What’s the next best thing to a good book?
Book chatter! Talking about books and listening to others — including the authors themselves — discuss books can be a real treat. Podcasts are an accessible on-the-go medium for adults and kids alike. There’s a podcast for just about every topic you can imagine, including books.
Check out these fantastic bookish and educational podcasts which are great for:
- book recommendations & lists
- author interviews
- general kid lit chatter
Listen for sheer enjoyment or use as a tool in the classroom!
A personal note: After trying several different apps, I’ve landed on the Overcast Podcast Player App to listen to podcasts. Overcast allows you to see the show notes and links right in the app and features options to boost the sound or speed up the podcast. This comes in handy whether you are listening in the car, while exercising, or playing for a group of students. Other places to listen: iTunes and Stitcher or the individual podcast websites.
Books Between: Fifth grade teacher Corrina Allen discusses all things middle grade with the mission to “help teachers, parents, and librarians connect kids between 8 and 12 to books they’ll love.” Each episode features a main topic, book talk with 3 books centered around a theme, and Q&A. You might try Episode #3: Wearing Your Reading Life on Your Sleeve, which features 5 practical ways to champion reading. For a powerhouse list of MG book suggestions, try Episode #13: The Top 20 Middle Grade Books of 2016 or #14: 6 Reading Challenge Ideas & The Most Anticipated Books of 2017 Don’t have a pen handy to jot down all the book recs or don’t have the time to listen? Read the transcript for each episode at booksbetween.com. I love Corrina’s passion for this particular genre in children’s lit and she packs a lot into each episode.
…every child deserves at least one teacher in their life who is an unapologetic, enthusiastic champion of reading.
All the Wonders: Weekly interviews with Authors, Illustrators, Award Winners, Up-And-Comers, and Everyone In Between, hosted by School Media Specialist Matthew Winner. Matthew has to be the kindest most sincere interviewer I’ve ever heard. He has a knack for making his guests feel “write” at home and sometimes even cry (happy tears). You leave each episode wanting to go hug a book and email/tweet your favorite author. One of my favorite episodes so far is Episode #20 with the incomparable Kate diCamillo. You might also like Episode #137 with Amy Krouse Rosenthal or Episode #190 with Katherine Applegate, author of The One and Only Ivan. Also loved loved loved hearing fellow #littlelitbookseries contributor Carter Higgins share about her debut book, A Rambler Steals Home, and forthcoming books in Episode #332. All the Wonders is a breath of fresh air; what a gem. Bonus: I’m also on the East Coast and enjoy the local references: the shore, Hershey Park, etc. Love the work you’re doing, Matthew!
Scholastic Reads: A podcast devoted to children’s books and the joy of reading. Some great episodes to start with are The Power of Picture Books, all about the power of the picture book and reading aloud to children and Sharon Robinson: Breaking Barriers, featuring an interview with Jackie Robinson’s daughter and her new middle grade book, The Hero Two Doors Down: A Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend, and Stories of Survival With Lauren Tarshis.Also, for a recap celebrating the podcast’s one year anniversary, check out Best of Scholastic Reads: A Year in Review.
Listen on iTunes
The Read Aloud Revival Podcast: a collection of interviews with Sarah Mackenzie to inspire parents and teachers to make reading a central part of family life. Enjoy Episode #60: Your Job is to Plant the Seed, a conversation with Sally Lloyd Jones or Bonus Episode: Melissa Sweet on the One and Only E.B. White. Sarah is inspirational in her zeal for reading aloud and is just all around lovely. Over at her website, Amongst Lovely Things, you can find scores of read aloud books and audio book suggestions.
Listen on iTunes
The Book Love Podcast: host Penny Kittle and guests share thinking, strategies, and inspiration to help teachers build classroom libraries, connect students with books, and help students establish and build rich and meaningful independent reading lives. Loved the two part interview in Episodes 7 and 8 with Donalyn Miller. More info and episode recommendations coming soon.
Listen in iTunes
Listen on iTunes
The Yarn: produced by Travis Jonker, an elementary school librarian, and Colby Sharp, an elementary school teacher. More info and episode recommendations coming soon.
Book Club for Kids: kids discuss novels with host Kitty Felde, a public radio journalist. The podcast got its start in the early 2000s as a radio show for kids trapped in carpools all over Los Angeles, forced to listen to public radio. More info and episode recommendations coming soon.
Have a bookish podcast or specific episode you’ve enjoyed from the podcasts mentioned? Share in the comments!