Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Power drain

I have so many awesome books to talk about but in fairness to the books, I am too tuckered out this week. I am doing a semi-longish substitute librarian gig at an elementary here-abouts. I am reminded that one reason, I started subbing was to have more time on the home front.

You just can't beat the energy at an elementary library. The kids are so willing to be engaged (most of the time) and when Dragon and I get a group of 4th graders the meantime could I offer him something else? He was a hard sell because it HAD to be a dragon book but he finally agreed to try Jane Yolen's Merlin and the Dragons, (I'm telling you, sir, every boy I know who had read this book LOVED it! If you don't like it, bring it back!)
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Walking the shelves (or stacks) with kids is something I enjoy doing. "Hey, this is a really cool story.... Oh man, have you read this one? ... What books have you read before that you really loved? Abby Hayes? Well then, have you read Judy Moody?"

I think kids are pleased to have an adult seriously consider their reading interests.

Even a small library like a school library is just too overwhelming and bewildering to some kids. They need to be eased into browsing the shelves. Others are grateful for the attention.

One of the kids asked me about a book and I started telling him a little about it. He stared at me a minute and asked, "Have you read all the books in this library?" Well, not ALL of them...
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Had to entertain a 5th grade class for about 30 minutes while their teacher did a team planning thing. I didn't know they were coming so I didn't have a lesson prepared. I went to my sure fire read aloud, Chapter 1 from The Lightning Thief by rockstar, Rick Riordan. I carry my copy with me all the time. It never fails, as Percy Jackson's pre-algebra teacher morphs into a Fury and tries to slash him to ribbons, I glance around at the faces of my listeners: their eyes are wide, their mouths are hanging slightly open, and they are leaning forward as Percy meets the deadly peril.
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A fifth grade teacher came in with her class and told them they ALL had to get a Newbery book to read. (I emitted a tiny moan, I admit.) She was trying to challenge her kids with some good literature she know some of these books are really not a great choice for all 5th graders. Plus, since it is a relatively new library, it doesn't have the backwash of Newberys that an older library would have. I suggested that the kids also be allowed to choose from past Texas Bluebonnet nominees too and she agreed. Phew.

That is when it is handy to have a librarian who remembers and has read the Bluebonnet books from past years.

It has been great to be walking and talking books with young readers these past weeks.

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