So I recently started reading The Alienist by Caleb Carr. Everyone I talked to loves this book. They couldn’t rave enough about it and are super excited about the series on TV. So I started reading. I managed to finish exactly 65% of the book before I gave up. And I rarely give up on books. But life is too short to force yourself through a book. The Alienist just wasn’t the right book for me.
This experience reminded me how important it is to find the right books for the right child. Recently, I’ve seen some super engaging ways to match youngsters with books!
- Try a book tasting! Decorate your classroom to resemble a restaurant with tablecloths and battery operated candles. Place several books at each table and have student groups rotate through the tables at ten minute intervals, with each child choosing a book to look at and filling out simple questions about his choice. (Several book tasting options can be found on Pinterest!)
- Make a student recommendation board. Simply divide a bulletin board into fiction and nonfiction categories and then place large sticky notes nearby. A student writes the name and author of a book on a sticky note as well as a couple sentences about why she is recommending it. Then she attaches the sticky note to the appropriate category on the board.
- Show book trailers to your students! There are numerous options on YouTube for stand alone books and books in a series.