Children Chatting with Authors Podcast is Live!

Lauren Kratz, Librarian III, Octavia Lab,
Studio City Children’s Book Club members, with children's librarian Miss Lauren and author Adam Jay Epstein
Studio City Children’s Book Club members, with children's librarian Miss Lauren and author Adam Jay Epstein

One evening last year, I was assisting local children’s author Adam Jay Epstein at the reference desk. We started to discuss his newest series, Snared, and I thought my monthly children’s book club would enjoy reading and discussing the first book in the series. Adam offered to join us at a future book club meeting. Meanwhile, I had presented programs with the children and teens at the library surrounding podcasting, and the members of the children’s book club were enjoying recording book summary "commercials" of their favorite books. The members of the book club were excited to read Adam’s book Snared and meet him in person. I asked if they wanted to interview Adam and record a podcast episode, they agreed, and the rest is history!

Through recording the podcast episodes, the book club members have been able to increase their confidence. During their interview via Skype with author Danielle Davis, one of our book club members hid under a table because she was nervous! Now she develops excellent interview questions and can’t wait to meet the authors. The members have also increased their technology and communication skills, and form their own opinions. All of the authors we have interviewed have expressed the same sentiment. They are excited to receive an opportunity to talk and connect to their intended audience about their work. Recently, author Ryan Andrews of the graphic novel, This Was Our Pact, excitedly shared his drawing process, and the book club members could not stop asking questions.

Future episodes will include an interview via Skype from London with author Nicki Thornton who wrote the book The Last Chance Hotel, and author Jennifer Torres who wrote the book Stef Soto, Taco Queen, and will join us at our January meeting.

Below are books discussed during our podcast episodes, (which can now be found on iTunes), and other books and series that are highly recommended by the Studio City Podcast People Children’s Book Club.

Recommended Titles

Book cover for Snared: Escape to the Above
Snared: Escape to the Above
Epstein, Adam Jay

Snared: Escape to the Above is an exciting fantasy and adventure story in which a boy named Wily has to live underground in a dungeon and uses all his time to build traps to protect an ancient wizard's treasure, and that's just the first chapter! Adam's new Wily Snare series continues with Book #2 Snared: Lair of the Beast.

Book cover for Zinnia and the Bees
Zinnia and the Bees
Davis, Danielle

Zinnia and the Bees is a unique story about a girl named Zinnia trying to cope without her older brother and best friend Adam who has moved away all while a hive of bees has decided to find refuge in her hair and they refuse to leave. Not to mention, a new boy named Birch has decided he wants to be friends, and also refuses to leave?

Book cover for A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting
A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting
Ballarini, Joe

A Babysitters Guide to Monster Hunting is a hilarious, frightening and sometimes gross adventure in which a secret society of babysitters protect children from the Boogeyman and other nightmares brought to life. Joe's Babysitters Guide to Monsters series continues with book #2 Beasts & Geeks, and book #3 Mission to Monster Island.

Book cover for This Was Our Pact
This Was Our Pact
Andrews, Ryan

This Was Our Pact is a unique graphic novel that is both beautifully written and drawn. The pictures and words go perfectly together, and as you read, you wonder if you are in a dream surrounded by lanterns, water, fish, and stars. This Was Our Pact is a story about friendship, a new friendship with a bear that is very particular about his scarf, or realizing a true friend was beside you all along.

Book cover for The Last Chance Hotel
The Last Chance Hotel
Thornton, Nicki

Book cover for Stef Soto, Taco Queen
Stef Soto, Taco Queen
Torres, Jennifer

Seventh grader Estefania "Stef" Soto just wants to fit in. That includes getting some independence from her overprotective immigrant parents. Her papi picks her up from school every single day in Tia Perla, his rundown taco truck, and they park wherever he can get some business while Stef finishes homework. Stef is proud of her hardworking and caring parents, but she struggles with how easily her classmates get and do what they want. A heartwarming story about the importance of friends and family. 

Book cover for Miss Daisy is Crazy!
Miss Daisy is Crazy!
Gutman, Dan

Book cover for Spaced Out
Spaced Out
Gibbs, Stuart

Book cover for The Unwanteds
The Unwanteds
McMann, Lisa

Book cover for Keeper of the Lost Cities
Keeper of the Lost Cities
Messenger, Shannon

Book cover for Echo
Ryan, Pam Munoz

Book cover for Thornhill
Smy, Pam

Book cover for Pretties
Westerfeld, Scott

Book cover for The Cardboard Kingdom
The Cardboard Kingdom
Sell, Chad

This collection of vignettes introduces the reader to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary cardboard into fantastical homemade costumes as they explore conflicts with friends, family, and their own identity. This is a wonderful book for younger readers that shows how imagination can power your wildest dreams and help you through difficult times.