Sep 12, 2013 — A chance encounter with a little girl in an ice cream store inspired R.J. Palacio to write a novel about a boy born with distorted facial features. She says it got her thinking about what it's like to "have to face a world every day that doesn't know how to face you back."
Aug 14, 2013 — R.J. Palacio explores the life of 10-year-old Auggie Pullman, a tough, sweet kid who was born with a serious facial deformity. He wants a normal life, but adults and children alike turn their eyes away at the sight of him. Join NPR's Backseat Book Club as we read a novel about cruelty and kindness.
Aug 5, 2013 — Earlier this summer, NPR's Backseat Book Club — our book club for young readers — asked you to weigh in on your favorite books for kids age 9-14. We heard from more than 2,000 of you, and our expert panel has whittled your hundreds and hundreds of nominations down to a list of 100 great reads.
Jun 13, 2013 — Looking for a great read for a kid age 9-14? Here are all the titles our kids' book club has read since we launched in 2011. We revisit classics like Black Beauty and The Phantom Tollbooth and explore new stories like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Graveyard Book.
Jun 11, 2013 — NPR Books is replete with readers of grown-up books, but editor Petra Mayer prefers a good YA novel any day. She picks five (well, really six) of her favorite summer YA reads, from first love in 1980s Omaha to far-future Brazil and beyond.
Nov 20, 2012 — It's been a great year for high-profile comics creators, producing landmark works destined for many "Best Comics of 2012" lists. But what about the lesser-known artists and their work? Glen Weldon points to outstanding works that haven't gotten the attention they deserve.
Dec 10, 2012 — NPR's Backseat Book Club polled children's booksellers and librarians to find 2012's best books for middle-graders. The winners are a heartwarming city kid's tale, a Chinese folklore-inspired adventure, and an encounter with a 10-year-old you'll never forget.
Jun 29, 2012 — Author Jeff Kinney is a rock star in the middle school literary scene. His Diary of a Wimpy Kid books follow the misadventures of sad-sack sixth-grader Greg Heffley, who just wants to fit in. Kids love the gross-out humor, but librarians and teachers say the books also help them laugh at the indignities of life.
May 31, 2012 — Back in 2009, our interview with author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney sparked the idea for a special NPR book club for kids. So it's only fitting that NPR's Backseat Book Club will read Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Kinney's beloved cartoon staring Greg Heffley, a beleaguered middle-schooler.
Mar 22, 2012 — In R.J. Palacio's new novel, a middle-schooler with a facial deformity struggles to fit in. Raquel Jaramillo, the author behind the pen name, says she found it more interesting to write about teens being kind than about teens being mean.