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Book Club for Kids is a podcast where middle school readers discuss the books they love with host Kitty Felde. The author answers questions. A celebrity reads from the book.

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Hoodoo by Ron L. Smith

Kitty Felde

Lina Nguyen, Kyra Johnson, and Ava Muniz are 6th graders at Sonora Elementary School in Costa Mesa

Lina Nguyen, Kyra Johnson, and Ava Muniz are 6th graders at Sonora Elementary School in Costa Mesa

Writer Ronald L. Smith takes us on a trip down south, to the backwoods of Alabama, where a young boy was born with a heart-shaped birthmark, the mark of magic, or Hoodoo, according to his grandmama. Hoodoo must learn to tap his inner powers of magic to battle evil. Veteran public radio journalist Brian Watt is celebrity reader. Ron Smith just won the Corretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award from the American Library Association for "Hoodoo."

Award-winning writer  Ronald L. Smith

Award-winning writer Ronald L. Smith

Celebrity reader  Brian Watt  is a veteran public radio journalist

Celebrity reader Brian Watt is a veteran public radio journalist


Favorite Books from Lina, Kyra, and Ava:

Radiance - Alyson Noel

Hoot - Carl Hiaasen

A Night Divided - Jennifer A. Nielsen

Recommended by Ronald L. Smith:

The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien

Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet - Eleanor Cameron


Episode 39 - The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Kitty Felde

Ava, Drew, Ella, Ollie, Charlie, and Sonia 

Ava, Drew, Ella, Ollie, Charlie, and Sonia 

The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin

Ellen Raskin's "The Westing Game" was first published in 1978. It won the Newbery award and has been a kid favorite ever since. Students at Abraham Pierson School in Clinton, Connecticut discuss the book and explain why mysteries are so popular with readers of all ages. Actor Doug Cox is celebrity reader. And children's book expert Anita Silvey ("100 Best Books for Children") shares some stories about the late Ms. Raskin. Kitty Felde is host.

GET YOUR COPY OF THE WESTING GAME HERE!

Celebrity reader, actor  Doug Cox .

Celebrity reader, actor Doug Cox.

Writer Ellen Raskin  If you want to hear an interview with the late author, click  here .  If you want to see early drafts of "The Westing Game," click  here .

Writer Ellen Raskin

If you want to hear an interview with the late author, click here.

If you want to see early drafts of "The Westing Game," click here.

FAVORITE BOOKS FROM THE KIDS AT ABRAHAM PIERSON:

The Unwanteds - Lisa McMann

Space Case - Stuart Gibbs

The Lost Celt - A. E. Conran

The Heroes of Olympus - Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods - Rick Riordan

Doug Cox' favorite books:

The Wizard of Oz series - L. Frank Baum

 

 

The readers from Abraham Pierson School dressed up like their favorite characters. Can you guess which one they chose?

Episode 32 - Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

Kitty Felde

Alex, Sarah, Bell, and Stella at the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Library in Broomfield, Colorado

Alex, Sarah, Bell, and Stella at the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Library in Broomfield, Colorado

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

How do we measure up to our parents' expectations? Does everybody deserve a day off? What's the toughest part of being a homeschooled kid? Our group of readers from the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Library in Broomfield, Colorado weigh in on these questions and more as they discuss Lisa Graff's novel "Absolutely Almost." Lisa talks about where the characters came from and how she wrote her first book for her newborn baby brother. NYC actor Thaddeus Fitzpatrick is celebrity reader. Kitty Felde is host.

How do we measure up to our parents' expectations? Does everybody deserve a day off? What's the toughest part of being a homeschooled kid? Our group of readers from the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Library in Broomfield, Colorado weigh in on these questions and more as they discuss Lisa Graff's novel "Absolutely Almost." Lisa talks about where the characters came from and how she wrote her first book for her newborn baby brother. NYC actor Thaddeus Fitzpatrick is celebrity reader. Kitty Felde is host.

