DiscoverThe Lerner Podcast
The Lerner Podcast
Claim Ownership

The Lerner Podcast

Author: Lerner Books

Subscribed: 1Played: 1


Join us for author interviews, book chat, and more!Lerner Publishing Group creates nonfiction and fiction books that educate, empower and entertain readers. Whether you are looking for engaging picture books, high-quality supplemental nonfiction, graphic novels, or boundary-pushing young adult novels, you will find what your readers need to grow and learn. Visit our website at credits:"Farm" Kevin MacLeod ( under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
25 Episodes
Today on The Lerner Podcast, we talk with Nina Crews, illustrator of A Girl Like Me. Nina is a critically acclaimed children's book author and illustrator. She uses photographs and photocollages to create energetic stories about young children. In this book, she uses her signature style to illustrate Angela Brown's empowering poem, "A Girl Like Me". “Once I dreamed I swam / the ocean / and saw everything deep, cool / and was part of the waves. / I swam on by the people / onshore / hollering, / ‘A girl like you needs to / stay out of the water / and be dry / like everyone else.’”Empower young readers to embrace their individuality, reject societal limitations, and follow their dreams. This inspiring picture book celebrates girls of color.Nina discusses how the book came to be, her hopes for young readers to continue making the world a better place, and artists whose children's books she loves. Show notesNina's Recommended ArtistsCharles R. Smith Jr.’s My People: Pulley Sayre: Wick: and an in-progress sketch can be viewed on the Lerner Blog. Read a transcript of the interview here. Visit Nina Crews' website. Music credits:"Farm" Kevin MacLeod ( under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
Today I chat with Ginger Garrett, author of Name Tags and Other Sixth-Grade Disasters, about inspiration, bullying, and selfies, and how to start a teen writer's club in your school or library. Twelve-year-old Lizbeth always has a plan, and those plans have usually worked—until now. No matter what she tries, she can't get rid of her dad's new girlfriend, Claire. And when she and her mom move, Lizbeth has to join a sixth-grade class already in progress, where her teacher makes her wear a name tag and she's seated with three notorious "weirdos."When faced with mandatory participation in a school talent show, Lizbeth and the Weirdos decide to create self portraits. Reluctantly, Lizbeth finds herself becoming friends with people she thought she had nothing in common with—and coming to terms with the things she can't control.Praise for Name Tags and Other Sixth-Grade Disasters"Disasters averted in this realistic yet amusing take on sixth grade life."—Kirkus Reviews"Fun, funny, and fully heartfelt. Everyone needs true-blue friends like Lizbeth's. SuperChicken for life." —Kristin L. Gray, author of The Amelia Six and Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge"One of those books that explores difficult topics—divorce, a new school, being dubbed a "weirdo"—with grace and good humor." —Rebecca Petruck, author of Boy Bites Bug and Steering Toward Normal"This hilarious and heartfelt gem is moving straight to my "favorites" shelf." —Lisa Lewis Tyre, author of Last in a Long Line of Rebels and Hope in the HollerYou can find Ginger online at her website, on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and don't miss her resources on Pinterest.Here's a link to the Google Classroom collection of selfies that we discussed, as well as the awesome Calculus Roundtable that Ginger is involved with.  Music credits"Farm" Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License 
Today on the Lerner Podcast, I’m pleased to welcome Whitney Stewart, a science author, and Hans Andersson, a clinical geneticist, who together wrote Genomics. Since the completion of the Human Genome Project, the field of genetic studies has transitioned into an era of discovery. Whitney and Hans explore the scientific breakthroughs in genetic research that currently inform our understanding of ancestry, inheritance, epigenetics, health, and medicine. Through fascinating case studies, the authors explain how DNA mutations pass from parents to children and how genetic disorders affect real people’s well-being. The authors’ case-based approach makes this topic accessible to readers and encourages student interest in the burgeoning fields of genomics research and healthcare. Praise for Genomics"An excellent bridge between real-world technology applications of biotechnology and what students learn in their biology classrooms."—starred, School Library Journal"High-quality, curiosity-sparking brain fuel."—Kirkus Reviews"A clear, understandable, and well-sourced look at how advances in genomic medicine alter the treatment of diseases, with thought-provoking ideas to consider regarding the ethics of human genetic modification."—BooklistYou can find Whitney online at her website, or on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.  Music credits"Farm" Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License 
