Lists for Books to Read

Last year I was really good about doing book talks two or three times a week. It was built into our schedule and I planned for them regularly. I worked to share a wide range of fiction and nonfiction at a variety of levels. My goal was to do the same this year. Six weeks into the school year I am struggling to figure out where some things fit in our day and this is one of them. So book talks have been sporadic. I’ve done some, but not nearly two or three a week.

When I do one many kids want to read the book. So I ask them who wants to read it and we make a list on a post-it note. The note goes on the cover of the book and as kiddos finish it they pass it on to the next person on the list. Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books was book talked a couple of weeks ago and it is still working its way through our class, down the list.

We also have “Books To Read” notebooks, small memo books we can use for this purpose. We keep them in our book boxes and add books as we desire. If I book talk something (on those rare occasions) and you don’t want to wait for the long list ahead of you, add the book to your “Books to Read” notebook and take it with you to the school library. If a friend is reading something that looks interesting, add it to your notebook. If you read a book in a series and we don’t have the next one, add it to your notebook. There is very little that makes my heart sing as much as watching eight-year-olds look in the library catalog for the books in their “Books to Read” notebook. Joy.

Anyway, the post-it note plan for book talks worked well last year and has been effective so far, on the few books, this year. Last week I noticed something new.

I started seeing books like this in my kiddos’ book boxes. I didn’t book talk this book (although I love it). It is in our library along with hundreds of other books. Someone started reading it. Other kiddos either heard about it or noticed it or in some way became interested. They began their own post-it note list. There are two names here in green crayon that were likely added at the same time. Then one more name was added at the bottom in black crayon. They’ve created their own list of who wants the book next. Completely independent of me.

I am working myself out of a job or they’re moving on without me and I couldn’t be happier.

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