I'm so glad that we talked about humor this month for our Reading Wildly staff reading program! This time of year, public librarians definitely need to get our laughs in. Plus, funny books are such a popular request with kids that it's great to have some on our minds as we head into the summer months.
As we shared and discussed the titles that everyone read this month, one thing I definitely noticed is how many of the books we read were readalikes for each other. We kept mentioning the same series again and again, namely Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries. Those cartoony, diary-format series are certainly hot, but my staff chose a wide range of books this month, as well.
As we each discussed the books that we had read, we made certain to note the type of humor in the book, since there's a wide variety. Whereas Dear Dumb Diary might have some wacky bathroom humor, the Bink & Gollie books have a much more gentle sense of humor. We also had a conversation about Diary of a Wimpy Kid, since most of us had read that book, and talked about whether Greg was a likeable character and whether kids realized that he's kind of a jerk and why they relate to those books.
Since we talked last month about book talks, I had challenged my staff to write a book talk for their books and everyone did a really nice job. I pointed out at our meeting that the necessity of practicing our booktalks is not just theoretical anymore. T and I will be visiting four 4th-grade classes next week to booktalk and I'm really hoping that we can expand our booktalking next year!
Here are the books that my staff and I shared during our Reading Wildly meeting:
- The Adventures of Ali Baba Bernstein by Johanna Hurwitz
- Bink & Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
- Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
- The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman
- Dear Dumb Diary (Nobody's Perfect. I'm as Close as It Gets) by Jim Benton
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Greg Kinney
- Dorko the Magnificent by Andrea Beaty
- Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf by Jennifer L. Holm
- The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow
- Roscoe Riley Rules: Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs by Katherine Applegate
- Weird Stories from the Lonesome Cafe by Judy Cox
For next month, we'll be reading bestsellers. I passed out the NYT Bestsellers lists from the past couple of weeks (the middle grade and series lists), as well as a print out of the bn.com Top 100 Children's Books from last week. I've told my staff that I don't care what list they get it from, as long as it's somewhat recent, and if they choose to read a book from a series they may read any book in that series. It's important to stay on top of new books being published and to know what's popular with kids right now!