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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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Filtering by Tag: witches

Episode 79 - The Door by the Staircase - Katherine Marsh

Kitty Felde

River, Sayre, and Cole compete in  Oregon’s Battle of the Books

River, Sayre, and Cole compete in Oregon’s Battle of the Books

This week, we get a new look at an old fairy tale – the story of the Russian witch known as Baba Yaga. A boys book club in Portland, Oregon met us at Powell's Books to discuss Katherine Marsh's novel "The Door by the Staircase" with host Kitty Felde. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who represents Portland on Capitol, is celebrity reader.

Favorite Books from Portland, Oregon

The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan

The Maze Runner - James Dashner

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

Ballpark Mysteries - David A. Kelly

Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s Favorite Book:

Eat Drink Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics - Marion Nestle

Katherine Marsh’s Favorite Book:

Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O’Dell


Powell’s Books  in downtown Portland, Oregon

Powell’s Books in downtown Portland, Oregon

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

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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.

Summer Intern John's Favorite Episode - Foxheart by Claire Legrand

Kitty Felde

Summer intern John Gomez picks "Foxheart" as his favorite episode

Summer intern John Gomez picks "Foxheart" as his favorite episode

Iona (top left), Gabi and Kailas (l-r bottom)

Iona (top left), Gabi and Kailas (l-r bottom)

Every summer, we ask our interns to pick their favorite episode. UC Irvine graduate John Gomez chose Claire Legrand's novel "Foxheart." Witches, monsters, and a brave little thief. Those are the ingredients in the book. Book Club for Kids fan Kailas and her two fellow readers Iona and Gabi discuss the novel at Boulder Bookstore with host Kitty Felde. Our celebrity reader is actor Wesley Mann. Writer Claire Legrand explains how "Foxheart" began as a short story challenge.

Wesley Mann  has acted in film, television, microphone and onstage for over thirty years. You may recognize him as Mr. Lawler on "That’s So Raven," Mr. Bell on "Liv And Maddie," and The Caterpillar on "Adventures In Wonderland." 

Wesley Mann has acted in film, television, microphone and onstage for over thirty years. You may recognize him as Mr. Lawler on "That’s So Raven," Mr. Bell on "Liv And Maddie," and The Caterpillar on "Adventures In Wonderland." 

Our Colorado hosts at Boulder Bookstore

Our Colorado hosts at Boulder Bookstore

Get your copy of "Foxheart" now! Order  here  from our friends at Hooray for Books!

Get your copy of "Foxheart" now! Order here from our friends at Hooray for Books!

 

Favorite Books of Kailas, Gabi and Iona:

Percy Jackson series - Rick Riordan

Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - Disney Book Group

Favorite Books of Wesley Mann

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare - William Shakespeare

One Hundred and One Famous Poems

Favorite Book of John Gomez

Les Misérables - Victor Hugo

Favorite Book of Claire Legrand

His Dark Materials series - Philip Pullman

Episode 65 - The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol

Kitty Felde

Club Read kids at Changing Hands bookstore (l-r) Jensen, Adeline, Giuliana, Ronan, and Wyatt

Club Read kids at Changing Hands bookstore (l-r) Jensen, Adeline, Giuliana, Ronan, and Wyatt

Think becoming a witch is easy? Think again. Readers from Changing Hands bookstore in Phoenix discuss James Nicol's tale of becoming a professional witch called "The Apprentice Witch." Our celebrity reader is public radio journalist (and amateur ice hockey player) Susan Valot. Our writer talks about how he created the rules for his magical world and confesses that he wasn't much of a reader when he was young.

Writer  James Nicol
Radio journalist  Susan Valot

Radio journalist Susan Valot

Favorite Books from Ronan, Wyatt, Adeline, Jensen, and Giuliana:

What the Dickens: The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy - Gregory Maguire

Mr. Lemoncello's Great Library Race - Chris Grabenstein

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel - Michael Scott

Number the Stars - Lois Lowry

The Land of Stories - Chris Colfer

James Nicol's Favorite Books: 

1001 Dalmations - Dodie Smith

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis

Susan Valot's Favorite Book:

Inkheart - Cornelia Funke

 

Get your copy  here  from our friends at Hooray for Books!

Get your copy here from our friends at Hooray for Books!

