154 episodes

Scholastic's podcast about the joy and power of reading, the books we publish for children and young adults, and the authors, editors, and stories behind them. We’ll explore topics important to parents, educators, and the reader in all of us.

Scholastic Reads Scholastic Inc.

    • Education
    • 4.6 • 49 Ratings

Scholastic's podcast about the joy and power of reading, the books we publish for children and young adults, and the authors, editors, and stories behind them. We’ll explore topics important to parents, educators, and the reader in all of us.

    From Intention to Impact: How to Create More Inclusive Environments

    From Intention to Impact: How to Create More Inclusive Environments

    We hear a lot about DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) policies these days. But the work is often misunderstood, and even disparaged. In this episode, Lindsey Cotter, Chief Inclusion Officer at Scholastic, and Malia C. Lazu, Founder and CEO of the consulting firm Lazu Group, discuss ways to create more inclusive environments. Doing so is not just a moral imperative, they argue. Statistically, it leads to better outcomes for everyone.
    Lindsey has been at Scholastic for more than 20 years. Before taking on her current role, she served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Employee Services. Malia is a Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the author of From Intention to Impact: A Practical Guide to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2024).
    Early in her career, Malia worked with singer Harry Belafonte and other civil rights leaders to help bring more opportunities to young people in marginalized communities. “Instead of just rushing in with solutions and answers,” Malia writes, “we listened and learned before we took action.” Her book is essential reading for anyone serious about implementing DEI policies.


    → Resources


    7 reasons why your organization isn’t making DEI progress: Malia C. Lazu discusses common pitfalls in DEI implementation.
    From Intention to Impact: Check out Malia’s book on diversity, equity, and inclusion.


    → Highlights
    Lindsey Cotter, Chief Inclusion Officer, Scholastic Inc.
    “How do we use DEI as a way to strengthen our ability to communicate and interact with one another, to have an awareness of the differences in culture, and be sure that the things that we’re doing from a business perspective as well as an interpersonal perspective are respectful of one another? That’s hard. It’s a journey. It’s not a destination.”
    “My mother was a kindergarten teacher, and she colored in the characters in picture books. She did the same thing with cards because there was no representation.”
    “This [work] is going to make a difference for girls coming up now, for women who are out there.”
    Malia C. Lazu, author, From Intention to Impact: A Practical Guide to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
    “After [the murder of] George Floyd, so many people were asking us, ‘What can we do?’ What can we do?’ As a woman of color, as a woman of color firm, it was a frustrating question because we had been talking about what you could do for hundreds of years, long before I was born.”
    “Being an ally is about deconstructing power and trying to keep doors and windows open [for others].”
    “I’ve had clients look at me and say, ‘But we’re good people.’ I wish that were enough. If you set an intention to do something that you haven’t done before, you need to know that you probably don’t have the tools, skills, or understanding to do it, and you need to respect those blind spots in yourself.”


    → Special Thanks
    Producer: Maxine Osa
    Sound engineer: Daniel Jordan
    Music composer: Lucas Elliot Eberl


    → Coming Soon


    Kelly Yang Has the Scoop on Top Story

    • 34 min
    We Dream a World: Celebrating Black History Month With Yolanda Renee King

    We Dream a World: Celebrating Black History Month With Yolanda Renee King

    In honor of Black History Month, Yolanda Renee King talks with host Suzanne McCabe about her new picture book, We Dream A World: Carrying the Light From My Grandparents Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. Yolanda is joined in the studio by her editor, Andrea Davis Pinkney, who is vice president and executive editor of Scholastic Trade Publishing.


    Yolanda is only 15 years old. Already, she is following in her grandparents’ footsteps as an activist and author. “Leaders are those who ask the questions, who challenge things,” she says.


    We Dream a World, which is illustrated by Nicole Tadgell, evokes the legacy of Yolanda’s grandparents and exhorts members of her generation to follow their own dreams for “liberty, justice, and food for all.”


    → Resources
    We Dream a World: Learn more about 15-year-old activist and author Yolanda Renee King and her “love letter” to her grandparents.
    Share Black Stories: These works of fiction and nonfiction showcase the many facets of Black life in America.
    Realize the Dream: Get involved in the movement to rally communities to perform 100 million hours of service by the 100th anniversary of Dr. King’s birth.
    Meet Andrea Davis Pinkney: The award-winning author and editor has written and edited dozens of books celebrating the Black experience, including Martin Rising: Requiem for a King.


