"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=========

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A good book, but no one checks it out. What to do!?

The National Book Award finalists were announced last fall and the book Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff was on the short list, a sure sign that the book is something special. I immediately added it to my reading list and finished it sometime in January. I liked it, noting superior writing, and a complex plot. It is a mystery, which usually attracts readers.So why can't I talk anyone into checking it out?

Here is the summary, from the National Book Award Site:
Mila has an exceptional talent for reading a room—sensing hidden facts and unspoken emotions from clues that others overlook. So when her father’s best friend, Matthew, goes missing from his upstate New York home, Mila and her beloved father travel from London to find him. She collects information about Matthew from his belongings, from his wife and baby, from the dog he left behind and from the ghosts of his past—slowly piecing together the story everyone else has missed. But just when she’s closest to solving the mystery, a shocking betrayal calls into question her trust in the one person she thought she could read best.
 Usually if good, award-type books don't move it is because I haven't read them so can't add my personal touch to the recommendation. But I've read and like this book. I've tried a bunch of techniques that usually work to encourage circulation. Here are a few things I've tried:
  • Adding it to a display of new books on the top of the book shelf.
  • Book-talking it when classes come in for their new free-reading choice.
  • Sticking a LUCKY DAY bookmark in it and assuring students who select these "special" books will be entered into a drawing for prizes at the end of the month.
  • Gushing about it when I get a chance.
No takers. Not one. Now what? What do you do when you know that a book deserves attention it is not getting? I need help here! Any ideas?

One thought I had is that I might be marketing it to the wrong crowd. Perhaps a book about a 12-year old isn't a good choice for high school students. Maybe I should just make this book available to one of the middle school librarians. But even though the girl is twelve, the plot doesn't feel young or immature. Hmm. Maybe I should flat out beg a kid to read it, bribe them with chocolate or something and ask for their opinion. Or maybe I should just tuck it away on the shelf and let the right reader come to it.

Whatever I decide to do, I think the book is very good and do recommend it. You read it and let me know what you think.

Rosoff, Meg. Picture Me Gone. New York: Penguin Books, 2013. Print.


1 comment:

  1. I like the idea of bribing a kid, perhaps a freshman girl. Sometimes if you can get one student to read it and like it you find it getting checked out more. And if she doesn't like it, pass it on to a middle school library


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