This month, for Reading Wildly we've changed things up a little bit. Our genre this month was Animal Fantasy (i.e. books where animals are the characters, animals talk, etc.). But we've had SO MANY booktalking programs scheduled that I know people may be reading all they can just to keep up with their assigned programs. So we read Animal Fantasy OR I asked each staff member to share a booktalk that they had done for a group or that they were planning on doing for a group.
Yes, we want to be reading widely in a variety of genres to keep our reader's advisory skills sharp, but sharing booktalks with each other also helps everyone on my staff stay abreast of books they may want to take for booktalks. When I put the question of keeping our scheduled genres or lifting genre requirements to my staff, I did have some that liked the genre requirements. They push us all out of our comfort zone now and then. But I didn't want to overwhelm everyone with additional out-of-work reading when I know they're working hard to prep for programs. We made the genre requirement optional and I'll probably keep it optional at least through the end of 2014.
So, what did we read this month?
- An Army of Frogs by Trevor Price
- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien
- Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins
- Face to Face with Sharks by David Doubilet & Jennifer Hayes
- Here Comes the Parade by Tony & Lauren Dungy
- Home Sweet Horror by James Preller
- Junie B. Jones and the Stupid, Smelly Bus by Barbara O'Connor
- Mousetronaut by Mark Kelly
- Naughty Kitty by Adam Stower
- Night of the Zombie Goldfish by Paul Harrison
As you can see, some of the books my staff shared this month were easy readers and picture books. Normally, I ask that the books shared be chapter books, graphic novels, or nonfiction, but we have been doing some booktalks for 1st and 2nd grade classrooms. As our programming continues to expand, we'll keep our readers' advisory training flexible to make it as relevant and useful as possible!
Next month, our genre is general fantasy, including high fantasy, supernatural, etc.