    → Highlights
    Yolanda Renee King, author, We Dream a World: Carrying the Light From My Grandparents Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King


    “Learning about [my grandparents’] perseverance and all that they had to endure, that’s what my parents taught me.”


    “A lot of people forget that throughout my grandfather’s life, he was one of the most disliked men on Earth and one of the most critiqued.”


    “[My grandmother] was perceived . . . as Dr. King’s widow, as the wife who didn’t do anything. Without her efforts, there would be no King legacy, and his message and the dream would have been gone with him.”


    Andrea Davis Pinkney, vice president and executive editor, Scholastic Trade Publishing
    “No matter your age, your race, where you live, what you believe, the family that you come from, you can make a difference, big or small.”
    “[Tadgell’s art] presents this canvas of what dreaming a world can be. The colors are vibrant. They’re imaginative. They’re filled with hope.”


    → Special Thanks
    Producer: Maxine Osa
    Sound engineer: Daniel Jordan
    Music composer: Lucas Elliot Eberl


    → Coming Soon


    Aaron Blabey: Cat on the Run


    Kelly Yang Has the Scoop on Top Story

    • 18 min
    Authors Neal Shusterman and Sharon Cameron Share Stories of Hope From the Holocaust

    Authors Neal Shusterman and Sharon Cameron Share Stories of Hope From the Holocaust

    In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we spotlight two Scholastic authors who depict everyday acts of heroism in their latest novels about the Holocaust. First, Neal Shusterman talks about Courage to Dream: Tales of Hope in the Holocaust, his new graphic novel for young readers. The book is beautifully illustrated by Andrés Vera Martínez.


    Then, Sharon Cameron discusses Artifice, her latest work of historical fiction for middle graders.


    “I hope [young readers] take away a sense of hope in the face of despair,” Neal says. “Even in these dark times, there were stories of people who did remarkable things, who put themselves at risk to help save others.”


    Neal is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 30 award-winning books for children, teens, and adults, including the Skinjacker trilogy, the Unwind dystology, and Challenger Deep, which won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Neal was recently honored by the ALA with the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults.


    Sharon is the author of the international bestseller and Reese’s Book Club pick, The Light in Hidden Places, and the acclaimed thriller, Bluebird. Her debut novel, The Dark Unwinding, was awarded the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ Sue Alexander Award for Most Promising New Work and the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, among other honors.
    → Resources
    Storyman: Check out Neal Shusterman’s author bio.
    The “Accidental” Author: Learn more about Sharon Cameron and her titles for young readers.
    24 Books for Teaching the Holocaust: These powerful works of fiction and nonfiction are for students in Grades 1 – 12.
    When We Flew Away: In an upcoming novel for young readers, author Alice Hoffman reimagines the life of Anne Frank before she began keeping a diary.
    The Tower of Life: Suzanne McCabe talks with author Chana Stiefel about The Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs. The picture book, which is illustrated by Susan Gal, won the 2023 Sydney Taylor Book Award and the Margaret Wise Brown Prize for Children’s Literature, among other honors.
    International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Learn more about the annual commemoration, which takes place on January 27, and read survivors’ accounts collected by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


    → Highlights
    Neal Shusterman, author, Courage to Dream: Tales of Hope in the Holocaust
    “There are a lot of kids who might not pick up a book about the Holocaust. They might not want to delve into such a difficult subject. But here was a way of bringing in readers who might not normally read this kind of story and then get them interested in it and wanting to know what really happened.”
    “I hope [young readers] take away a sense of hope in the face of despair. Even in these dark times, there were stories of people who did remarkable things, who put themselves at risk to help save others.”
    “This is a book about history. I didn’t want to talk about what was going on today. But since the October 7 attacks, there has been a 400% rise in antisemitic acts in the United States.”
    Sharon Cameron, author, Artifice
    “Writing is a second career for me. I was a classical pianist for a very long time, about 20 years, and I thought that’s what I would do forever. But one fateful day, with a 45-minute session at my computer, I fell head over heels in love with creating story and the written word.”
    “Artifice tells the story of Isa DeSmit, a girl who has grown up in the glittering bohemian world of her parents’ art gallery in Amsterdam. But this is a world that has been utterly destroyed by the Nazi occupation. The art has been confiscated because it is considered degenerate, and the artists are gone. Friends and family are gone because they’re Jewish or communist or gay. So Isa decides to create her own revenge. She decides to learn the art of a master

    • 34 min
    Celebrating Hispanic Latine Heritage Month With Dr. Maria Armstrong

    Celebrating Hispanic Latine Heritage Month With Dr. Maria Armstrong

    In this episode, we celebrate Hispanic Latine Heritage Month with Dr. Maria Armstrong. A longtime educator, Dr. Armstrong is executive director of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents {ALAS]. She talks with host Suzanne McCabe about her experiences in education and how we can better serve Latino children and families.


