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.
May 23, 2013 Can you imagine your own superhero? That's the question author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka posed to kids on a recent afternoon at a school in Washington, D.C. Krosoczka also described how he overcame a difficult childhood to become the author of the beloved Lunch Lady series.
April 15, 2013 Before the movies, Broadway musicals and Halloween costumes, L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was a smash hit of a children's book published in 1900. NPR's Backseat Book Club goes back to where the Yellow Brick Road began with children's book historian Michael Patrick Hearn.
April 11, 2013 Jarrett Krosoczka's lunch lady doesn't just serve lunch. She serves justice. In her Batman-like lair below the cafeteria, she can monitor the whole school for suspicious characters like the Cyborg Substitute or the Video Game Villain. Join NPR's Backseat Book Club as we follow her adventures.
April 10, 2013 The Yellow Brick Road is a well-traveled one; generations of young readers have followed L. Frank Baum's path to the magical Land of Oz. This spring, as members of NPR's Backseat Book Club embarked on their own journeys to the Emerald City, we asked you to share your Oz memories and photos with us.
March 21, 2013 NPR's club for young readers is taking on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. And we want to see your photos.
February 28, 2013 Long before James Prosek became a world-famous artist and naturalist, he was a kid who used art as a way to work through the ups and downs of childhood. "When I went into the woods, it was the first time that I felt like something was mine," he says.
February 28, 2013 Fourteen-year-old Doug Swieteck has the weight of the world upon him — no friends, an alcoholic father and a brother who has just been injured in Vietnam. But the protagonist of this NPR Backseat Book Club book finds solace in an unlikely place — the pages of Audubon's Birds of America.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.