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.
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.
Oct 10, 2012 — Donna Cooner's new young adult novel, Skinny, follows Ever, an obese teenage girl who decides to have weight loss surgery. Reviewer Jennifer Longmire-Wright says Skinny is the start of an important conversation for overweight teens — but doesn't adequately portray the difficulties of surgery.
Jun 7, 2012 — If there's one thing that teenagers of all stripes spend their energy on, it's friendship. These outstanding new novels for young adults explore friendship wherever it blossoms, whether in the extremes of a dystopian future or the more mundane emotional extremes of high school.
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.
Jan 19, 2012 — Science has a way of getting inside our heads — especially when it comes to the powers of the mind. Author and neurologist Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa recommends three brilliant brain-teasing books.
Jan 2, 2012 — Author Alex Gilvarry recommends Max Frisch's I'm Not Stiller, a novel that intertwines a classic tale of mistaken identity with high comedy and postwar seriousness.