Thursday, March 9, 2017

Talk Books

Note to self: Give more book talks.

What is my next great read? Can you tell me about the best book you've read recently? I'm going to have a reading weekend as I rest my wrist after surgery, and I'm hungry for new-to-me titles!  

I will tell you about one of my recent reads: Wolf by Wolf   by Ryan Graudin. Graudin's series is an alternate history, which tells a post World War II tale. Imagine the world if Hitler's Germany had won the war. Imagine a young Jewish girl, a survivor of medical experiments, taking on a new life as a "skin shifter." Such is Yael's new life. Yael's mission? Compete in the annual motor cycle race across countries, win and take down the Third Reich. My students love this book for so many reasons: the race, the espionage, the resistance, the love and the journey. Students who enjoy politics, dystopian fiction, historical fiction and adventure are drawn to this series.  I enjoyed Graudin's series too reading the first two back to back in quick time. When I book talked the titles in class a student connected them to Phillip K. Dick's Man in the High Castle  which has a similar setting and premise, so that is a soon-to-read title for me. I love how book talks help readers make connections. Score!

Many of my friends and many of my students are voracious readers with varied appetites. They read different genres or authors than I do. I have a friend who  is always good for great science fiction titles and another friend who summer after summer picks perfect beach reads. Some of us  have similar tastes but others are entirely different types of readers. The mix-- when it comes to making reading plans -- works. Book recommendations give me ways to explore the literary landscape. 

They do the same thing for my students. 

A good book talk acts like a movie trailer or a teaser. When I share an intriguing moment, scene or spin from a book, kids kids get curious. Inevitably the books I talk up are the first books checked out and passed around the room reader to reader. My goal is to share a title a day, whole class or student to student. 

This year another one of my goals is to better organize my book talks, so I have been working on book displays to help do just that. Think: door coverings,  bulletin boards, table and shelf displays (pictures and post about book displays coming soon). 

I admit, I am a book pusher. Surely, you are too. Do tell in comments!


  1. Yes, I'm a book pusher too. I sponsor an after school book club. We choose books to read as a group, we focus for several months on Mock Newbery titles and right now we're doing March Book Madness. Then next month we'll focus on poetry. So many ways to push books and all of them fun!

  2. I push fewer books than I used to, no classroom, but I get to push sometimes with a customer at the bookstore. I suggested Cold Sassy Tree for a mom today who was looking for her14 year old daughter. Thanks for this title, a new one to me!

    1. Cold Sassy Tree! I haven't read that one in a long time, but I loved it. Maybe it's time for a re-read : )

  3. I have the sequel when you are ready for it! Book talks are inspiring...note to self...booktalk FTR books in fall in classes!

  4. Love book talks. I start out the quarter doing one a day. Then I drop to one a week and the kids take over the other four days. Single best thing to get them talking to each other about books. My next read is The Hate U Give.