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.
Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell is nominated for Best Publication for Kids. 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. There’s Jack, who loses himself in the role of the Sorceress. There’s Seth whose parents are divorcing and he lives in fear of his father’s visits. Sophie wants to be the Banshee Monster to the chagrin of her Grandmother. This is a wonderful book for younger readers that shows how imagination can power your wildest dreams and help you through difficult times.