Writer  Lisa Graff  and her favorite book

Writer Lisa Graff and her favorite book

Our celebrity reader, New York actor  Thaddeus Fitzpatrick.

Our celebrity reader, New York actor Thaddeus Fitzpatrick.

Books recommended by Bell, Sarah, Alex, and Stella:

Eragon - Christopher Paolini

Warriors - Erin Hunter

Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel - Megan Morrison

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J. K. Rowling

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Catherynne M. Valente

Recommended by Lisa Graff:

Holes - Louis Sachar

Episode 22 - One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Kitty Felde

Crystal, Amaya, Kaiya, Jayla, and Japan from Jefferson Academy in Washington, DC

Crystal, Amaya, Kaiya, Jayla, and Japan from Jefferson Academy in Washington, DC

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

A trio of sisters fly from Brooklyn to Oakland in the late 1960's to get to know their estranged mother. She sends them to a rather unusual summer camp run by the Black Panthers. Coretta Scott King Award winner Rita Williams-Garcia talks about knowing she was a writer long before she could read. Congresswoman Barbara Lee of Oakland is celebrity reader. She sent her own two kids to that breakfast with the Black Panthers. Students from Jefferson Academy in Washington, DC are our readers. Kitty Felde is host.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee of Sacramento, California

Congresswoman Barbara Lee of Sacramento, California

Here's a link to a study guide to help talk to kids about the

Black Panthers.


Books recommended by the girls of Jefferson Academy:

The Red Sun - Alane Adams

Beowolf

The Ghost Huntress - Marley Gibson

A Bad Case of Stripes - David Shannon

Recommended by Congresswoman Barbara Lee:

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

Episode 17 - Hoodoo

Kitty Felde

Lina Nguyen, Kyra Johnson, and Ava Muniz are 6th graders at Sonora Elementary School in Costa Mesa

Lina Nguyen, Kyra Johnson, and Ava Muniz are 6th graders at Sonora Elementary School in Costa Mesa

Writer Ronald L. Smith takes us on a trip down south, to the backwoods of Alabama, where a young boy was born with a heart-shaped birthmark, the mark of magic, or Hoodoo, according to his grandmama. Hoodoo must learn to tap his inner powers of magic to battle evil. Veteran public radio journalist Brian Watt is celebrity reader. Ron Smith just won the Corretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award from the American Library Association for "Hoodoo."

Award-winning writer Ronald L. Smith

Award-winning writer Ronald L. Smith

Celebrity reader Brian Watt is a veteran public radio journalist

Celebrity reader Brian Watt is a veteran public radio journalist


Recommended by Ronald L. Smith:

The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien

Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet - Eleanor Cameron

Recommended by Lina, Kyra, and Ava:

Radiance - Alyson Noel

Hoot - Carl Hiaasen

A Night Divided - Jennifer A. Nielsen


Episode 7 - Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dias Lorenzi at Hooray for Books!

Kitty Felde

Paul and Ethan at  Hooray for Books!  bookstore in Alexandria, Virginia

Paul and Ethan at Hooray for Books! bookstore in Alexandria, Virginia

Kite fighting on the National Mall - it's all part of the Cherry Blossom Festival. It's also at the center of Natalie Dias Lorenzi's novel "Flying the Dragon." Kids at Hooray for Books! bookstore in Alexandria discuss the book with host Kitty Felde. Congressman Mark Takano - a former English teacher - is celebrity reader.

California Congressman  Mark Takano  says his favorite books is "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.

California Congressman Mark Takano says his favorite books is "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.


Flying the Dragon - Natalie Diaz Lorenzi

Books suggested by Natalie Diaz Lorenzi:

The Kite Runner -  Khaled Hosseini

Book suggested by Congressman Takano:

To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee

Books suggested by Paul and Ethan:

Storm -  D.J. MacHale 
Egg and Spoon – Gregory Maguire


Special offer for parents and teachers!

Before he was elected to Congress, Mark Takano was an English teacher. He has a tip for getting reluctant readers to finish a book.  Sign up for the free Book Club for Kids newsletter today!