by Judy Newman with Alexie Basil
I get to meet a lot of really cool people in the course of my job as Reader in Chief of Scholastic Book Clubs, such as…
Jeff Kinney, the creator of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series…
My friend Jerry Pallotta, the creator of nearly 100 books, including the massively popular Who Would Win? series, which has 11 million copies in print…
Taylor Swift in the Scholastic auditorium. I’m not starstruck too often, but it was amazing when Taylor came to Scholastic to promote the power of reading and be interviewed by Billy DiMichele, Scholastic’s SVP of Creative Development, in front of hundreds of schoolkids.
Ruby Bridges and her marvelous teacher, Barbara Henry, at the dedication of the William Frantz Elementary School’s Ruby Bridges statue in New Orleans…
The 2018–2019 Scholastic Book Clubs Teacher Advisors. Sixteen incredible teachers from all across the country worked closely with our team all year long to inform the work we do. We visited their classes, met in New York City, and used their invaluable feedback to help shape the Scholastic Book Clubs program.…
Luke Lamour, whose passion for presidents is infectious! And Luke’s fourth grade teacher, Naomi Reizfeld, who invited us to her class’s multicultural presentation and luncheon. Fun fact: she has been hosting this event for 32 years!
And future editor Charlie Theimer! Seven-year-old Charlie found an error in a Fly Guy workbook he got from Scholastic Book Clubs and wanted us to know about it. We corrected the error and reprinted the book so other kids wouldn’t have the same issue. And to thank Charlie for his careful reading, we printed a special “Edited by Charlie Theimer” edition.
Each time I meet someone—regardless of how renowned they are—I learn something.
There are a few people I would still really like to meet. Jane Goodall is one of them.
This week’s Dollar Deal is I Am Jane Goodall, a nonfiction picture book written by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos. It’s a part of the Ordinary People Change the World series, which features real-life individuals who have had a big impact in their field.
“I really do LOVE this little book.” —Dr. Jane Goodall
Jane’s determination to never give up has inspired me since I first read about her life and work. In I Am Jane Goodall, Brad and Christopher capture Jane’s story so well that readers of all ages will also be inspired by her biography…and learn a lot about environmentalism, animal research, pursuing your passion, and thinking way outside the box. Other scientists used to criticize Jane Goodall for giving the chimpanzees she studied names instead of numbers.
These naysayers didn’t appreciate how Jane described her research subjects—with names instead of numbers. They thought it was inappropriate to describe chimpanzees’ personalities, habits, preferences, fears, and relationships—it made other scientists uncomfortable that Jane was describing chimpanzees in “human” terms. But it was all part of the then-radical view that motivated so much of Jane’s work: animals deserve to be treated with respect.
David Vozar, my friend and colleague at Scholastic Book Clubs (have you found him elsewhere in this post?), was inspired to think about the animals in another way:
The blog team had a great time immersing ourselves in this week’s Dollar Deal! The Book Boys explore the jungle and relive their favorite story moments. Teacher Eileen O’Rourke shares how she uses I Am Jane Goodall to enhance her Women’s History Month curriculum in Book Talks. Christopher Eliopoulos and Brad Meltzer reveal their inspiration for creating I Am Jane Goodall in Behind the Scenes. And we offer teachers a classroom activity for students to make their own nonfiction books about women who inspire them in Cooked Up from a Book!
I hope you and your students enjoy this week’s Dollar Deal, I Am Jane Goodall, and that it reminds you that ordinary people can do extraordinary things—and change the world.
This Book Is Available from Scholastic Book Clubs