This title was mentioned by Tina, an ALSC Blog reader, back in October. Thanks, Tina! I hope you have had a chance to read the book and have some comments to share as well. There are two specific items in the book that I would like to share.
First is what Peck calls the Five-Finger Rule. I hate to admit it, but too often I find that I don’t have what seems to be common knowledge. I have had children read a sentence or two in a book as we try to find something they might like as an independent read, but I hadn’t heard of the Five-Finger Rule. After reading about the rule on page 24 of Peck’s book, I found many references to it online and was charmed by this description on Book Nuts Reading Club. Anyway, I wanted to share that Reader’s Advisory bit for your consideration and commentary.
The second portion is about Book Clubs. I adore the idea of Book Clubs but my one attempt with a parent/child book club didn’t work very well. Saturday afternoons had too many other commitments for my few participants, and, more than that, the majority were parents dragging in their reluctant readers. I wasn’t prepared for that and before I could regroup, they had already given up on the program. In retrospect, I can think of much better ways I could have handled it, but that’s neither here nor there. On page 79, Peck writes about her book club experience:
I have been very lucky with our Xtreme Reader group, which is the book discussion group for fourth and fifth graders. From the beginning, we had as many boys as girls. I think part of the reason is the name: Xtreme Readers, like Xtreme Sports, sounds really cool and does not make you think of tea parties. The name was thought up by a boy who was a fourth grader at the time. His mother works at the library, and he was in the initial group. We put the name prominently on all our flyers, in a cool font and with a dramatic graphic of a person reading while skateboarding.
To kick off the club, we sent flyers with a cover letter to all the GATE (gifted and talented) programs in the fourth and fifth grades (both public and private schools), because we felt our target audience would be children who already liked reading chapter books.
The local newspaper published an article about the club too. After a half-hour of discussion, she had hands-on activities to bring the books to life. She includes a few examples of books and activities. As for questions, she mentions several resources including Multnomah (OR) County Library’s Talk it Up!
As with last month’s book, I found much of interest. For March, I will post about two books that have been suggested: Early Literacy Storytimes @ Your Library: Partnering with Caregivers for Success by Saroj Ghoting and Pamela Martin-Diaz and Ready-To-Go Storytimes: Fingerplays, Scripts, Patterns, Music, and More by Gail Benton and Trisha Waichulaitis. Please join in the discussion. If you have books you would like to recommend, please comment here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.