The Reader’s Heart Podcast

The Reader’s Heart Podcast

Conversations with kid lit creators about how children’s literature connects readers’ hearts to story, the world and one another.

Episodes

April 16, 2024 29 mins

In this episode, Chrystal D Giles joins Jennifer LaGarde to discuss the power of children's literature to shape readers' hearts and provide guidance in navigating the world. Chrystal shares her experiences as a young reader and how she now gravitates towards contemporary realistic fiction that tackles social and cultural topics. They also discuss Chrystal's book, Not An Easy Win, which follows the journey of a 12-year-old boy named...

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In this conversation, Chris Baron chats with Jennifer about the power of children's literature in shaping readers' hearts and helping them navigate tough situations. Chris shares his own experiences as a reader, giving a shoutout to his 3rd grade teacher, and how books became a stable presence in his life. They also discuss the influence of comics on both their readers' hearts. Chris shares the inspiration behind his book The ...

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In this conversation, Chris Barton joins Jennifer to chat about his reading habits, research process for nonfiction books, and the importance of balancing serious topics with joy in children's literature. They discuss the role of personal experiences in writing and the impact of books in helping children cope with tragedy. Chris shares his love for book dedications and the inspiration behind his webcast on the topic. They also touc...

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In this episode, author/illustrator Corinna Luyken joins Jennifer to discuss her lifelong love for reading and the influence of her early library experiences. She shares how her passion for language and poetry led her to become a picture book author and illustrator. Corinna emphasizes the power of picture books in fostering connection and inclusivity, and the importance of asking better questions. She also discusses her book ABC an...

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In this conversation, Saadia Faruqi joins Jennifer to chat abouther journey as a reader and writer, as well as the importance of representation in children's literature. They also delve into Saadia's books, including Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero and Saving Sunshine, and the inspiration behind them. Saadia shares her experiences as a writer and the impact she hopes to make with her stories. The conversation highlights the need for dive...

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In this conversation, Jennifer chats with Pura Belpré honor winning poet Jasminne Mendez, They discuss Jasminne's reader's heart and the power of children's literature. They also delve into the inclusion of chronic illness in Aniana del Mar Jumps In and the importance of poetry in conveying the story. Jasminne talks about the power of storytelling, and her future projects including a YA novel in verse centered around theater and ac...

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This week, Lisa Fipps joins Jennifer to discuss the power of children's literature and its ability to shape hearts and offer survival tools for readers. Lisa shares her early reading experiences and how books allowed her to escape her challenging childhood. They discuss Lisa's book And Then, BOOM! and how it reflects her own experiences of poverty, abandonment, and hunger. They also explore the importance of representation in child...

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February 27, 2024 28 mins

Sarah Everett joins Jennifer to discuss her book The Probability of Everything and the power of books to connect readers. She shares her own experiences as a reader and the impact of books like Charlotte's Web on her as a reader and a writer. The importance of read-alouds and tackling tough topics in children's literature are also explored. Sarah talks about the process of writing and developing characters, as well as the mystery e...

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February 13, 2024 35 mins

In this episode of The Reader's Heart, Jennifer chat's with award winning author Kyle Lukoff. They discuss various topics, including the importance of empathy in children's literature, the role of reading in shaping a reader's heart, the process of writing and revision, and the theme of vegetables in Lukoff's books. Lukoff shares his perspective on transphobia and why he chooses not to include it in his characters' journeys. The co...

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February 6, 2024 47 mins

In this conversation, Traci Sorell joins Jennifer to discuss her passion for storytelling and the importance of representation in literature. She emphasizes the need for diverse stories that reflect the experiences of Native people and dispel stereotypes. Traci also shares her writing process and the significance of incorporating Cherokee language and culture in her books. She encourages readers to connect with one another through ...

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January 29, 2024 36 mins

In this conversation, Jennifer LaGarde and John Schu discuss various topics related to reading, writing, and the power of connection. They explore John's journey as a reader and how he connects with characters and stories. They also delve into the importance of picture books and the role of poetry in John's writing. The conversation then shifts to John's latest book, Louder Than Hunger, a novel in verse that tackles the topic of ea...

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