NPR Begins Book Club for Tweens, Young Teens, Parents
Last week, All Things Considered rolled out NPR’s Back-Seat Book Club for kids ages 9 to 14.
The objective is to get young people and their parents to join NPR in reading a special book each month. They also want young readers to join in the conversation with that book's author and to let NPR know what young readers think about the book. And most important, NPR wants to give authors a chance to answer the kids – or parents - questions. It is a great way for public radio to celebrate kids' books and to provide a special treat for all those youngsters who are fed a steady diet of NPR news.
The book for October was “The Graveyard Book” by the award-winning, best-selling author Neil Gaiman. For November ... drum roll please ... NPR’s selected a book that's celebrating a big anniversary: “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. The book was published in 1961; five decades later, it is still much loved and widely read. And, after all this time, the story of the bored little boy who travels on a journey to the Lands Beyond still feels fresh. The jokes are still funny. The language is still captivating. And the excursions through the Sea of Knowledge, the Mountains of Ignorance and the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping) are still quite magical. That's saying something when you consider that “The Phantom Tollbooth” was written before the age of computers, cellphones or digital watches.
Since this book has had such great staying power, chances are you may have read “The Phantom Tollbooth” when you were young. That makes this a great choice for a family read. Also, the language is so delicious that you might want to read this book out loud with your child. In any case, enjoy — and then join in the conversation.
If you would like to send NPR a picture of your child reading “The Phantom Tollbooth,” you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org. NPR just might post some of those photos on their upcoming readers gallery.
Check out this link to visit the Back-Seat Book Club page.