Posts Tagged Scholastic

The Scholastic Book Fair Situation

Middle Grade Authors
There are few school events that children look forward to as much as the annual Scholastic Book Fair. Library shelves get moved aside, and a big truck shows up to deliver boxes and boxes and boxes filled with all kinds of books. Children are excited, parents are nostalgic, and schools reap the benefits of a time-honored tradition. What could possibly go wrong?
red rectangle, white letters, scholastic logo

Well, in our current climate, books are being challenged in every state across the nation. Individuals are being empowered to call for the removal of books from library shelves, and children are losing access to books that are representative of many members of our diverse population. And now, the time-honored tradition of Scholastic Book Fairs has succumbed to the pressure created by the vocal minority who challenge diverse books.


The Controversy


In response to the growing number of book challenges across the country, Scholastic made the decision to separate books dealing with racism and sexuality from the rest of their merchandise. When planning their book fairs, schools could decide whether to “opt in” or “opt out” of making diverse books available.

Change Sings Amanda Gorman cover

The books that have been separated from the general inventory are being lumped together in a special collection called “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice.” According to Publisher’s Weekly, there are 64 books in the collection. If schools opt out, students are denied access to books like Amanda Gorman’s Change Sings, Kwame Alexander’s Booked, Denise Lewis Patrick’s Justice Ketanji, and Michael Hall’s Red: A Crayon’s Story.


Many librarians complained, and public outrage followed. Writers and educators used their social media platforms to reprimand Scholastic for bowing to political pressure and restricting access to diverse books. PEN America released a statement decrying Scholastic’s actions. Red Wine and Blue, a group of moms who stand against book banning, is circulating a petition that asks Scholastic to return the books to their regular collection.


PEN America says that the issue is “driven by a vocal minority demanding censorship.” The organization tracks book bans and has documented a significant rise in the number of books being challenged and restricted. According to NPR, book challenges and bans are most prevalent in Texas, Florida, Missouri, Utah, and South Carolina. However, no state is immune to restrictions being placed upon books.


The Statement


In response to public outcry, Scholastic released a statement providing a rationale for their decision to allow schools to opt out of the “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice” collection. Among their reasons, Scholastic states the following:

There is now enacted or pending legislation in more than 30 U.S. states prohibiting certain kinds of books from being in schools – mostly LGBTQIA+ titles and books that engage with the presence of racism in our country. Because Scholastic Book Fairs are invited into schools, where books can be purchased by kids on their own, these laws create an almost impossible dilemma: back away from these titles or risk making teachers, librarians, and volunteers vulnerable to being fired, sued, or prosecuted.”


The main premise for their decision seems to be that book challenges are placing schools in a difficult position. In order to continue offering their popular book fairs, the company claims that they need to provide a way for schools to adhere to complex state and local laws. They acknowledge that this is not a perfect solution, but they claim that without the ability to opt out of certain books, schools would be unable to host book fairs.


The Reality


A fifth grade teacher in Georgia was recently fired because she shared a book about gender identity with her students. That book had been available at her school’s Scholastic Book Fair. A middle school teacher in Texas was fired for sharing a graphic novel about Anne Frank with her eighth grade students. A high school English teacher in Oklahoma received death threats after sharing a QR code with her students that enabled them to access the Brooklyn Public Library’s Books Unbanned project. 

a stack of books chained together

Teachers, librarians, and volunteers are being fired, sued, and threatened for sharing diverse books with their students. Scholastic claims they are trying to help schools navigate these threats and still provide book fairs that bring in needed funds and put books in the hands of children. Critics disagree.


Critics accuse Scholastic of putting profit over principle. They argue that publishers need to stand strong in support of their authors and books. Across social media platforms, there is a demand for Scholastic to reverse the opt-out option and support access to diverse books. After all, critics argue, if your goal is to truly “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice,” you cannot hide some stories and voices because a vocal minority denounces them.


The Alternatives

When we think of book fairs, we think of Scholastic. There’s a good reason for that. Over 100,000 Scholastic book fairs are hosted each year, and they provide schools with funds for books and other resources. Scholastic is so dominant in the book fair market that it’s difficult for many schools to find viable options. However, outrage over the isolation of the “Share Every Story, Celebrate Every Voice” collection has caused many librarians to look beyond Scholastic for book fair options.


