by Judy Newman with Alexie Basil
At Scholastic Book Clubs, we spend many days brainstorming and planning in our Scholastic offices in New York City…
Creating book flyers for kids and classrooms across the country…
And visiting teachers in their classrooms to discuss how books and independent reading for pleasure make such a huge difference in their students’ lives.
But today, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Book Club staff is not together in our beautiful physical Scholastic offices. We are not sending out printed flyers—only digital versions. And we are, sadly, not able to go out to visit you in your classrooms around the country.
But we are as determined as ever to try to help teachers get amazing books into the hands of all kids. Especially now.
We are setting up makeshift office spaces at home. Our teams are spending much of the day brainstorming and planning on Google Meet or Zoom conference calls. And we are holding virtual focus groups online with teachers and parents to discuss how we can make Scholastic Book Clubs the best it can possibly be to serve your needs for back to school.
(If you’re interested in joining one, please email us at SCastilla@scholastic.com.)
I am always so proud of the work and the passion of our Scholastic Book Clubs team, and I was truly blown away when I saw the work they created—from home!—to support the Book of the Week: Hope: Project Middle School by Alyssa Milano and Debbie Rigaud, with illustrations by Eric S. Keyes.
“Hope is a likable and inspiring kid who never gives up.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Finding your voice” is a big theme in Hope: Project Middle School, and you will see in the Book Boys video (featuring real-life kids discussing the book), a teacher book review, and a video message from Alyssa Milano herself how we raised our collective voices to bring you this compelling and enjoyable middle grade novel. Project Middle School is the first title in Hope, a new middle grade series that inspires kids to find their own voices and make a difference.
Here’s a summary of the story from the back of the book:
Meet Hope Roberts.
She’s 11 years old. She loves her rescue dogs, Galaxy Girl comic books, and science.
Hope believes it’s always a good day to champion a cause, defend an underdog, and stand up for her friends. And most of all, she believes in dreaming big.
But though Hope seems super-strong on the outside, there’s another side of her too. She’s just a regular girl trying to survive middle school.
This new series from actor and activist Alyssa Milano has a message to young readers everywhere: You can make a difference. You can change the world.
Alyssa Milano shared on The View that she wanted to write about middle school because she believes it’s a time when we are genuinely caring and empathetic toward others.
After reading Hope: Project Middle School, my friend and colleague David Vozar was reminded of his own efforts to do good as a middle schooler. This is what he created:
To help you and your students—whether in the classroom or at home—get the most out of Hope: Project Middle School, and be inspired to read about this feisty heroine and maybe come up with some ideas for your own brand of activism, we created these fun, ready-to-use digital resources:
BOOK SWAP: Watch the Book Boys as they share Hope’s story with some friends (and explore kids’ points of view about what makes Hope: Project Middle School a great read).
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: In a Behind the Scenes video interview, Alyssa Milano gives readers the inside scoop on Hope Roberts, star of Hope: Project Middle School.
TEACHER TIPS: Discover how Hope: Project Middle School could be used in a virtual learning environment in sixth grade teacher Amy Soupiset’s video Book Talk.
WRITING PROMPT: Download a free journal-writing prompt and worksheet about facing challenges in Cooked Up from a Book.
We hope you and your students enjoy Hope: Project Middle School and that it encourages you to use your own voice to advocate for the things that matter most to you!
I know all of us at Scholastic Book Clubs will continue to use our voices to do everything we can to support teachers, parents, and students. And remind everyone—of all ages and reading levels—of the enormous power of books to help kids make sense of the world, see themselves and others, and escape into a great story.
This Book Is Available from Scholastic Book Clubs