Storytime: Katherine Applegate reads Wishtree

Hear author Katherine Applegate read from her New York Times-bestselling middle grade novel, WISHTREE! This powerful story about acceptance and tolerance is a One Book One Community favorite and a must-share in your classroom or library.

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wishtree”—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood. You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever. Funny, deep, warm, and nuanced, Wishtree is Newbery Medalist and New York Times–bestselling author Katherine Applegate at her very best—writing from the heart, and from a completely unexpected point of view.

Download a Wishtree teacher’s guide and find materials to create a wishtree in your classroom or library at WishtreeBook.com.

Storytime: Author Rachel Vail reads Cat Ears on Elizabeth

Spun off from her beloved Justin Case middle grade chapter books, Rachel Vail’s A Is for Elizabeth series—featuring illustrations by award-winning children’s book artist Paige Kaiser—follows a young second grader as she navigates schoolwork, friendships, and the growing pains that occur along the way. Perfect for SEL units, Elizabeth learns to deal with her “loud feelings” in each book in this heartwarming and funny series.

Watch author Rachel Vail read along with the third book in the series, Cat Ears on Elizabeth, here! When two of Elizabeth’s classmates come to school with cat-ear headbands, Elizabeth decides she needs a cat-ears headband immediately (even though headbands squish her brain out).

Chapters 1-2:

Chapters 3-5:

Download a teacher’s guide for the first book in the series, A is for Elizabeth, here!

Watch more author storytimes here.

Storytime: Author Emmy Kastner reads Nerdy Babies: Weather

Nerdy Babies is a picture book series that will ignite curiosity in even the youngest readers and encourage them to ask questions and explore the world around them. With bright colorful art and easy-to-read text, the Nerdy Babies series encourages the youngest readers to explore the natural world around them from the depths of the ocean to the farthest reaches of space!

In Emmy Kastner’s newest picture book, Nerdy Babies: Weather follow our intrepid babies into the eye of the storm. Experience sunshine, wind, rain, and other weather patterns. Plus, learn about how we predict the weather in this simple text written in question and answer format. Watch Emmy read from the book below:

Download the Nerdy Babies Activity Kit here, for more STEM-filled fun!

Watch more author storytimes here.

Storytime: Mahogany L. Browne reads WOKE: A Young Poet’s Guide to Justice

A great read-aloud for National Poetry Month! Author Mahogany L. Browne gives a read-aloud performance of WOKE: A YOUNG POET’S GUIDE TO JUSTICE, written by Mahogany L. Browne with Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood; illustrated by Theodore Taylor III; foreword by Jason Reynolds.

Woke: A Young Poet’s Guide to Justice is a collection of poems to inspire kids to stay woke and become a new generation of activists.


Praise for WOKE:
★ “Read it; gift it; use it to challenge, protect, and grow.”—Kirkus, starred review

★ “An important book that demands to be seen. It adds to the conversation of #OwnVoices and speaks to a young person’s need for expression and social justice.”—School Library Journal, starred review

Download a free National Poetry Month poster featuring artwork from WOKE and find more poetry books here.

Watch more author storytime videos here.

Storytime: Stacy McAnulty reads Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years for Earth Day!

“Hi, I’m Earth! But you can call me Planet Awesome.” Celebrate Earth Day with a special storytime reading by author Stacy McAnulty of Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years!

Stacy McAnulty’s fact and fun-filled Our Universe picture book series invites children to explore our solar system from the points-of-view of the celestial bodies that hang out among the stars. These charming and humorous “autobiographies” are beautifully illustrated by such artists as Stevie Lewis and David Litchfield.

Mars! Earthlings Welcome (Our Universe, Volume 5)
coming in 2021!








Find more books for celebrating Earth Day here.

Find more author storytimes here.

Storytime: Lindsay Lackey reads ALL THE IMPOSSIBLE THINGS

Author Lindsay Lacked reads Chapter 1 of her middle grade debut All the Impossible Things and answers three questions about writing the book.