While Scholastic is definitely the biggest player in the book fair market, there are other booksellers that host book fairs, including Literati and Barnes and Noble. Many publishers also host book fairs, but their collections might be more limited than what is offered by Scholastic.

shelves with books, red seats, people reading

Another option is the independent book store. During recent years, indie bookstores have seen a rise in popularity, and their followers have a deep sense of loyalty. Communities embrace them because they are known for promoting the open exchange of ideas and contributing to the local economy. They also usually provide access to a diverse collection of books and make their services available to local schools. 


Now, many communities are turning to their local bookstores as an option to book fairs hosted by the publishing giant. Independent bookstores have strong ties to their neighbors and understand the culture and needs of their communities. The personal attention they can offer is leading many librarians and schools to partner with their local indie bookstores. The indie alternative offers a personalized approach to hosting a book fair and a way to take a stand against Scholastic’s decision to give libraries and schools the choice to opt-out of including diverse books.



Cover Reveal: GOOD DIFFERENT, by Meg Eden Kuyatt

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MUF cover reveal logo


It’s cover reveal day at Mixed-Up Files, and we’re so excited! Today we get to reveal the cover for Meg Eden Kuyatt’s middle-grade debut: GOOD DIFFERENT.

Here it is!

graphic of elements of the cover but they're all mixed up - doesn't show the full cover yet.

Okay, okay, I’m just playing. That’s not exactly it …. and I PROMISE I really will show you in just a moment. t’s AMAZING and I’m chomping at the bit to share …. in just a minute or two.

When we do a cover reveal here at Mixed-Up Files,  before we show you the art, we love the chance to hear from the wonderful creators who turn an author’s themes and characters into covers that will lure readers to pick up the book. For GOOD DIFFERENT, that artist was Luna Valentine.

Meet Illustrator Luna Valentine

head shot of illustrator who is a white woman with pale purple hair, dark lipstick, and bright red and blue eye shadow


MUF: How did you decide which story elements to focus on for this cover?

LV: I’ve had a lot of input and help from an incredible design team. We’ve explored a lot of different ideas and in the end had a wide variety of ideas to choose from. I think early on the phrase “be a dragon” stood out to me personally and I tried to incorporate it as a design element in every idea we worked on. It’s really empowering to be a dragon.

MUF: Which elements did you enjoy working with the most?

LV: My absolute favourite part was the character design. I feel like you can connect to a story on a whole new level if you connect with the protagonist, and from the moment I got the character description of Selah I could just picture her so clearly in my head. Now getting her to look exactly like she did in my head was a challenge but it was so much fun.

MUF: What is your artistic process for cover art?

LV: Usually I start with super rough, teeny tiny sketches straight away after reading the brief, just to get my initial ideas down on paper. Then I’ll do an in depth character design, usually with a bunch of different hair styles, clothing choices, maybe even a couple of different expressions. I draw the character in a lot of different poses. The first sketches are always so stiff and lifeless, but when you get into it, and allow yourself the time to experiment with different ideas, different designs and even make some mistakes, your sketches will finally start looking the way you want them to. I think the key is not to spend too much time on artwork at first and then go back and refine it over days, even weeks until it starts looking the way you want it to.

MUF:  What do you enjoy about illustrating cover artwork in general?

LV: Honestly my favourite part is seeing it in print, on a shelf in a book shop or on my doorstep. I love the feeling of a new book. And knowing I helped to create it is so satisfying.

About Luna:

Luna is a Polish children’s book illustrator, living in Nottingham, UK.

She works digitally, finding inspiration in folk tales, video games, cute Japanese food, under her bed and other places nobody thinks to look. Her art has been described as humorous, quirky and colorful. At Nottingham Trent University she studied Graphic Design and went on to receive her Masters in Illustration. Luna has worked with a variety of clients including Paper Rose, Paperchase and Arteza. When Luna is not drawing, you can find her traveling the world to find the perfect cup of coffee.