Just out this month, Like Spilled Water is a gripping tale of a young woman in modern-day China. Nineteen-year-old Na has always lived in the shadow of her younger brother, Bao-bao, her parents' cherished son. Years ago, Na's parents left her in the countryside and went to work in the city, bringing Bao-bao along and committing everything to his education.But when Bao-bao dies suddenly, Na realizes how little she knew him. Did he really kill himself because of a low score on China's all-important college entrance exam? Na learns that Bao-bao had many secrets and that his death may not be what it seems. Na's parents expect her to quit her vocational school and go to work, forcing Na to confront traditional expectations for and pressures on young women.Today, we hear from Jennie Liu, author of Like Spilled Water and Girls on the Line, about her inspiration and process for writing her novels. Praise for Like Spilled Water"[A] powerful tale of a brave young woman who dares to question when others simply accept."—starred, Booklist"[F]ilters detailed depictions of filial piety, funeral rites, grief, romantic relationships, and parental support through a modern teenager's perspective. . . . Will lead readers through a quiet revolution."—Kirkus ReviewsPraise for Girls on the Line"[E]xplores a moment of contemporary history and a culture that is underrepresented in YA realistic fiction. . . . Recommended purchase, especially for YA collections serving older teens or new adults."—starred, School Library Journal"Both poignant and agonizing, Girls on the Line is a must read."—starred, Foreword Reviews"[A] much-needed look at the people who produce the goods we rely on worldwide and the hardships they face. . . . Readers will learn much from this absorbing and realistic tale."—Booklist"An affecting and original thrill ride . . ."—Kirkus ReviewsCatch up with Jennie on the web, on her website or on Twitter.  Music credits"Farm" Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License 
Today on the Lerner podcast, I am joined by Connie Goldsmith, a retired registered nurse with a master's degree in health who writes books about history, health, and science for older children. Her most recent book has just come out: Kiyo Sato: From a WWII Japanese Internment Camp to a Life of Service. In 1941 Kiyo Sato and her eight younger siblings lived with their parents on a small farm near Sacramento, California. The Satos were an ordinary American family. Until they weren’t. On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The next day, US president Franklin Roosevelt declared war on Japan and the United States officially entered World War II. Soon after, in February and March 1942, Roosevelt signed two executive orders that paved the way for the military to round up all Japanese Americans living on the West Coast and incarcerate them in isolated internment camps for the duration of the war. Kiyo and her family were among the nearly 120,000 internees. In this moving account, Sato and Goldsmith tell the story of the internment years, describing why the internment happened and how it impacted Kiyo and her family. They also discuss the ways in which Kiyo has used her experience to educate other Americans about their history, to promote inclusion, and to fight against similar injustices.Get a sneak peek of the foreword to the book. This informative biography sheds light on a dark chapter in American history."—BooklistA moving, insightful portrait."—Kirkus ReviewsYou can learn more about Connie on her website. Below are links to some videos of Kiyo. Sacramento Bee video of the official apology regarding internment from the state of California in January 2020. Kiyo is seen at minute 1.56; 2.41; 3.10-3.37. She is front and center, literally, at the front of the seating and close to the action.Kiyo receiving a "home-town hero" award last year at a Sacramento Kings basketball game. StoryCorps: Injustice Endured for the Sake of the Children. Cia Vancil, Kiyo Sato’s daughter, briefly interviews her mother about her internment on Capital Public Radio (December 2015). “Kiyo Sato Author ‘Dandelion through the Crack'," A C-Span interview with Kiyo Sato is sprinkled with archival film footage and reporting of the internment (September 2015). “Internment—Time of Remembrance—Kiyo Sato.”This interview, Posted by SECCEducationalTV, covers much of Kiyo's life, including recent years.Music credits: "Farm" Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License 