    Dr. Armstrong grew up in the Southwest, in an extended family of Latino, Mescalaro Apache, and Yaqui heritage. “My family didn’t cross the border,” she says. “The border crossed us.” A high school dropout, she eventually earned a PhD in organizational leadership. In 2021, she was named one of the Top 20 Female Leaders in the Education Industry.


    Having served as a teacher, superintendent, school counselor, and tech expert, among several other roles, Dr. Armstrong is dedicated to helping children thrive, especially children who have been historically marginalized. She is an adviser to Scholastic’s Rising Voices book series elevating Latino stories and a contributor to Equity in the Classroom (Scholastic Teaching Solutions, 2022).


    “What I’m most proud of are my own children and grandchildren,” Dr. Armstrong says. “My children saved my life, and public education was my family’s saving grace.”


    → Resources
    Hispanic and Latine Heritage Book Picks: Check out these featured titles for young readers from Scholastic.
    Equity in the Classroom: 20 educational leaders, including Dr. Armstrong, share their views on what equity in education looks like and how we can achieve it.
    Rising Voices Library: Learn more about our K - 5 book collections, which feature stories of the Latin diaspora, as well as print and digital teaching materials.
    My Two Border Towns, by David Bowles and Erika Meza. A picture book debut by an award-winning author depicts a boy's life on the United States-Mexico border. (Kokilla, 2021)


    → Highlights
    Dr. Maria Armstrong, executive director, the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents [ALAS]
    “Being a voice is really one of the greatest gifts that I get to experience [on behalf of our administrators and superintendents], because I spend a lot of time listening to what they’re going through, but [more important] the things that they’re so proud of, that they are working on and doing for students across this nation.”
    “Education in our families, the Latino families, is far bigger than the four walls we send our kids to . . . from the morning to the afternoon.”
    “There was no white picket fence for sure. But what we had was family, and what we had was the security of knowing that when anybody in that neighborhood needed anything, we were there. Not just as an individual, but as a community.”


    “Food is a central part [of celebrations], because it’s something that you compartir, you share. So food is a place to be able to make something with love and be able to show that this is my specialty, and I want to share it with you. So everybody brings something that they are proud of. It makes it all tastier, of course, because you’re eating the best from everyone.”


    “Food is very central, but I also think that it’s just the gathering and the sharing of the stories…. The stories are always so, so rich.”


    → Special Thanks
    Producer: Maxine Osa
    Sound engineer: Daniel Jordan
    Music composer: Lucas Elliot Eberl


    → Coming Soon
    Goosebumps Heads Back to Television


    Top Story: A Conversation With Kelly Yang and Kid Reporter Zoya Siddiqui


    Aaron Blabey Introduces Cat on the Run

    • 26 min
    Welcome to Camp Sunshine: Jarrett J. Krosoczka Talks About His Award-Winning Graphic Memoir

    Welcome to Camp Sunshine: Jarrett J. Krosoczka Talks About His Award-Winning Graphic Memoir

    If you’ve ever been to summer camp, or wish you had gotten the chance to go, you’ll love hearing author and illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka talk with host Suzanne McCabe about his latest graphic memoir. It’s called Sunshine: How One Camp Taught Me About Life, Death, and Hope.


    Camp Sunshine is not just any camp. It’s a place in Maine where seriously ill kids and their families get the opportunity to just be themselves and enjoy campfire stories, wilderness activities, and the company of others who also are facing extraordinary challenges.


    During his senior year of high school in Worcester, Massachusetts, Jarrett signed up to be a counselor at Camp Sunshine. While he looked forward to the experience, he didn’t quite know what to expect. He didn’t know that it would change his life forever.


    Sunshine, which is published by Scholastic Graphix, is the recipient of the 2023 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Nonfiction, among other honors. Jarrett is also the author of the award-winning graphic memoir, Hey Kiddo!, and the wildly-popular Lunch Lady graphic novel series. To find out when he will be visiting your area, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @StudioJKK.


