The Growing Readers Podcast

The Children’s Book Review, is a resource devoted to children’s literature and literacy. In the Growing Readers Podcast, we produce author and illustrator interviews focused on the best books for kids of all ages to help you grow readers.

“Not every book is for every child, but for every child there is a book.”

For the latest episodes from The Growing Readers Podcast, Follow Now on your favorite podcast platform.

Upcoming Guests Include

The Wolf's Curse Book CoverTwelve-year-old Gauge’s life has been cursed since the day he witnessed an invisible Great White Wolf steal his grandpapá’s soul, preventing it from reaching the Sea-in-the-Sky and sailing into eternity. When the superstitious residents of Bouge-by-the-Sea accuse the boy of crying wolf, he joins forces with another orphan to prove his innocence. They navigate their shared grief in a journey that ultimately reveals life-changing truths about the wolf–and death. Narrated in a voice reminiscent of The Book Thief, this fast-paced adventure is perfect for fans of fantasy such as The Girl Who Drank the Moon and A Wish in the Dark.

Arican Proverbs For All Ages Book CoverAn Oprah Book about the power of proverbs, how they evolve over time, and the wisdom of various cultures in Africa.

It has been said that a proverb is a short sentence based on long experience.

Whether you are young or old, proverbs can open your mind to a whole new way of seeing the world. We underestimate children when we assume they are incapable of understanding metaphor and deeper meaning. There are multiple ways that children learn, but for each method by which they learn, they need their imagination engaged and their visual sensibilities ignited. And as adults, we underestimate ourselves when we allow our lives to be about practical matters only. Proverbs can stir our soul and spark our imagination. –Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D. President Emerita of Spelman and Bennett Colleges

In African Proverbs for All Ages, noted anthropologist and educator Dr. Johnetta Betsch Cole and award-winning illustrator Nelda La Teef invite children and adults to explore and reflect on complex notions about relationships, identity, society, and the human condition.

The Beatryce Prophecy: Book CoverFrom two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and two-time Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall comes a fantastical meditation on fate, love, and the power of words to spell the world.

We shall all, in the end, be led to where we belong. We shall all, in the end, find our way home.

In a time of war, a mysterious child appears at the monastery of the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing. Gentle Brother Edik finds the girl, Beatryce, curled in a stall, wracked with fever, coated in dirt and blood, and holding fast to the ear of Answelica the goat. As the monk nurses Beatryce to health, he uncovers her dangerous secret, one that imperils them all—for the king of the land seeks just such a girl, and Brother Edik, who penned the prophecy himself, knows why.

And so it is that a girl with a head full of stories—powerful tales-within-the-tale of queens and kings, mermaids and wolves—ventures into a dark wood in search of the castle of one who wishes her dead. But Beatryce knows that, should she lose her way, those who love her—a wild-eyed monk, a man who had once been king, a boy with a terrible sword, and a goat with a head as hard as stone—will never give up searching for her, and to know this is to know everything. With its timeless themes, unforgettable cast, and magical medieval setting, Kate DiCamillo’s lyrical tale, paired with resonant black-and-white illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall, is a true collaboration between masters.

Frankie and Bug: Book CoverIn the debut middle grade novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Gayle Forman comes a poignant and powerful coming-of-age story that follows a young girl and her new friend as they learn about family, friendship, allyship, and finding your way in a complicated world.

It’s the summer of 1987, and all ten-year-old Bug wants to do is go to the beach with her older brother and hang out with the locals on the boardwalk. But Danny wants to be with his own friends, and Bug’s mom is too busy, so Bug is stuck with their neighbor Philip’s nephew, Frankie.

Bug’s not too excited about hanging out with a kid she’s never met, but they soon find some common ground. And as the summer unfolds, they find themselves learning some important lessons about each other, and the world.

Like what it means to be your true self and how to be a good ally for others. That family can be the people you’re related to, but also the people you choose to have around you. And that even though life isn’t always fair, we can all do our part to make it more just.

Leave a Message or Write In: You Could Be on The Growing Readers Podcast

Use the buttons below to ask a question of one of the upcoming book creators. Ask them about their books, their process, or their inspirations. Or just leave a complement! Your message could end up on a future episode of this podcast!

The Growing Readers Podcast

In this episode of the Growing Readers Podcast, I talk with Sharice Davids, one of the first Native American women elected to Congress and the first LGBTQ congressperson to represent Kansas. We discuss Sharice’s Big Voice: How a Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman.

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