Visit LindsayLackey.com to find more resources, including a downloadable discussion guide + coloring page!

A bit of magic, a sprinkling of adventure, and a whole lot of heart collide in All the Impossible Things, Lindsay Lackey’s extraordinary middle-grade novel about a young girl navigating the foster care system in search of where she belongs.

Praise for All the Impossible Things:
“A gorgeous story about the joy that’s possible when we allow hope into our hearts. Wise and wondrous, this is truly a novel to cherish.”—Katherine Applegate, New York Times–bestselling author of Wishtree

★ “Lackey tackles difficult topics including addiction and loss with infinite gentleness.”—School Library Journal, starred review

“An emotional tale filled with unique characters, heartbreaking realities, and a touch of magical realism.”—Booklist

Watch more author storytimes here!

Storytime: Christian McKay Heidicker reads THIEVES OF WEIRDWOOD

Christian McKay Heidicker, author of Newbery Honor Winner SCARY STORIES FOR YOUNG FOXES, reads an excerpt from his new middle grade fantasy, THIEVES OF WEIRDWOOD!

VIDEO: Watch Christian read an excerpt from Scary Stories for Young Foxes here.

Praise for Thieves of Weirdwood:
“This series opener’s both funny and well paced, and the worldbuilding is fantastic..character development is splended.” —Kirkus

“With dazzling wit and enough spooky adventure for this and any alternate universe, Thieves of Weirdwood thrills to the last page. Startling, original and epic.” —Eoin Colfer, creator of Artemis Fowl

“With a good dose of comedy, a dash of self-awareness, and some riveting plot twists, this book is unique and hilarious.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Watch more author storytimes here!

Storytime: Author Paul Greci reads HOSTILE TERRITORY

Author Paul Greci reads from Hostile Territory, a thrilling YA wilderness survival story, in which a catastrophic earthquake strands four teens in the Alaskan wilderness—and leaves them without a civilization to return to.

Praise for Hostile Territory:

“This fast-paced book contains all the hallmarks of a classic wilderness survival novel (deadly terrain, vicious predators, literal cliff-hangers) and the best of the postapocalyptic genre … The author’s decades of Alaskan wilderness experience is evident throughout … A great high-stakes wilderness survival tale.”—School Library Journal

“Heart-racing… A rugged wilderness lover’s post-disaster survivalist tale.”—Kirkus Reviews

Heart-thumping suspense for readers who liked Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave.”—Booklist

Find more author storytime videos here.

Storytime: Charles R. Smith Jr. reads BLACK JACK: THE BALLAD OF JACK JOHNSON

A great read-aloud for National Poetry Month! Author Charles R. Smith Jr. gives a read-aloud performance of BLACK JACK: THE BALLAD OF JACK JOHNSON, giving readers and listeners some fascinating historical insight throughout his reading.

Jack Johnson was one of the most renowned Black boxers of the twentieth century. Through hard work and persistence, he climbed the ranks, taking a swing and a jab and eventually busting the color barrier. As the first black man to win the Heavyweight Championship, there was more than a title on the line.

This beautiful picture book is an extraordinary marriage of poetry and fabulous collage artwork by Shane W. Evans.

“Charles Smith’s poetry surges along, with a forceful rhythm that joins ballad and rap, as he follows ‘a mighty, fightin’ man,’ challenging the color line as well as individual opponents around the world. Shane Evans’ illustrations make Johnson’s body a monument to intelligence and power.” —Chicago Tribune

★ “This book is sure to be championed by reluctant readers with energy and restlessness just like Johnson’s, but it is a strong selection for library and classroom read-alouds as well.” —School Library Journal starred review

★ “The elegant simplicity and rat-a-tat rhythms land some stunners . . . enhanced by Evans’ lithe and swaggering artwork, which lends a tremendous visual charisma, grace, and grandeur.” —Booklist starred review