    → Resources

    Studio JJK: Learn more about Jarrett’s books and Ted Talks, and get writing and illustrating tutorials from a master.
    Express Yourself: Jarrett is featured in this Washington Post article about how everyone can benefit from creating art.
    Hey, Kiddo: A Conversation About Family, Addiction and Art: Hear Jarrett talk with Scholastic Reads podcast host Suzanne McCabe about the challenges he overcame as a child to become an award-winning author and illustrator.


    → Highlights

    Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author, Sunshine
    Volunteering at Camp Sunshine “was something as a part of the experience of high school as the prom.”


    “I kept photo albums, and in those photo albums, I placed [my] sketches. In fact, we basically recreated what my photo albums look like with those chapter headers.”


    “I hope that young readers can understand that they have the power to make a big difference in someone’s life.”


    “The story is told through the perspective of me . . . a young kid who had his health and was unsure he could make a difference in the life of anyone.”


    → Special Thanks

    Producer: Maxine Osa
    Sound engineer: Daniel Jordan
    Music composer: Lucas Elliot Eberl


    → Coming Soon

    Meet Our Scholastic Kid Reporters
    Goosebumps Heads Back to Television

    • 19 min
    Celebrating Pride Month With Author Simon James Green

    Celebrating Pride Month With Author Simon James Green

    In this episode, we’re celebrating Pride Month with British author and screenwriter Simon James Green. Simon joins host Suzanne McCabe to talk about Gay Club!, his hilarious new novel for young adults. The story revolves around Barney Brown, a self-described chess geek who wants to lead his high school’s LGBTQIA+ Society to better days. But Barney faces unexpected competition in the group’s presidential election from rival Bronte, who manages to have the voting opened to the entire student body at Greenacre Academy. Little by little, the stakes are raised, showing the teens at their worst—and, ultimately, their best.


    Simon is also the author of Heartbreak Boys, Alex in Wonderland, Noah Could Never, and You’re the One That I Want, among many other acclaimed titles.


    → Resources
    Read With Pride: These LGBTQIA+ books for kids are relatable and eye-opening for all readers.
    Learn More About Simon James Green: Find out why Simon is considered one of the UK’s leading writers of LGBTQIA+ fiction for teens.
    Order Gay Club! on Amazon: Barney is a shoo-in for president of his school's LGBTQIA+ Society until he’s not. Simon James Green’s new YA novel offers “shade, scandals, and sleazy shenanigans.”


    → Highlights
    Simon James Green, author, Gay Club!
    “You can't help but look at the state of politics, both in the UK and the U.S., and all around the world, actually, and just see how increasingly ridiculous things seem to be getting…. I wanted to capture a little bit of that sort of craziness.”


    “When I go into the schools and visit students, I am filled with a sense of hope because my overwhelming impression is that they are very open, very accepting. They really don't understand this pushback from various adults in their communities. They don't get it. They think it's ridiculous.”


    “It's very hard to work out who you are as a young person if you never see yourself represented in a book. And certainly for me, in the ‘90s . . . I never got to see an LGBT character in a book or an LGBT storyline. And so I grew up having no real idea about that. It would've had such an amazing effect on me if I'd seen a kid going through what I was going through, feeling similar things. It gives you an enormous amount of reassurance and comfort. It lets you know you're not the only one. And beyond that, of course, even if you're not LGBT yourself, what it does is it opens your eyes to the whole world, the wider world, the stuff that your friends, your peers, are going through.”


    “What you need to do is stand together, united, to fight for your rights and for freedom, and for the freedom to read whatever book you want to read in the school library.”


    “I wrote my first book when I was 12 years old on my grandmother’s typewriter in her little study at home.”


    → Special Thanks
    Producer: Maxine Osa
    Sound engineer: Daniel Jordan
    Music composer: Lucas Elliot Eberl


    → Coming Soon


    The Scholastic Innovation Lab


    Goosebumps Heads Back to Television

    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
49 Ratings

49 Ratings

ccaajj ,

Scholastic Reads

The host and her guests have great conversations about books and reading.

Ordinary FB user ,

Scholastic Reads

Great conversations about books for kids and getting kids to read! Love the mix of personalities.

brittfaye ,

LOVE this podcast

From the secrets of Harry Potter to the importance of literacy, this podcast covers the best of the book world. I love it and would definitely recommend to anyone, not just educators. Bonus: Suzanne McCabe's voice is mesmerizing!

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