Fuse #8

Friday, April 27, 2007

Al Roker Declares War on Summer Reading

People tend to think that it is a very big deal when The Today Show speaks with the year's Newbery and Caldecott winners. For one brief and shining moment, children's books are front and center in the news (unless one is able to locate the word "scrotum" in a the text, of course). So it was with interest that I saw the title NBC's 'Today' Launches 'Al's Book Club For Kids'.
Each month during the summer, Al and a group of young book club members, ages 9-11, will meet in Rockefeller Plaza for their monthly book club meeting to talk about the selected book and ask questions of the author. "Al's Book Club For Kids" plans to meet four times, and kids everywhere are encouraged to visit "Today" on the Plaza when the club convenes and bring a copy of Al's monthly pick to be signed by the author. Stay tuned for date announcements.

"Al's Book Club For Kids" will have extensive online components at Todayshow.com and scholastic.com/summerreading. Parents and kids alike from across the country can be part of the club by e-mailing questions for the authors, who will answer a select few live on "Today." Todayshow.com will continue the discussions with the author online after each book club segment airs. In addition, at Scholastic.com/summerreading (launching May 15) kids can access fun book-themed activities, join a book community and create their own reading log. Parents, teachers and librarians can also find expert advice on reading and age-appropriate summer book lists for kids in English and Spanish, as well as downloadable materials that will help engage kids in reading.
Well played, Scholastic. You can bet that there's a publishing house or two out there kicking themselves over this loss. No word yet on the four books that'll be discussed. We'll have to wait until May 15th, it seems. As such, we'll reserve judgment for a little while.

My book predictions: Hugo Cabret, Harry Potter, Chasing Vermeer, and Gregor the Overlander. Even money, people. Lay down your bets.

I also wonder vaguely if The Today Show made overtures to New York Public Library at any point. It'd be nice to tie all this into library use as well.

Thanks to Galleycat for the link.

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At 1:28 AM , Blogger ElsKushner said...

I was gonna guess Holes, but I see it's not a Scholastic title.

In that case, Gregor.

At 10:41 AM , Blogger Kelly said...

You're right with your first guess, Fuse. I have the dreaded "Today" show on the background right now and Al and Scholastic rep are talking Cabret at this very moment.

At 11:04 AM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Score!!! That's one.

At 11:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are 1/1. Can't wait to track your success rate.

At 1:45 PM , Blogger gail said...

Hugo Cabret, all the way!


At 3:38 PM , Blogger Lindsey said...

Why would you say Gregor? That is one of my favorite books, period. But why do you think they would pick this one? Just curious.

At 4:21 PM , Blogger ElsKushner said...

Gregor's not too long but is still substantial, it's in paperback, it has a compelling plot and strong human and buggy characters, it's SF but still attached enough to the real world that it wouldn't alienate kids who like realistic fiction, it's got a male protagonist but an important female character in the little sister, and it's just got that well-rounded thump to it.

Plus it's first in a series so kids who like it would be able to move right onto the rest of the books.

Hugo Cabret is a more idiosyncratic choice, and is newer and more expensive, so I'm kind of surprised. But the kids at my library are crazy about the copy we just got in, so based on them I bet it'll be popular.

At 7:39 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

The homeschooler bookgroup I run did both Gregor and Hugo. Gregor was probably the better choice of the two. Suzanne Collins has a magnificent website showing different kinds of cave formations. It made for an excellent discussion. We'll see, though. It's possible that Scholastic will only wish to do titles from 2007, though. Hence my Potter suggestion.


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