November 14, 2013 For many young readers, Dahl is a beloved author. But to Lucy Dahl, he's also Dad. "Matilda was one of the most difficult books for him to write," she says. "I think that there was a deep genuine fear within his heart that books were going to go away and he wanted to write about it."
October 30, 2013 In November, NPR's Backseat Book Club is reading Matilda by Roald Dahl. It's the story of an exceptionally gifted girl who outsmarts her cruel parents and the brutish school headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, with the help of her magical abilities and her kind teacher Miss Honey.
October 10, 2013 A young baseball player who gets hit by a fastball must find the courage to step back up to the plate. Michael Northrop, the author of Plunked, is no stranger to overcoming obstacles — he's dyslexic, and he says that learning to read was a real struggle when he was a kid: "I can't read fast. I can read carefully, though."
September 12, 2013 A chance encounter with a little girl in an ice cream store inspired R.J. Palacio to write a novel about a boy born with distorted facial features. She says it got her thinking about what it's like to "have to face a world every day that doesn't know how to face you back."
August 14, 2013 R.J. Palacio explores the life of 10-year-old Auggie Pullman, a tough, sweet kid who was born with a serious facial deformity. He wants a normal life, but adults and children alike turn their eyes away at the sight of him. Join NPR's Backseat Book Club as we read a novel about cruelty and kindness.
August 8, 2013 Rachel Renee Russell's very popular series stars a not-so-popular protagonist. The Dork Diaries are written by Nikki Maxwell, a misfit at a new school. Russell was inspired to write the books after seeing her own daughters struggle with the "dork" label during their teenage years.
August 5, 2013 Earlier this summer, NPR's Backseat Book Club — our book club for young readers — asked you to weigh in on your favorite books for kids age 9-14. We heard from more than 2,000 of you, and our expert panel has whittled your hundreds and hundreds of nominations down to a list of 100 great reads.
July 23, 2013 Teenager Nikki Maxwell chronicles her "not-so-fabulous life" as the new girl at a fancy school in Rachel Renee Russell's Dork Diaries series. Read along with NPR's book club for young readers, and send along your questions for the author.
July 11, 2013 It's the summer of 1964, and everything's changing for 11-year-old Glory. She was looking forward to celebrating her 12th birthday at the local pool, but the town has shut it down to avoid integration. Members of NPR's Backseat Book Club share their questions with author Augusta Scattergood.
June 21, 2013 It's the summer of 1964 in Hanging Moss, Miss., and 11-year-old Gloriana Hemphill is about to learn a lot about bigotry, loyalty and bravery. Join NPR's Backseat Book Club as we read Glory Be, by Augusta Scattergood.
June 13, 2013 Looking for a great read for a kid age 9-14? Here are all the titles our kids' book club has read since we launched in 2011. We revisit classics like Black Beauty and The Phantom Tollbooth and explore new stories like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Graveyard Book.
May 23, 2013 In June, NPR's Backseat Book Club will read Katherine Applegate's tale of Ivan, a gorilla who lives in a shopping mall. Ivan enjoys watching TV and painting, but a newcomer to the mall — a baby elephant — forces Ivan to face his own past.