Contact Us

Wanna be on the show? Got a book suggestion? 


Washington, DC
USA

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.

Add a subheading.png

Filtering by Tag: fairy tales

Episode 76 - The Meringue Witches by Isora Morales Suarez

Kitty Felde

Nadia, Aubrey, Nichelle, Makayla, and Sarah from the Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore

Nadia, Aubrey, Nichelle, Makayla, and Sarah from the Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore

This episode began with a chance meeting in a tiny art gallery in the city of Cienfuegos, Cuba. Writer Isora Morales Suarez was minding the store to pay the bills, but she told us that one of her novels for kids had just been published in English by a nonprofit called Cubano Books. Some of our favorite readers from the Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore discuss Isora’s unusual fairy tale “The Meringue Witches” with host Kitty Felde. Cuban ex-pat Adolfo Nodal is celebrity reader.

Writer Isora Morales Suarez autographs her novel

Writer Isora Morales Suarez autographs her novel

Favorite Books from the Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore:

Where the Red Fern Grows - Wilson Rawls

Marley and Me: Life and love with the World’s Worst Dog - John Grogan

Nightmares - Jason Segel

El Deafo - Cece Bell

One of Us is Lying - Karen McManus

audio Block
Double-click here to upload or link to a .mp3. Learn more



Translation of this interview with Isora Morales Suarez:

And why this book?

Well then, why did I write this book? This book is an important part of my life. Because I live in a place called Ciudad Nuclear (Nuclear City). It’s a special place in Cuba, because it’s a place where they were going to build the first nuclear plant, but, the maps changed color in Europe, socialism fell, and it wasn’t built. The project was paralyzed, and many people were suddenly without jobs, suddenly without—these were people who had studied at university to do these jobs—their dreams were broken. And then, since their dreams were broken, the city languished.

So, I use this city as the setting for my book. In my book, Ciudad Nuclear is called Ciudad Nublada (Cloudy City). And then I made an entire fantasy story, a story of witches, dragons, magicians, princesses—so that people would cheer up! Because people get very sad because they don’t have money, because everything is very difficult. But I believe that humans can’t lose the capacity to dream. Dreams keep us alive in the most difficult moments.

So, I still live in this place—I haven’t been able to leave—and since I’ve always had a difficult relationship with this place, because life is very hard here, I decided to write about it, because it was tormenting me, and I didn’t want it to torment me any more. I wanted to make a story for kids, for young people, but also for adults, and I wanted to tell them: we have to dream, because if we don’t dream, we’re lost. If we don’t dream and we don’t act in solidarity, if we don’t help each other when we’re—when we’re scared—ay, sorry—because sometimes we’re scared. We’re anxious, and we’re scared that everything will go wrong in life—excuse me. So I wanted to write this book so that people would have faith that the world can be better—people help each other, support each other, love each other—so that people trust that the world can be a place of love and not of war. Always a place of love, never a place of war.

This book isn’t the only one you’ve written?

Yes, it’s my first book. I didn’t—I didn’t start—I wrote my first book when I was almost fifty years old. Because before my life was very stressful. I have a son, Eric, my son Eric who is my greatest treasure. So then, my son studied in Cuba to become a dancer. My son—he is a dancer now. So then, I had to struggle a lot, to work a lot at different jobs, and I couldn’t concentrate, because I had to work, I had to arrange things—I raised my son alone—his father and I divorced, and his father went to another city to live and had another family. So then, I had to arrange everything for my son. His clothing, his shoes, his food, his—everything. And so, I couldn’t concentrate because I had to take care of these things.

My son graduated, started working, and things started to go well for him. Then I took a deep breath, and said—“Ay, what am I going to do now?” Because all of the sudden—it had been lots, a lot a lot of struggle with everything, with the food, with money, with everything—and suddenly I was like—and now, what do I do? And then I said, “Well, I always wanted to be a writer.” My mother, who is a lovely woman, always told me, from the time I was a little girl, that I was going to be a writer. Because when I was a child I was different from my sisters. My sisters didn’t read, and I read and read and read, I was always reading from the time I was little. And so my mom would say that I—her daughter—was going to be a writer. And I would say, “Why do you say that?” And she would tell me that it was because I really liked books. And I would respond, “But writing is very hard—it must be very hard.” And then my mom would reply, “But you’re going to write.” And she said it as if it was a fact. Her fact: she knew it was going to happen. Because mothers are never wrong.

And so, I said, “Well, my mom says I’m going to be a writer—that is, my mother was my greatest inspiration. And so, I started to write. And I said, “Well, I have to write a fantasy.” Because reality is a little hard. So I wanted to create a book of fantasy, of magic, and I want that magic to be good for people. And that’s why I wrote this book.

Episode 71 - The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre - Gail Carson Levine

Kitty Felde

Molly, Hailey, Ailaina, and Lira from Maury Elementary School in DC

Molly, Hailey, Ailaina, and Lira from Maury Elementary School in DC

What makes a modern princess? Readers from Maury Elementary in Washington, D.C. say it takes a bad ass like our heroine in Gail Carson Levine's fairy tale "The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre." Our Newbery honor winner talks about her love of fairy tales and how the novel grew out of her passion to fight prejudice of all kinds. Actress Tessa Auberjonois is celebrity reader. Kitty Felde is host.

Want more Gail Carson Levine?

Favorite Books from Maury Elementary School:

Star Wars: A New Hope The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy - Alexandra Bracken

Wonder - R.J. Palacio

Switch - Ingrid Law

Number the Stars - Lois Lowry

Gail Carson Levine's Favorite Book:

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

Tessa Auberjonois' Favorite Books:

Mandy - Julie Andrews

The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Golden Compass - Phillip Pullman

Get your own copy of the book from our friends at Hooray for Books!

Get your own copy of the book from our friends at Hooray for Books!

Long before Book Club for Kids was a podcast, it was a television show on LA Cable 36. Here's our discussion of another of Gail Carson Levine's books "Ella Enchanted."

Episode 26 - Milo Speck, Accidental Agent by Linda Urban

Kitty Felde

Adam, Francisco, and Marcus at the Blackstone Library in Chicago

Adam, Francisco, and Marcus at the Blackstone Library in Chicago

Milo Speck, Accidental Agent by Linda Urban

You know, you don’t hear much these days about ogres – the fee, fi, fo, fum sort of creatures the size of a trash truck. Ogres are front and center in our book this week: "Milo Speck, Accidental Agent" by Linda Urban.

You know, you don’t hear much these days about ogres – the fee, fi, fo, fum sort of creatures the size of a trash truck. Ogres are front and center in our book this week: "Milo Speck, Accidental Agent" by Linda Urban.

Dan Frischman is not just an actor, he's a writer, too!

Dan Frischman is not just an actor, he's a writer, too!

Writer Linda Urban

Writer Linda Urban

Books Recommended by Adam and Marcus:

The Sword of Summer – Rick Riordan

The Legend of Zelda series - Jack C. Harris

The entry at the Blackstone Memorial Library, modeled after the Erechtheion, a temple on the Athenian Acropolis. Its architect, Solon S. Beman, was a leading architect of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.