteau, co-author of The Endangereds: Melting Point

    • 31 min
    Behind the Curtain of The Princess Diaries & Happily Ever Afters (ft. Meg Cabot & Elise Bryant)

    Behind the Curtain of The Princess Diaries & Happily Ever Afters (ft. Meg Cabot & Elise Bryant)

    Meg Cabot’s bestselling series, The Princess Diaries spans almost two decades. The main character of the series, Mia, shares her unfiltered, innermost thoughts as private diary entries. Young adult readers of the books are privy to and captivated by Mia’s internal and external landscape as she morphs from an awkward teen and into a royal princess. Author Elise Bryant was one such reader. In her book, Happily Ever Afters, the main character, Tessa, tackles similar teenage issues and emotions to Mia, but as a black girl. In this episode, Meg and Elise share their thoughts about why love stories belong in young adult libraries, why epistolary novels capture a reader's attention, and why a true representation of diversity can enhance the connection kids have with literature.

    To learn more about Meg Cabot’s or Elise Bryant’s books, visit harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/meg-cabot or harpercollins.com/blogs/authors/elise-bryant

    Do you have a story about how a classic book changed your life? Tweet @readingpod or email us at readingpod@harpercollins.com. Learn more at rememberreading.com. And, leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

    [1:34] When switching her then adult novel to a young adult novel, Meg leaned on a friend’s daughter to help her choose a format for the book.

    [3:07] As luck would have it, Meg had her childhood diaries for inspiration.

    [5:32] Meg summarizes Mia, the main character of The Princess Diaries.

    [10:39] Both Elise and Meg describe their discomfort when coming to terms with their love of coming-of-age romance novels.

    [13:03] The Princess Diaries addresses real issues teenage girls face, such as love and sex.

    [17:01] True representations of diversity in books offers kids the opportunity to profoundly identify with characters.

    [21:12] Elise’s forthcoming book, One True Loves is a companion novel to Happily Ever Afters.

    Continue Your Journey:

    Meg Cabot
    Elise Bryant
    HarperCollins
    @ReadingPod on Twitter

    Shareables:

    “I had notes in my diary from, like, Algebra. This is why I got such bad grades. I wasn't clearly paying attention. So, I thought — oh, I could just transfer this right into the book and it will be really funny. So everything in those books is taken right from my actual notebooks from high school.” — Meg Cabot, Author, The Princess Diaries

    “I loved rom-coms from a very early age but it was almost impossible at that point in the late ’90s or early 2000s to find those books with girls that looked like me. And so I started, just like Tessa does in Happily Ever Afters, I started writing those stories myself. I would write the kind of voicey, funny, happy, joyful love stories that I love to read but then I would write them with a girl that was black like I am.” — Elise Bryant, Author, Happily Ever Afters

    “I think it's so important for kids to see themselves in all types of narratives, like being the hero, being the prince or princess, fighting bad guys, fighting monsters, solving mysteries and you know — falling in love. It helps kids to dream even bigger dreams when they see that reflected in stories. ” — Elise Bryant, Author, Happily Ever Afters

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
114 Ratings

114 Ratings

MarieLovesToRead ,

A podcast for ME!

Finally, a podcast for me! As a child growing up in the 70’s, contemporary books were the classics from the 50’s, 60’s and before, mostly the books from my mother’s childhood. But these were the books that taught me to read and LOVE reading! I was the child that looked forward to the summer reading program...when I checked out at the library my stack of books went all the way up to my chin! And I usually had them read before the due date. But what, as an adult, I love about this podcast is not only the remembrance but the contemporary books they inspire. As a preschool teacher inspiring new readers this is especially important. Thank you for giving me validation that reading is as important today as it was when I was a child.

lhesterman ,

Listen to this wonderful kidlit podcast!

Hands down! This is my new favorite #kidlit podcast. It features classics, new works, author interviews, inspiration AND helps me build a great display! I’m so happy to see these retro reads being celebrated! Thanks SO MUCH @readingpod! 📚❤️

😀pip ,

Oops

I accidentally rated this podcast and haven’t even listened to the podcast.

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