Chris Monroe is back on the Lerner Podcast! We last spoke in April, about how Chico Bon Bon's book and Netflix series came to be. Now she's back, talking about the latest picture book, Monkey with a Tool Belt Blasts Off, out this month. Oh no, the Moon Malt machine at the Superstar Space Station and Snack Bar is broken! The ever-resourceful Chico Bon Bon and his trusty sidekick Clark the elephant ZOOM to the rescue. While working on the malfunctioning Moon Malt machine, they discover myriad other things in need of fixing, including a hatch and a latch and a droid's underwear. And then—FWHOOSH! KA-BOING!—what was that? It's the cutest alien in the universe, and she's stranded at the space station due to a broken down spaceship!Thanks to Chico's know-how and his extensive tool collection there's a fix for every problem under the sun—and beyond!"[L]ighthearted and silly but has enough heart to merit space on the shelves of space lovers, handy kids, and anyone looking for a giggle and a smile. . . . A fun and satisfying journey." —Kirkus ReviewsYou can find Chris on the web, follow her official fan club on Facebook, get a sneak peek of Monkey with a Tool Belt Blasts Off on the Lerner website, see the Chico Bon Bon trailer on YouTube, and watch the whole series on Netflix.Music credits: "Farm" Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License 
Dash! Hide! Splash! Ride! Exuberant text celebrates all the different ways animals play, from rhinos taking mud baths and parrots somersaulting through the air to kangaroos boxing and dolphins diving through the surf. Today we chat with Play Like an Animal author Maria Gianferrari about how playing benefits animals and what inspires her to create books. “An inviting choice for animal-lovers.”—Booklist“A lively addition to the animal shelf.”—Kirkus Reviews“A fun way for children to realize that animals play just like them.”—School Library JournalClick below to see three spreads from the book:Spread 1Spread 2Spread 3Here is a link to the video we discussed, of zoo animals playing in the snow, as well as a recent article Maria shared, where researchers taught rats to play hide & seek.Connect with Maria on Instagram, Facebook, or her website where you can also learn about all her other books. Be sure to check out the free STEM cards she created while you’re there!A link to a transcript of this episode is available here.  Music credits"Farm" Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License  
Today we are joined by author Caren Stelson who tells the inspiring story of Sachiko Yasui for different age groups in Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story (2016 book for middle grade and up) and A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story (picture book, out today!). Both books share the amazing story of Sachiko Yasui, a six-year-old girl who was half a mile from the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, 75 years ago this week. Caren adeptly connects Sachiko's story to what children are experiencing today in the COVID-19 pandemic, and Sachiko's story helps share an important story of resiliency for children and young adults in difficult times. A powerful entry point for discussing the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the importance of peace and disarmament. Stunning."—starred, BooklistA heartbreaking but essential perspective on war and survival."—starred, Kirkus Reviews"[A] symbol of survival. . . . Kusaka's illustrations effectively focus on Sachiko's family and the ways they used the bowl to create an orderly family life even in the midst of, and after, a devastating war."—starred, The Horn Book MagazineVisuals from A Bowl Full of Peace and additional words from Caren Stelson are available on the Lerner Blog. Caren would like to thank Carol Hinz, editorial director of Carolrhoda Books, AND Danielle Carnito, art director at Lerner Publishing Group, for their leadership on the book's development, as well as Dr. Takayuki Miyanishi, Professor of Environmental Science at Nagasaki University and President of the Nagasaki-Saint Paul Sister City Committee and Keiko Kawakami, Japanese Senior Teaching Specialist at the University of Minnesota for their hours of translation help as well as the Saint Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee with President JoAnn Blatchley for the organization's generous support. If you've been touched by Sachiko's story and would like to share your Bowl Full of Peace with us on social media, please tag us @LernerBooks and use the hashtag #bowlfullofpeace. You can also connect with author Caren Stelson on Facebook, Twitter, or her website. A transcript of this podcast is available here. Music credits: "Farm" Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License  