Stay In Touch:


Instagram: @lunavaltineart


The Cover Reveal

And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for … drum roll …. the real thing! Here’s the cover for GOOD DIFFERENT, by Meg Eden Kuyatt.

cover art for GOOD DIFFERENT features a white girl with brown hair and the image of dragon wings sprouting from her shoulders



A extraordinary novel-in-verse for fans of Starfish and A Kind of Spark about a neurodivergent girl who comes to understand and celebrate her difference.

Selah knows her rules for being normal.

She always, always sticks to them. This means keeping her feelings locked tightly inside, despite the way they build up inside her as each school day goes on, so that she has to run to the bathroom and hide in the stall until she can calm down. So that she has to tear off her normal-person mask the second she gets home from school, and listen to her favorite pop song on repeat, trying to recharge. Selah feels like a dragon stuck in a world of humans, but she knows how to hide it.

Until the day she explodes and hits a fellow student.

Selah’s friends pull away from her, her school threatens expulsion, and her comfortable, familiar world starts to crumble.

But as Selah starts to figure out more about who she is, she comes to understand that different doesn’t mean damaged. Can she get her school to understand that, too, before it’s too late?

Meet Author Meg Eden Kuyatt

MUF: Did you get to weigh in on any of these details in this cover art?

MEK: I gave a description of Selah (the protagonist) and some ideas of what I was envisioning, as well as styles I liked. My main comment was that I really wanted a dragon integrated into the cover—and I LOVE how Luna did this!

MUF: Is there one element of this illustration that stands out in particular for you as the author or that resonates with favorite parts of your story?

MEK: My favorite parts are Selah’s dragon wings. I love how they’re built out of all these things Selah learns in the novel, like the sensory tools she discovers (like earplugs and sunglasses), or how she rethinks words she’s grown up hearing, like “weird.” I really love how it shows that the tools Selah learns about empower her, like dragon wings! I can’t imagine a better image that captures the heart of this story!

MUF: Anything else you would like to tell us about your cover and why it is special to you?

MEK: I really didn’t have ideas for the cover, or a specific way I envisioned it, but it was really important to me that it would pull in kids who, like Selah, may also have a special interest in dragons. So I was incredibly happy to see this cover, which captured what I wanted, even though I didn’t know how to express it! It gives a magical touch (because writing is magic!) but still tells us this is a contemporary story, that you can find those little glimmers of magic in the real world. I’m in love with my cover!

MUF: Congratulations, and we’re so excited to read GOOD DIFFERENT!


About Meg

photo of author Meg Eden Kuyatt, a white woman with long brown hair standing in front of water with a bridge in the background

Meg Eden Kuyatt is a 2020 Pitch Wars mentee, and teaches creative writing at Anne Arundel Community College. She is the author of the 2021 Towson Prize for Literature winning poetry collection “Drowning in the Floating World” (Press 53, 2020) and children’s novels, most recently “Good Different” (Scholastic, 2023).

Stay In Touch and Preorder


Twitter: @ConfusedNarwhal

Instagram: @meden_author

Facebook: Meg Eden Writes Poems


GOOD DIFFERENT comes out in March 2023. Preorder now from!

World Read Aloud Day 2022

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World Read Aloud Day

Back for its 13th year, World Read Aloud Day 2022 invites the world to slow down and sit down together on February 2, 20220, to read. Created by Litworld and sponsored by Scholastic, the yearly event is intended to bring people together in a common love of books and stories.

Image of conversation bubble saying World Read Aloud Day 2022 Save the date.

Scholastic and LitWorld to Host Free Virtual Event Series Leading Up to World Read Aloud Day Annual Celebration on February 2, 2022.

Virtual Events

This year, virtual events to mark World Read Aloud Day begin on January 31 and will continue through February 2. The events include sing-along sessions for the kids, chats about parenting, and a presentation with Q and A from I SURVIVED series author Lauren Tarshis. For a full list of events, click here.

All readers and event participants are encouraged to share the word with the #WorldReadAloud hashtag on social media — tell us what you’re reading and what you love!

((Like the I Survived series? Read MUF contributor Meira Drazin’s interview with her here.))

According to Scholastic,  173 countries celebrate this day of reading.