"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Friday, February 5, 2010

Book Talks

Today I learned something about doing book talks...you know, those quick, short, pithy introductions to books done mainly by librarians...well, I figured out that students are more likely to check out a book if I leave myself out of the talk altogether. In other words, if I don't give my own personal evaluation of the book, kids seem to go for it more readily. I guess it is not cool to select a book that the librarian likes, but it is fine to pick one that she just talks about.

Here's a few practice book talks. See if these make you want to read these books.

Hunger Games (by Suzanne Collins): the most popular book at our school this year; an adventure story about the Hunger Games in which 24 teenagers are forced to play in a gladiator-type setting. The winner is the last person alive.

Unwind (by Neal Shusterman): To end the war between the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice armies, a deal was struck making abortions illegal but parents can retroactively "abort" their children after the age of thirteen if they misbehave or act up by sending a request to the government to have them "unwound". When teenagers are unwound they aren't really dead, but they aren't really alive either. This is an action story of several kids who have been sent to be unwound.

Fat Kid Rules the World (by K. L. Going ): This ISN'T a story about a kid on a diet, though there is a fat kid in the story. This is a very funny story about life, friends, and rock-n-roll.

The Chocolate Wars (by Robert Cormier): This book has been one of the most banned or censored books since it was published over 25 years ago. Why? Because it is a story about boys, especially one boy, who defy authority and go against what adults tell them to do.
This book is about power, conformity, and refusing to give in to pressure.

Dreamland (by Sarah Dessen): Many girls enjoy books by this author so much that they will read all them in rapid succession. This story is about a girl who falls for a "bad boy" and the abusive results of that relationship.

Blue Bloods (by Melissa de la Cruz): What do you read if you are finished with the Twilight series but still want more tales about vampires? Try this book which is the first of a four book series. Set in New York where the most famous and elite families (or blue bloods) also happen to be vampires.

Highest Tide (by Jim Lynch): You'll recognize descriptions of places and events mentioned in this book as this hilarious coming-of-age story is set in Olympia and the author is from Washington. Sea monsters, giant squids, earthquakes, The Evergreen State College, and a familiar-sounding cult make this book pure fun.

The Haunting of Hill House (by Shirley Jackson): Some people say this is one of the scariest books ever written. Let's just say this, don't read it right before you go to bed.

Son of the Mob (by Gordon Korman): Can you imagine a funnier scenario? A son of a mob boss wants to date the daughter of an FBI agent but dates just don't go well when there is a dead body in the trunk. This book is laugh-out-loud funny.


  1. I really want to read Hunger Games, if I can just fit it in. I've learned with kids(even my own) that it is best to keep my mouth shut at times. Very difficult to do though. :)

  2. It is a hard lesson to learn...to know when to shut up. In one class I did the quick intro for Hungers Games, like I have above and a boy had his hand out for it before I was done speaking. The next class I started out the same and then told them that I thought the book was very exciting. It just sat there and is still on the shelf unchecked out.

    If you still haven't read Hunger Games by summer, I'll check you out a copy from my library. I guess the line at the public library is super long. I have three copies and two of the sequel, Catching Fire, and they usually are checked out with a waiting list.


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