Listen in as Votes of Confidence author Jeff Fleischer covers what teens, young adults, and voters in need of a civics refresher ought to know about government, politics and elections. From the importance of primaries and mid-term elections to how student council can prepare participants for a life in politics to why teens should care about local politics even if they think they’re not interested, Jeff presents a compelling portrait of politics in everyday life. The book goes in-depth with clear explanations about how our election process actually works, why it matters, and how voters can become involved. Using real-world examples and anecdotes, this book provides readers with thorough, nonpartisan explanations about primaries, the electoral college, checks and balances, polls, fundraising, and more. Updated with statistics and details from the 2018 elections, the revised second edition will prepare the next generation of voters for what is sure to be a fascinating 2020 election cycle.“[A] very readable, engaging, and entertaining history of American elections and politics for young people. Highly recommended.”—starred, Booklist“Fleischer presents a potentially didactic subject matter in a digestible and organized manner. Recommended for middle to high school students, educators, and others interested in becoming civically informed and engaged.”—School Library Journal“[A] solid and timely foundation.”—Kirkus ReviewsClick to read the introduction from Votes of Confidence.You can also read an interview between editor Ashley Kuehl and Jeff from earlier this year on the Lerner Blog. Catch up with Jeff Fleischer on his website or on Twitter. A transcript of this episode is available here. Music credits"Farm" Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License  
Today we’re joined by Hannah Batsel, author and illustrator of A Is for Another Rabbit, a hilarious picture book in which a rabbit-obsessed narrator makes an owl increasingly irate by refusing to play by the rules of a conventional alphabet book. Every entry is about bunnies, from “delightful, dynamic, daredevil rabbits” to “xylophone rabbits and rabbits on drums!” Readers will pore over scenes of bunnies at the circus, in a tiny town, at the museum, even in a motorcycle gang. Author-illustrator Hannah Batsel takes readers on a delightful romp through the alphabet and keeps them laughing all the way to the ridiculously fun conclusion.Hannah covered “binkying”, a move that rabbits do when they’re being mischievous (it’s so cute – you need to stop what you’re doing right now to watch this), how the book came into being, and the seriously silly end-sheets in the book that tend to delight kids every time they read. You can browse through an excerpt on our website to see some of the search and find elements that will keep kids coming back to this book over and over again, and you can click here to see the end sheets.  “[A]n excellent elementary-age read-aloud. Creative, comedic, and carrot-loads of fun.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews “‘Dynamic’ and ‘delightful,’ Bastel’s rollicking picture-book debut will be a surefire success at story hour.”—The Horn Book MagazineLearn more about Hannah Batsel at her website, or on Instagram. A transcript of this episode is available here.  Music credits: "Farm" Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License  
Today we speak with Mia Siegert, author of Somebody Told Me – an #OwnVoices tale about bigender teen Aleks/Alexis who learns to overcome trauma by helping others.About Somebody Told MeA novel of trauma, identity, and survival.After an assault, bigender seventeen-year-old Aleks/Alexis is looking for a fresh start—so they voluntarily move in with their uncle, a Catholic priest. In their new bedroom, Aleks/Alexis discovers they can overhear parishioners in the church confessional. Moved by the struggles of these "sinners," Aleks/Alexis decides to anonymously help them, finding solace in their secret identity: a guardian angel instead of a victim.  But then Aleks/Alexis overhears a confession of another priest admitting to sexually abusing a parishioner. As they try to uncover the priest's identity before he hurts anyone again, Aleks/Alexis is also forced to confront their own abuser and come to terms with their past trauma. Praise for Somebody Told MeSiegert's blunt and honest prose brings together a compelling narrative layered with intersections of gender, sexuality, and spirituality, which will be sure to provide teen audiences with much food for thought."