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🎧 The Reader's Heart | Guest: Jasmine Warga

Literacy-O-Lantern for A Rover's Story

The first book I ever read by Jasmine Warga was Other Words for Home. As with so many of the best book recommendations, John Schu was the person who told me I needed to read it. After that, I didn't need anyone to tell me to pick up one of Jasmine's books - I was hooked. Jasmine has the ability to create books that feel both current and timeless, and that are full of characters who make us root for them, while also being the kind of people we aspire to be. I love her books so much that a few years ago, I painted the cover of A Rover's Story onto a pumpkin (so that I could hang onto how much I love the book while also wowing my friend Brad Gustafson)! Jasmine is as kind and as thoughtful as the characters in her books and this week's episode reflects a conversation that I wish I could duplicate each week. Jasmine: when you're ready to schedule a weekly Jasmine and Jenn conversation, just let me know! In the meantime, I feel like this weeks episode is going to live in my heart for a long time. I hope you love it as much as I do.


Jasmine Warga is the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of middle grade novels Other Words For Home, The Shape of Thunder, and A Rover’s Story. Other Words For Home earned multiple awards, including a John Newbery Honor, a Walter Honor for Young Readers, and a Charlotte Huck Honor. The Shape of Thunder was a School Library Journal and Bank Street best book of the year, a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Children's and YA Book Award, and has been named to several state award reading lists. A Rover’s Story, her latest novel, was an instant New York Times bestseller, a Indie Next List and a Junior Library Guild selection, and was named a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly and The Washington Post. She is also the author of young adult novel, My Heart and Other Black Holes, which has been translated into over twenty different languages. Her next middle grade novel, A Strange Thing Happened In Cherry Hall, will be published on September 10th, 2024. Originally from Cincinnati, she now lives in the Chicago-area with her family in a house filled with books.



Please enjoy a special discount of 20% off the titles mentioned in this episode (or others of your choice) by visiting Bookelicious and using the code JENNIFERLAGARDE. Note: I do not make any money from the sales, but I am delighted that you get to save some!

Connect with Jasmine


Rooted in the belief that our world needs the magic of children’s literature now more than ever, the Reader’s Heart podcast captures conversations with authors and illustrators about children's literature as a vehicle for empathy and joy in a dark world. I'm so excited about this project and it's my wish that it brings you as much light and hope as it has brought me.

Special thanks to Corinna Luyken for creating the beautiful illustration that will serve as the show's logo. I've always found Corinna's art so moving and she perfectly captured the spirit of what I am trying to do, which is to put warmth and love into the world during a time when so many are working to limit kids' access to the warmth and love inherent in children's literature. (Also, don't forget, you can use the discount above to buy Corinna's books from Bookelicious, too!)

Weekly episodes will drop on Tuesdays. Once you've had a chance to listen, I hope you will consider leaving The Reader's Heart a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review! Podcast reviews are one of the best ways to support your favorite shows and help others find these conversations.



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