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Friday, February 01, 2013

We're Off To Read The Wizard, 'The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz'

Wonderful Wizard of Oz book cover detail

February 1, 2013 NPR's Backseat Book Club takes the yellow brick road back to its origins with L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

In 'Red Pyramid,' Kid Heroes Take On Ancient Egypt

The Red Pyramid

December 19, 2012 Our latest pick for NPR's Backseat Book Club is The Red Pyramid, a tale of two kids who must rescue the world from Egyptian gods. Author Rick Riordan, a former schoolteacher, combined his obsession with books with his passion for mythology to write this book about ordinary kids doing heroic things.

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Friday, November 02, 2012

How 'Black Beauty' Changed The Way We See Horses

Black Beauty book cover

November 2, 2012 In 1877, Anna Sewell wrote a novel about human kindness and cruelty — all from the point of view of a horse. In the decades since, Black Beauty has been embraced by generations of children, and has helped change the way we treat and think about horses.

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Thursday, November 01, 2012

December Kids' Book Club Pick: 'The Red Pyramid'

The Red Pyramid

November 1, 2012 Former schoolteacher Rick Riordan delivers a lesson in ancient Egyptian history cleverly disguised as a hair-raising kids adventure. Carter and Sadie Kane have no idea they are descended from age-old sorcerers until their archaeologist father accidentally unleashes ancient gods into modern society.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Backseat Book Club Returns With 'Black Beauty'

Black Beauty book cover

October 12, 2012 The Backseat Book Club returns from summer vacation with Anna Sewell's classic novel, Black Beauty. NPR's Michele Norris will talk with writer Jane Smiley who, in addition to winning a Pulitzer prize for adult literature, has written kids books starring horses.

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Gross-Out Gags AND Life Lessons In 'Wimpy Kid'

Illustration from Diary of a Wimpy Kid

June 29, 2012 Author Jeff Kinney is a rock star in the middle school literary scene. His Diary of a Wimpy Kid books follow the misadventures of sad-sack sixth-grader Greg Heffley, who just wants to fit in. Kids love the gross-out humor, but librarians and teachers say the books also help them laugh at the indignities of life.

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Meet Manjiro, Japan's Unlikely Teen Ambassador

Heart of a Samuri: Cover detail

May 31, 2012 Heart of a Samurai tells the true story of 14-year-old Manjiro, a boy who was shipwrecked, rescued by whalers and taken to America. It was the late 1800s, when Japan was cut off from the outside world — until Manjiro returned and influenced the shogun to open the country to diplomacy.

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June Kids' Book Club Pick: 'Diary Of A Wimpy Kid'

Illustration from Diary of a Wimpy Kid

May 31, 2012 Back in 2009, our interview with author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney sparked the idea for a special NPR book club for kids. So it's only fitting that NPR's Backseat Book Club will read Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Kinney's beloved cartoon staring Greg Heffley, a beleaguered middle-schooler.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Both Community And Garden Grow In 'Seedfolks'

cover image

April 24, 2012 An inner-city Cleveland community is drawn closer together as it works to transform a dirty vacant lot into a lush communal garden in Seedfolks. Author Paul Fleischman says the title came from an old word meaning "ancestors."

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May Backseat Book Club Pick: 'Heart Of A Samurai'

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April 24, 2012 Margi Preus' Heart of a Samurai tells the story of Manjiro, a fisherman's son who dreams of becoming a samurai. When his boat is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan, he embarks on a series of adventures that turn his dreams into reality.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Cast Your Vote: The 'Children's Choice Book Awards'

Astronaut and robot

March 26, 2012 When it comes to what we read, we like to make sure our Backseat Book Club readers are in the driver's seat! We invite you to cast your vote in the Children's Choice Book Awards — and help us pick our book for June!

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April Backseat Book Club Pick: 'Seedfolks'

Seedfolks cover image

March 26, 2012 Seedfolks follows the interconnected stories of 13 people whose lives are changed when they begin to care for a neglected community garden. Author Paul Fleischman said he found inspiration for Seedfolks close to home; at his childhood home in Los Angeles, his parents were dedicated urban farmers.

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'Mysterious Benedict': Solve A Puzzle, Save The World

The Mysterious Benedict Society cover detail

March 26, 2012 Puzzle-solving genius kids form a pint-size crime-fighting Mod Squad in this month's Backseat Book Club pick. Trenton Lee Stewart, author of The Mysterious Benedict Society, takes questions from young readers about the book's twists, turns and creative conundrums.

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March Book Pick: 'The Mysterious Benedict Society'

The Mysterious Benedict Society cover detail

February 29, 2012 In March, we turn to swashbuckling adventure and head-scratching conundrums in The Mysterious Benedict Society. Trenton Lee Stewart tells the story of four genius kids on a secret mission to save the world. Don't be surprised when young readers grab pen and paper to work out the puzzles and riddles by hand.

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Young Photographers Turn Their Lenses On Love

This is my little brother Tejas. He was almost 3 years old when I took this picture.

February 29, 2012 In February, we asked members of NPR's Backseat Book Club to send in photographs of the people and places they love. This gallery is just a small sampling of the hundreds of beautiful submissions we received.

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About NPR's Backseat Book Club: If you're a kid who likes to read, we want to hear from you! Every month, we'll pick a Book Club selection. We hope you'll read it and send in your questions. At month's end, we'll put some of your questions to the book's author during our afternoon radio program, All Things Considered.
Follow us on Twitter @NPRBackseat.

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