Scholastic Posts

Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart trilogy by Sarah Rose, 11 yo

The Inkheart trilogy consists of Inkheart, Inkspell and Inkdeath ( Scholastic). This is a fantastic trilogy by author Cornelia Funke, translated by the late Anthea Bell. It is about a man named Mortimer Folchart (or Mo), a bookbinder or a “doctor of books” having these amazing abilities of reading things out of a book. He has a daughter named Meggie who of course has inherited those powers. In the other two books, Meggie, Mo, Resa (Meggie’s long-lost mother), Elinor (Resa’s aunt), Darius (A reader with the same powers as Meggie and Mo) and a few other people find themselves sucked in a book. They have an adventure exploring this new world and its dangers. They discover new kinds of creatures such as the White Women, Night-Mare, Fire Elves, Martins, Giants etc. They also try to escape its horrors and while doing so Mo becomes a little more than a mere bookbinder. 

I immensely enjoyed this trilogy because of its characters, it’s suspense and most of all: the plot. I was hooked after reading the first chapter. I could not stop reading the books in quick succession. So much so that in my edition of Inkspell some of the pages were misprinted. I could not wait for another print edition as I had to read the story. So my mother downloaded it on her Kindle. I read the pages that had been messed up on the Kindle and then went back to reading the print edition as soon as the pages were fine. Because I loved reading it so much, I have started to create a board game based on this story.

I saw a trailer of the film Inkheart and was disappointed. The film seemed to have got some parts of the story like when Dustfinger finds out how he dies, Fenoglio tells him whereas in the book, it is Meggie tells him so as to warn him not to return into the story. In the movie, when Meggie had to read a chapter from Inkheart to release a bad creature into the real world, Fenoglio was in the cage with Resa and he gave a piece of paper to the dog and the dog gave it to Meggie. But in the story, it was very clearly mentioned that in the cage, there were Elinor, Resa and Basta and Fenoglio was sitting next to Capricorn. There was no dog in the story. Meggie, actually took a piece of paper, from the sleeve of her dress. In the movie, it tells us when Meggie found out her powers she was at Elinor’s house. But in the book Meggie was imprisoned in one of Capricorn’s rooms in his giant house and then she found some books under the pillow and she read out Tinker Bell. And this is why film adaptations of books are never satisfying!

When I finally finished this trilogy, I was devastated. I still had questions such as what will the boy who is Meggie’s little brother do next? Will he find out that he does not belong to this world of fantasy? Will he go into the real world with cars and planes? Will there be another call of action for the Bluejay? So many questions!

I love the Inkheart trilogy!

15 July 2021

Scholastic’s LGBTQIA+ YAlit

It is rare, even now in these liberal and emancipated times, for a publishing house to have a dedicated imprint to LGBTQIA+ literature. Under the excellent leadership and forward thinking of the late CEO and son of the founder, Dick Robinson, Scholastic launched such an imprint for its school and trade market — Arthur A. Levine Books. It was an imprint at the firm from 1996 – 2019. After that Arthur Levine left Scholastic to form Levine Querido. Having said that, the fact that Scholastic launched such a specific imprint was commendable. They did it well before it became fashionable or even before other firms became very active in commissioning same sex literature for young adults. This kind of literature is perhaps not very easy for many readers to “get into” as it requires an open heartedness, a sensitivity and an acceptance of different kinds of sexuality without any prejudice. But once you read these books, it changes your outlook on life. These books are astonishing to read as they not only delve into this niche space of teenage sexuality but also experiment with the literary form — prose, poetry, mixing prose and poetry or even graphic novels. Even with Arthur Levine’s departure from the firm, the legacy continues with the launch of a new imprint called PUSH, an imprint for teens, launched by David Leviathan. It is no longer an exclusive imprint for LGBTQIA+ literature but that in itself is a testament to how far we have come since the fin de siecle of the twentieth century, of being more accepting of diversity.

This was first published on my Facebook and Instagram accounts. It was on the last day of #PrideMonth.

