Scholastic Books for Children & Young Adults
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Book Focus Picture Books

Picture Books Middle Grade/YA Series

Get the story behind the book! Our editors work with the author from idea to manuscript to finished page.  Here, each month, a different Scholastic editor discusses from their personal perspective a book they’re particularly excited about.

Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated The World

Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated The World
By Craig Hatkoff
When Knut was born, the first polar bear cub at the Berlin Zoo in more than thirty years, he was no bigger than a snowball and unable to care for himself. His mother, a rescued East German circus bear, didn't know how to take care of Knut and rejected him. Knut would have died if it weren't for Thomas Dorflein, a zookeeper who nurtured Knut, feeding him, sleeping with him, and giving him the love and attention Knut needed to thrive. But Thomas wasn't the only one who adopted Knut. The adorable little polar bear captured the world's attention, and now Knut is loved around the globe. Read more


Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship

Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship
Written by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Dr. Paula Kahumbu; Photographs by Peter Greste
Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship is the second photo-illustrated picture book about the unlikely-but-true friendship between a hippo and a tortoise! Read more


Henry's Freedom Box

Henry's Freedom Box
Written by Ellen Levine; Illustrated by Kadir Nelson
A powerful story of the extraordinary events of Henry “Box” Brown’s life when he finds the strength and conviction to free himself from slavery by hiding in a wooden crate and mailing himself to freedom. Read more


Can You See What I See?

Can You See What I See? Seymour and the Juice Box Boat
by Walter Wick
Walter Wick is the photographer of the best-selling I SPY series as well as the author and photographer of the best-selling Can You See What I See? series and award-winning science books such as A Drop of Water and Walter Wick's Optical Tricks. His most recent book in the Can You See What I See? series is Seymour and the Juice Box Boat, a search-and-find storybook for preschoolers. In this article, Walter's editor, Grace Maccarone, writes about the book, the author, and a prop named Seymour. Read more


Good Boy Fergus!

Good Boy Fergus!
Written and Illustrated by David Shannon
Bonnie Verburg, Editorial Director of the Blue Sky Press, shares the amusement, laughter, and joy she experienced while publishing Good Boy Fergus! - the latest picture book from David Shannon, author of the Caldecott Honor book No, David! Read more


I Lost My Tooth in Africa

I Lost My Tooth in Africa
By Penda Diakité
Illustrated by Baba Wagué Diakité

January 2006
Scholastic Executive Editor Dianne Hess explains how lightning struck twice when she took a chance on publishing Wague Diakite, and then his truly gifted twelve-year-old daughter. Read more


Langston's Train Ride

Langston's Train Ride
written by Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Leonard Jenkins

Vice President and Editorial Director of Orchard Books and Cartwheel, Ken Geist, discusses how Langston's Train Ride explores the inspirations of poet Langston Hughes. Read more.


My Senator and Me

My Senator and Me
By Senator Edward M. Kennedy; Illustrated by David Small
Arthur A. Levine editor, Cheryl Klein, talks about how coffee with her boss led her to Washington D.C. to work on a project with Senator Edward Kennedy…and his dog “Splash”. Read more


Walt Whitman: Words for America

Walt Whitman: Words for America
written by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Brian Selznick
Scholastic Press editor Tracy Mack tells us about working with Barbara Kerley and Brian Selznick on the outstanding new title, Walt Whitman: Words for America. Read More


Zen Shorts

Zen Shorts
written by Jon J Muth

March 2005
Scholastic editor Dianne Hess discusses her experience working with Jon J Muth on his most recent masterpiece, Zen Shorts. Read more.