Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summer Booktalks

So, booktalks. A major part of my summer reading presentations at schools was booktalking and here are a few plus some tips...

It's always easiest and most effective to booktalk books you know and love, although sometimes just loving a book isn't enough. I feel very strongly about Joan Aiken's short stories and L. M. Boston's fantasies, but have never figured out a successful booktalk for them. However, a few of my favorite books (and booktalks) are...

Zombies Calling by Faith Erin Hicks. "Armed only with a spork, Joss must defend her friends from the forces of the undead!"

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. "He's a living, breathing, fire-throwing skeleton...and he's the good guy!" (I stole this from the publisher's blurb)

Kiki Strike by Kirsten Miller. "Five delinquent girl scouts (we won't ask why they got kicked out). Secret tunnels under New York City. Rats. Giant Rats. Hordes of giant rats. The missing heir to a kingdom. Has anyone ever come to your classroom and asked what you want to be when you grow up? Well, one day someone asks Ananka Fishbein's classroom....one girl wants to be a biologist. One girl wants to be a bear-trainer (she's a little weird). Kiki Strike? She wants to be...dangerous."

Regardless of what they taught you in library school, it's NOT necessary to have read a book to booktalk it! All you need is a book with a good "hook"....

Boys are Dogs by Leslie Margolis. "Annabelle is moving to a new house, a new town, a new school, and her mom has a new boyfriend. He thinks giving her a puppy will make everything all right. Well, it certainly helps, but Annabelle has a big problem - her last school was all girls. This is the first time she's been in a school with boys and they are making her life MISERABLE. Until...she figures out that her puppy training book? It works on boys. So girls, you will want to read this to get some tips and tricks. And boys? I know it's got a pink cover...but if you don't read this you may find yourself being puppy-trained without knowing it!"

Reef of Death by Paul Zindel. "I have not read this book. I stopped reading when the giant mutated fish came up out of the water and bit the guys legs off." (I totally stole this from Ms. Yingling and it worked GREAT!)

Anyhow, these were my best booktalks of the visits, I think.

2 comments:

KATE COOMBS said...

I felt a little surge of happiness when I saw you mention Aiken's stories, by which I presume you mean The Serial Garden. My best attempt at a hook for that one goes like this: "If you want to find out how to handle two druids fighting in your backyard over a bathmat woven of beard hair, you really should read The Serial Garden." I like your hooks! They remind me of Hollywood pitches--hey, you could do some hooks like that. Harry Potter meets Where the Sidewalk Ends, or whatever. :)

Mary Ann Scheuer said...

I loved Skulduggery Pleasant as well - and yes, it's a great hook even if it's from the publisher's blurb. Have you listened to the audiobook? It's fantastic - try promoting it with 4th - 6th or 7th graders, too.