Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Library of Congress Provides Online Content For Scholastic’s Re-Launch of Dear America Series

The Library of Congress is providing historical content from its vast and unparalleled collections to enhance a new interactive website for Scholastic’s Dear America historical fiction book series.

Scholastic, the children’s publishing, education and media company, will re-launch the acclaimed and bestselling Dear America historical fiction series this fall with a combination of all-new publishing and re-issues of the classic Dear America titles plus the new website with content provided by the Library.

"The Library of Congress is excited about this opportunity to collaborate with Scholastic on the re-release of the classic Dear America series," said Laura Campbell, Associate Librarian of Strategic Initiatives. "Combining these compelling stories with the Library’s extraordinary primary source collections will help make history more accessible and engaging for teachers and students alike."

Originally launched in 1996, the Dear America series for readers ages 8-14 was written by an array of award-winning band bestselling writers. The books are presented in diary format from the perspective of girls living at different times in American history. Publication of the series ended in 2004, but fans, booksellers, educators and parents have requested that the series be brought back into print. The series will re-launch in September 2010 with "The Fences Between us," an all-new story set in the Pacific Northwest during World War II by Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson. Also, two classics in the series will be reissued in the fall: "A Journey to the New World" and "The Winter of Red Snow."

In cooperation with the Library, Scholastic will further expand the series with two new dedicated "Dear America" websites: one for fans and one for educators, both launching in September 2010. The website for fans, www.scholastic.com/teachdearamerica, will be a fully interactive online community. The site will feature interactive scrapbooks for each Dear America character with online fashion galleries, crafts, recipes and fun downloads. In addition to games, quizzes, book excerpts and author interviews, there will be a moderated "living diary" blog and message board for fans.

Simultaneously, Scholastic and the Library of Congress will offer teachers and librarians a wealth of lesson plans, historical documents and archival photos and other teaching resources at the educator site, www.scholastic.com/teachdearamerica.   The site also features timelines, author videos, discussion guides and more, bringing the history in each book to life.

"We are pleased to reintroduce this beloved book series with the added dimension of a rich online experience through our relationship with the Library of Congress," said Ellie Berger, president of the Trade Publishing division of Scholastic.

Scholastic is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and related services and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality books, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, magazines, multi-media and other products that help children learn both at school and at home. The company distributes its products and services worldwide through a variety of channels, including school-based clubs and book fairs, retail stores, schools and libraries, on-air and online at www.scholastic.com. 

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds nearly 145 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.

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