Episode 54 - The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Kitty Felde

Helen, Zoe and Kelly from Woodbridge, Virginia

Helen, Zoe and Kelly from Woodbridge, Virginia

Who says witches and monsters and  dragons have to be the bad guys? That’s certainly not the case in Kelly Barnhill’s 2017 Newbery Award winning novel "The Girl Who Drank the Moon." Our readers from Woodbridge, Virginia discuss the power of the moon and how much sorrow children can handle with host Kitty Felde. Writer Kelly Barnhill discusses fake news and how a swamp monster popped into her head out of nowhere. KCRW Morning Edition host Chery Glaser is our celebrity reader.

Writer  Kelly Barnhill  (photo courtesy of startribune.com)

Writer Kelly Barnhill (photo courtesy of startribune.com)

KCRW Morning Edition host  Chery Glaser

KCRW Morning Edition host Chery Glaser

Get your copy  now  from our friends at Hooray for Books!

Get your copy now from our friends at Hooray for Books!

The girls mentioned R.J. Palacio's WONDER. Here's our  WONDER  episode.

The girls mentioned R.J. Palacio's WONDER. Here's our WONDER episode.

Favorite Books of Zoe, Helen, and Kelly

Auggie & Me - R.J. Palacio

I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly - Joyce Hansen

A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle

Favorite Books of Kelly Barnhill

A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle

Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones

Favorite Book of Chery Glaser

Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery

Episode 48 - A Little Wicked live from the National Archives

Kitty Felde

The Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore (Chimee, Makayla, Aubrey, and Sarah) with host Kitty Felde at the National Archives taping - pictures by TONYA WRIGHT OF  WWW.MRSTRWRIGHTPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

The Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore (Chimee, Makayla, Aubrey, and Sarah) with host Kitty Felde at the National Archives taping - pictures by TONYA WRIGHT OF WWW.MRSTRWRIGHTPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Writer  Janet Macreery  - photo by TONYA WRIGHT OF  WWW.MRSTRWRIGHTPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Writer Janet Macreery - photo by TONYA WRIGHT OF WWW.MRSTRWRIGHTPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Celebrity reader NPR's  Susan Stamberg  shows off her favorite book - photo by TONYA WRIGHT of  WWW.MRSTRWRIGHTPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Celebrity reader NPR's Susan Stamberg shows off her favorite book - photo by TONYA WRIGHT of WWW.MRSTRWRIGHTPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Favorite Books from the Girlfriends Book Club of Baltimore:

The Books of Elsewhere - Jacqueline West

The Sisters Grimm - Michael Buckley

Courtney Crumrin - Ted Naifeh

The Curiosity House - H. C. Chester and Lauren Oliver

Susan Stamberg's Favorite Book:

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott

Janet Macreery's Favorite Book:

Fever 1793 - Laurie Halse Anderson

Favorite books from our Audience:

I, Funny - James Patterson

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt

any books by Vince Flynn

The Shack - William Young

Ruby and the Booker Boys - Derrick Barnes

Gathering Blue - Lois Lowry

 

A Little Wicked on Book Club for Kids

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

Episode 41 - Foxheart by Claire Legrand

Kitty Felde

Iona (top left), Gabi and Kailas (l-r bottom)

Iona (top left), Gabi and Kailas (l-r bottom)

Foxheart - Claire Legrand

Witches, monsters, and a brave little thief. Those are the ingredients in Claire Legrand's novel "Foxheart." The book was chosen by Book Club for Kids fan Kailas. She and her two fellow readers Iona and Gabi discussed the novel one sunny Sunday afternoon upstairs at Boulder Bookstore with host Kitty Felde. Our celebrity reader is actor Wesley Mann. And writer Claire Legrand explains how "Foxheart" began as a short story on a website.

Wesley Mann has acted in film, television, microphone and onstage for over thirty years. You may recognize him as Mr. Lawler on "That’s So Raven," Mr. Bell on "Liv And Maddie," and The Caterpillar on "Adventures In Wonderland." 

Wesley Mann has acted in film, television, microphone and onstage for over thirty years. You may recognize him as Mr. Lawler on "That’s So Raven," Mr. Bell on "Liv And Maddie," and The Caterpillar on "Adventures In Wonderland." 

Our Colorado hosts at Boulder Bookstore

Our Colorado hosts at Boulder Bookstore

Get your copy of "Foxheart" now! Order  here  from our friends at Hooray for Books!

Get your copy of "Foxheart" now! Order here from our friends at Hooray for Books!

 

Favorite Books of Kailas, Gabi and Iona:

Percy Jackson series - Rick Riordan

Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - Disney Book Group

Favorite Books of Wesley Mann

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare - William Shakespeare

One Hundred and One Famous Poems

Favorite Book of Claire Legrand

His Dark Materials series - Philip Pullman