October 28, 2011
Contact:
Cara Philbin, NPR


   

"ALL THINGS CONSIDERED" INVITES KIDS TO NPR's BACK-SEAT BOOK CLUB

"THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH" ANNOUNCED AS NOVEMBER SELECTION; NEIL GAIMAN TALKS "THE GRAVEYARD BOOK" TODAY

They are the prisoners of public radio: those curious, back-seat-dwelling kids whose parents' love of NPR has turned them into young listeners. Now, there's a place just for them.

NPR's Back-Seat Book Club, geared for kids ages 9-14, invites young listeners and their families, teachers and friends to join NPR in reading and discussing a book each month. The series launched this month with Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. Today, NPR announced that November's pick is the classic The Phantom Tollbooth, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Norton Juster's timeless tale chronicling a listless child's transformative journey from boredom.

Here's how it works: All Things Considered will select a new book each month and then turn it over to kids (and the kid in everyone) for thoughts, comments and ideas about the book, and questions for the author. At the end of the month, the author will join NPR's Michele Norris to answer some of the Book Club's calls, e-mails through backseatbookclub@npr.org, submissions via npr.org, and, yes, even snail mail. The series wholly encourages video messages and other expressive means of reaching out to the author. Get creative!

"This is a great way for All Things Considered to celebrate kids' books and to provide a special treat for all those youngsters who are fed a steady diet of NPR news," says Norris, who conceived of the Book Club with a team from NPR.

Today, wildly successful master of macabre Gaiman joins Norris on All Things Considered to discuss his book with his back-seat enthusiasts. The Graveyard Book is the story of a little boy, Nobody Owens, who escapes a terrible fate and winds up spending his childhood living among ghosts and other ghoulish creatures in a hillside cemetery.

NPR's Back-Seat Book Club is a monthly series airing on All Things Considered, and is one of Michele Norris' special projects while on temporary leave as host of the show. The afternoon newsmagazine is hosted by Melissa Block and Robert Siegel and reaches more than 12 million listeners weekly. For local stations and broadcast times, visit www.npr.org/stations To connect with more great reads, visit the revamped NPR Books.