Scholastic Book Orders and the Value They Hold

A few weeks ago after school was out and my daughter was running up to the front door, backpack bouncing on her back, she was yelling in excitement, “Mom! Mom! We get to buy some books from the magazine!” 

After 5 years of trying my best to naturally facilitate a love for reading and books in her, and failing, this moment felt amazing. It felt like I was winning the battle for a short time. 

If you’re familiar at all with ordering books from a magazine, then you know exactly what she was referring to- the Scholastic Book Order, a magazine that goes home with students once a month full of books, educational kits, and sometimes toys, all for purchase. These magazines for book orders started in schools in the 1940s and are incredibly popular among many. It brought me back to my childhood days to see my daughter open it up and start looking through the book options! 

But the reason I felt such pride and accomplishment was because she said the phrase, “we get to buy books.” 

From the time she was born, I did everything the blogs and articles and parenting books tell you to do to facilitate a love of reading in kids. We constantly had books out and available for her. We had books that were black and white with high contrasting colors, as well as books with plenty of bright colors. We had books that were interactive, books that were just for reading, and everything inbetween. They were on her level to see, easily accessible, and fun to read. I never forced her to pick up books, never forced her to finish books (as much as it drove me crazy to skip around pages and not completely finish it!), and overall did my best to make it a happy, fun, and inviting environment. 

And still, she just never loved books. 

So when she came running up to the front door yelling in excitement that we get to order books, I was over the moon! This was the first time I had seen her so enthralled with literature. We sat on the couch and flipped through the pages together, noticing all of the fun books as well as the books with beloved tv characters. We see you, Paw Patrol! Which was just another fun way to see her light up about books, she was so excited that she could choose a book with Chase and Skye. 

In the end, she picked a Grumpycorn book with a unicorn plushie that was included, and I’m fairly certain she chose it for only the plushie, but it was progress. We also ordered some sight word books and the classic, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly. 

It made me reazlie what an incredible resource the Scholastic book order is for kids. There’s those that love reading and can look through the book order to pick out all of the books they’ve already read as well as the ones they still want to read. And then there’s children like mine, that may not be as excited about books. But bringing home a magazine to order from and seeing books with familiar characters is just what they need to spark an excitement and love for reading. 

So thank you, Scholastic books, for being another great resource for me in instilling a love and appreciation for books in my child. 

A Book For My Book Buddy

https://honorsgradu.com/10-read-alouds-for-upper-elementary-grades/

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, schools shut down and children started learning from home. Everyone was very focused on making sure kids had the proper technology for at-home learning, and rightfully so. Teachers also worked overtime to set up bags of additional resources such as pencils, notebooks, and more.

But in some homes, especially those of lower-income, there were additional missing resources. Books.

Reading, and the love of reading is so important for children! But one teacher in Nampa, Idaho was set out to change that. She teaches in a low-income school where her students don’t have as much access to literature and were learning from home. So she reached out to family and friends asking for them to become “book buddies” with the 25+ students in her class.

All she asked was for them to send one book a month to the student they were paired with. I had the wonderful opportunity to become one of the book sponsors for this program. I’ve been able to send one book a month to my little friend in second grade. He even drew me a little picture and thank you note back!

I was so impressed with Rachel because she had the books delivered to her house for these students and personally drives around town to deliver each one to their homes.

It’s incredible to see the ingenuity, sacrifice, time, and love these teachers have for their students. What other incredible things have you seen teachers do for their students during the pandemic?

Why Picture Books In The Classroom?

Between Mary and I writing blog posts over the last few years, I think we’ve put together somewhere around 100 book lists. What can we say?! We are both book lovers! You can see Mary’s book round-up here. And I’ll be working on one in the coming months! 

But maybe we need to step back and focus on the why. Why books in the classroom? Why have Mary and I written endless lists and posts about reading and books? Here are a few reasons.

TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

With the books, the characters in the books, and with reading. To see more on this idea, read Looking Into The Bond We Make With Literature.

TO SET THE FOUNDATION FOR LIFELONG READERS.

Especially in those early years, having the example of being read books can help curate a love for reading in children. 

TO LEARN HOW TO VISUALIZE

Reading books with pictures leads to reading chapter books and seeing the pictures in your mind. 

TO TAKE A BREAK

What better way to switch up the mood of the classroom than to pull out a picture book and get lost in a new world for a time? 

TO LEARN A LESSON 

Sometimes a good solution to learn a needed lesson is to let a beloved book character do the teaching. 

Here’s what Mary has to say on the subject: 

“[Picture books] make for outstanding anchor texts for students to learn small, targeted skills, both for writing and for social/emotional learning. Everyone should check out Jill Heise’s #classroombookaday for more on daily picture books! And regular fifth grade books for grade level texts to build up and transfer reading skills.”

What is your reason for reading picture books in your classroom? 

6 books to read in your 20s

Now that we know why we should read, we have our next question: What should we read? Below is a list of 6 books to help cement life skills and take a 20-something-year-old on a few adventures to boot:


Franny and ZooeyThe Book:

Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger

The Lesson:

The book is two short stories. The “Franny” side shows how Franny Glass changes throughout her college education. It’s easy to connect to her character, as we’ve all probably experienced similar feelings.

The “Zooey” side tells the answers to Franny’s questions and is the “disaffected” young man that most 20-somethings experience at some point during our education.


the Language of FlowersThe Book:

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Lesson:

Anyone can grow into something beautiful. This book follows an orphan child who has nothing, but her penchant for flowers. As she struggles to overcome her past, she is able to help others with the gifts she has.


OutliersThe Book:

Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

The Lesson:

Change the way you think about success and chasing your dreams. A non-fiction approach that leaves you inspired to go and grab your future.


Dandelion WineThe Book:

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

The Lesson:

Don’t forget to savor your youth while your fighting to be an independent adult. The book is nostalgic and reminiscent of childhood, even if you didn’t share the same experiences. Told as a children’s story for adults.


The Unlikely PilgrimageThe Book:

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

The Lesson:

It focuses on the value of friendship, humility, self-forgiveness and human kindness over the span of lifelong commitments.


All my friends are Super heroesThe Book:

All My Friends Are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman

The Lesson:

A brief book on a non-traditional love story that will maybe not teach any profound lessons, but is a joy to read!


If you read or have read any of these books, feel free to share your comments down below!

Featured Image: Ginny