30 June 2021

“Build This Book” by David Eckold

Build This Book by David Eckold has incredible book design to teach young minds the principles of physics. Concepts like lever, bridge ( to defy gravity), balance, winch, joints and links, turbine, spinner and potential energy are defined followed by instructions on how to make a model demonstrating the principle. The models are developed by children by punching out cards of each page. Interestingly, the perforated outlines are created in such a manner so as not to spoil the next page. There is a card backing to each design.

And then you have sights such as this one that I captured today of my daughter building models while attending online classes.

So much thought and detail to precision has gone into creating this book. Extraordinary! These are exactly the kind of tools one requires to nurture a child. More so now during the pandemic when children have been engaged in long-distance learning and do not necessarily have access to their classroom/ school resources.

3 Feb 2021

“Chain Reactions” by LEGO and Klutz, Scholastic

This is the best of everything — a happy and contented child playing with her LEGO bricks to create models that explain chain reactions. It is also the best of best brands that are extremely familiar with what it takes to nurture a child and develop their cognitive skills — Scholastic, the biggest children’s publisher in the world; Klutz, an imprint of Scholastic, that specialises in activity-driven books and of course, LEGO.

Babysitters Club

The Babysitters Club, Season 1 was launched by Netflix on 3 July 2020. It is so well made! Slick and pure fun. Not mushy at all. Lots of teenage stuff as well as very neat navigation of growing up pains. Binge watching is a must! Best endorsement is from my 10yo who has read the stories multiple times and has now to her delight, binge watched the series. Loved every moment of it. No regrets about the book to film adaptation.

4 July 2020

“The Letter Q: Queer Writers Notes To Their Younger Selves”

“The Letter Q: Queer Writers Notes To Their Younger Selves” edited by Sarah Moon and contributing editor, James Lecesne, is an anthology of letters by award-winning authors and illustrators such as Armistead Maupin, David Levithan, Amy Bloom, Jacqueline Woodson, Brian Selznick, Bill Clegg, David Ebershoff, Eileen Myles, Michael Cunningham, and Arthur Levine to name a few. It is an interesting anthology where the letters have a markedly controlled tenor that is probably nowhere close to the confusion and mixed feelings they experienced as youngsters. As adults the contributors are expected to exhibit some maturity and share experiences in a measured tone. Having said that it is hard to believe that while recalling their past and writing to a younger self, raw wounds were not opened once more with accompanying emotional upheavals. But the editors seem to have managed to cap it all and produce an anthology that is readable and is able to communicate calmly with its intended audience. In all likelihood it will work for teenagers as well as counsellors, educators and care givers too. This book has been edited by Sarah Moon in collaboration with James Lecesne, founder of The Trevor Project, an organization’s dedicated to preventing LGBTQ teen suicide. This is a book meant to be read. Share it. Discuss it. Use it as a conversation starter.

29 October 2019

“Nadya” by Debasmita Dasgupta

http://bit.ly/30ijzI1 Scholastic India’s forthcoming release in September 2019 includes Nadya by Debasmita Dasgupta. It is an absolute must read. It is stupendously breathtaking.

As Orijit Sen affirms ‘Nadya takes us deep into the heart and mind of an adolescent girl as she negotiates her way through love, heartbreak and pain before finding renewal. The stunning artwork—with its rich landscapes, quiet but glowing colours and sensitively portrayed characters—makes the turning of each page an act of revelation. The beauty and power of graphic storytelling at its best!’

26 August 2019

Dr Christian’s “Guide to Dealing with the Tricky Questions”

A brilliant book for children, adolescents, parents and educators on initiating conversations about tricky stuff. It is by Dr Christian Jessen, a British physician, television presenter and writer.

Watch this IGTV video posted on Instagram for more information:

17 June 2019

Book Post 36: 21 April – 19 May 2019 / Childlit and Yalit list

Book Post 36 focuses on childlit and yalit.

20 May 2019

Book Post 30: 10-16 March 2019

At the beginning of the week I post some of the books I have received recently. In today’s Book Post 30 included are some of the titles I have received in the past few weeks.

18 March 2019

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