—Booklist"Aleks/Alexis' frequent ruminations on their relationship to gender and presentation ring resoundingly true."—Kirkus ReviewsHighly recommended, especially where #OwnVoices books are in demand."—School Library Journal LinksWatch the book trailer on YouTube!  The voice actors are Katelyn Clarke (Twitter @katelynclarkevo) and Zeno Robinson (Twitter @childishgamzeno). Listen to the Spotify playlist Mia created for the book, with artists ranging from Fiona Apple to Gregorian chant covers of contemporary music.If you think of any songs that you’d add to the playlist after reading the book, let us know in the Reader Q&A on Goodreads!Additional information about Cardinal Pell can be found at the Australian Broadcast Corporation site here and here. Find Mia Siegert online at:Website:  http://www.miasiegert.comFacebook: A transcript of this episode is available here.  Music credits"Farm" Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License  
 Henrietta Achilles inherits the home of her uncle, a notorious wizard, only to discover it’s filled with feuding bands of thieves, soldiers, and monsters that refuse to leave. Now she must unite rivals, fend off supernatural threats, and uncoil many mysteries. A House Divided is a fantasy adventure series with humor and intrigue behind every door. Book One, The Accursed Inheritance of Henrietta Achilles, is out now, and Book Two is coming in Fall 2020. We chatted with the creators, Haiko Hörnig and Marius Pawlitza, about the book, the series, their inspirations, and quiche, on the latest episode of The Lerner Podcast. A House Divided has received a ton of coverage recently!“An absolute delight.”—ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (one of their 3 Comics to Read in April)“Positively delightful.”—COMICS NOW“A love letter to RPGs”—COMICCON.comSee a full round-up of praise, reviews, sneak peeks, and other interviews with Haiko and Marius at The Lerner Blog. You can also watch the super-fun trailer over at YouTube.You can find Haiko and Marius online at:website: www.pengboom.deInstagram: on Twitter: on Twitter: on Instagram: credits: "Farm" Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License 
Today on The Lerner Podcast, we interview Chris Monroe, author/illustrator of the Monkey with a Tool Belt picture book series, which also inspired the Netflix original animated series Chico Bon Bon. Whether you need a beebersaw or a chisel, Chico Bon Bon's your monkey. He can build or fix just about anything—from a dock for the ducks to a clock for the Clucks, even a small roller coaster for local chipmunks. Chris Monroe's quirky hero and detailed illustrations will absorb readers in a series of entertaining adventures that shows there is an inventive way out of every problem—if you have the right tools. "Monroe's manic cartooning will have kids laughing from start to finish."— Publishers Weekly starred review for Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Maniac MuffinsListen in as Chris describes how she creates Chico's adventures, where she draws inspiration, and what she's reading now. You can find Chris on the web and follow her official fan club on Facebook. The Netflix series launches May 8, 2020, and the trailer is now live on YouTube.A transcript of this episode is available here. Music credits: "Farm" Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License 
Today on The Lerner Podcast, Amy Fitzgerald, Editorial Director of Carolrhoda, talks about historical fiction and 1950s-era novel Red Menace that she recently acquired.Read a transcript here. You can watch a video of this podcast here, or see the book trailer here. Music credits: "Farm" Kevin MacLeod (  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License 
Today on the Lerner Podcast, editor Greg Hunter interviews cartoonist MariNaomi, creator of the Life on Earth graphic novel series. The most recent book, Distant Stars, is just out. In this sci-fi-tinged YA graphic novel trilogy, a group of teenagers struggles with early romances and fraying friendships against the backdrop of a classmate’s possible alien abduction and mysterious return. The headstrong Emily, the aloof Brett, the insecure Nigel, and the awkward Paula are all learning how to deal with life’s challenges—and an alien presence might be affecting them too. "[The] creative artistic effects amplify the tension and awkward emotions, transforming a familiar story of young love into something memorable and new."—Publishers Weekly"MariNaomi skillfully weaves webs of intrigue, and fans of suspenseful graphic novels will be interested in how events play out."—School Library Journal"A tremendous finale to a singular trilogy."—Kirkus ReviewsRead a transcript of the interview here. Visit MariNaomi's website. Music credits:"Farm" Kevin MacLeod ( under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License 
