Literacy and Reading

On this edition of our show, a conversation with the prolific and bestselling author Sharon Draper, who's the winner of this year's Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature. This prize is awarded each year by the Tulsa Library Trust, and Ms. Draper will formally accept the honor at a presentation and address on Friday the 28th at 7pm. This event happens at the Hardesty Regional Library here in Tulsa, and Ms. Draper will also speak about her life and works, answer questions from the audience, and sign copies of her books.

On this edition of our show, we speak by phone with Fran Stallings, a longtime storyteller who has performed at numerous national and international storytelling festivals, in schools and libraries, and on the radio. Stallings has two new books out, which she tells us about: "How to Fool a Cat: Japanese Folktales for Children" and "The Price of Three Stories: Rare Folktales from Japan." In each of these collections, Stallings has edited and adapted the stories of her friend and collaborator, Hiroko Fujita.

On this edition of ST, an engaging chat with Shaun Usher, a writer, researcher, and blogger based in the U.K. Usher tells us about his new book, just out, which he edited and compiled: "Lists of Note: An Eclectic Collection Deserving of a Wider Audience." Hailed in the British press as "beautiful and immensely satisfying" (The Observer) and as "1. Splendid. 2. Addictive. 3.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in April.) "Don't just do something," goes an old saying that's sometimes attributed to the Buddha, "sit there." On this installment of ST, we speak with the acclaimed travel writer and essayist Pico Iyer, whose newest book is called "The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere." It may seem odd to find one of contemporary literature's best travel writers composing a book-lenth essay about not traveling, but Iyer begs to differ.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the "summer slide." This phrase is what educational researchers use to refer to the approximately two months of grade-level learning that school kids lose without summertime academic enrichment. Our guests are Kathy Taylor, the CEO of ImpactTulsa and a former Mayor of Tulsa, and Anthony Grant, a recent Teach for America alum who is based in Tulsa (and who will soon be the Vice-Principal at Anderson Elementary School); both are working to combat "summer slide" amid Tulsa-area schoolchildren.

"Don't just do something," goes an old saying that's sometimes attributed to the Buddha, "sit there." On this installment of ST, we speak with the widely acclaimed travel writer and essayist Pico Iyer, whose newest book is called "The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere." It may seem odd to find one of contemporary literature's best travel writers composing a book-lenth essay about not traveling, but Iyer begs to differ.

Nancy Pearl, author of the "Book Lust" series of recommended books and our longtime book reviewer here on StudioTulsa, joins us to discuss her favorite reads of 2014. Here's a complete list of the books she discussed with us on today's program:

"2 a.m. at the Cat's Pajamas" (Crown) by Marie-Helene Bertino -- This novel depicts 24 hours in the lives of nine-year-old aspiring jazz singer Madeleine Altimiri and her circle of acquaintances.

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, we learn about Reach Out and Read, a long-running nationwide program that, per the "mission" page of its website, "prepares America's youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.... The program serves more than 4 million children and their families across the nation, with a special emphasis on serving those in low-income communities.

Every fall, thousands of people sign up for National Novel Writing Month (or, if you like, "NaNoWriMo"), which happens each November, and which was founded by our guest today, a freelance writer and writing coach in the Bay Area named Chris Baty. Baty's program has helped countless people -- over the last 15 years or so -- finally write that elusive novel and/or get down a workable first draft of said novel to the tune of 50,000 words....

Illustration Credit: NPR

On this installment of ST, we welcome back Nancy Pearl, our longtime book reviewer. Nancy is a former librarian --- and former Tulsan --- who's also a bestselling author, editor, critic, and book advocate. She's also the former Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book at the Seattle Public Library. She can be heard on NPR's Morning Edition, where she regularly offers good-reading tips, and her wide-ranging, well-researched recommendations have also been collected into the ongoing and highly popular "Book Lust" series of volumes.

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