Today on The Lerner Podcast we talk to Beth Mills, creator of Ella McKeen, Kickball Queen.Beth is the creator of Ella McKeen, Kickball Queen. In this picture book, first grader Ella is the undisputed kickball champion until a new girl named Riya shows up—and shows Ella up at recess. Ella reacts by throwing a fit! Will she ever be able to show her face on the kickball field again? Kirkus Reviews called the title “an emotionally intelligent book with strong feelings.” Beth discusses her inspiration for the book, how she became an illustrator, The Snurtch, and more.Read a transcript of the interview. Visit Beth Mills's website.Music credits:"Farm" Kevin MacLeod ( under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License 
Listen in on a conversation between author Nicole Valentine and her editor, Amy Fitzgerald. Nicole is the author of middle-grade novel A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity, which Newbery Medal-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly called “one of [her] favorite debut novels of the year.” Twelve-year-old Finn is used to people in his family disappearing. His twin sister, Faith, drowned when they were three years old, and a few months ago his mom abandoned him and his dad with no explanation. Finn clings to the concrete facts in his physics books—and to his best friend, Gabi—to ward off his sadness. But then his grandmother tells him a secret: the women in their family are Travelers, able to move back and forth in time. Finn's mom is trapped somewhere in the timeline, and she's left Finn a portal to find her. But to succeed he'll have to put his trust in something bigger than logic.Nicole talks about what sparked her interest in time travel, her love for quantum mechanics, and more.Read a transcript of the interview.Follow Nicole Valentine on Twitter.Music credits:"Farm" Kevin MacLeod ( under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License 
Edgar Award-nominated author Sasha Dawn reads the first chapter of her new young adult novel, Panic, available October 1.When aspiring musician Madelaine finds a poetry fragment that helps her finish a song she's writing, she tracks down the author online in hopes of starting a collaboration. But there's more to the situation than she realizes.Read a transcript of the episode.Learn more about Sasha Dawn.Music credits:"Farm" Kevin MacLeod ( under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License 
Carlyn Beccia, author of Monstrous: The Lore, Gore, and Science behind Your Favorite Monsters, talks to us about writing the book. In Monstrous, you'll discover if Dr. Frankenstein's machine ever animate a body, why vampires should drink from veins and not arteries, what body parts are best for zombies to eat (it's not brains), and more. Carlyn talks about choosing and researching the eight legendary creatures featured in the book.Other books discussed: Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie WattMonsterology: The Complete Book of Monstrous Beasts, written by Dugald A. Steer and illustrated by Wayne Anderson, Helen Ward, and Douglas CarrelGiant Squid: Searching for a Sea Monster by Mary M. CerulloShe Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein, written by Lynn Fulton and illustrated by Felicita SalaRead a transcript of the interview.Learn more about Carlyn Beccia.Music credits: "Farm" Kevin MacLeod ( under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License 
Shing Yin Khor, author of The American Dream? A Journey on Route 66 Discovering Dinosaur Statues, Muffler Men, and the Perfect Breakfast Burrito, talks to us about writing the book. As a child growing up in Malaysia, Shing Yin Khor had two very different ideas of what "America" meant. The first looked a lot like Hollywood, full of beautiful people, sunlight, and freeways. The second looked more like The Grapes of Wrath—a nightmare landscape filled with impoverished people, broken-down cars, barren landscapes, and broken dreams. This book chronicles Shing's solo journey (small adventure-dog included) along the iconic Route 66, beginning in Santa Monica and ending up Chicago. What begins as a road trip ends up as something more like a pilgrimage in search of an American landscape that seems forever shifting and forever out of place.Links:Shing's road trip playlist: 66 Motels: credits:"Farm" Kevin MacLeod ( under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store