Friday, March 13, 2015

Booktalks with Fourth Graders: Book Suggestions, Tips and Tricks

The school year has been flying by, and I've been continuing by monthly booktalking visits at my local schools. It has been such a fun way to build a love of reading within my community, as well as inform kids of all the library has to offer.

 In case you've missed it here are links to my previous posts about my booktalks. Each post contains the books I recommended for each grade, as well as tips and tricks about doing booktalks:

Booktalks with fourth graders were in the works during February, but took a little longer to accomplish due to snow day cancellations. They have finally been completed, so I wanted to share my book suggestions and what I have learned.

Here are the books I promoted to the fourth graders: 

Zero Degree Zombie Zone by Patrick Henry Bass: Zombies are a big part of the appeal of this one. It is short and at the lower end of the reading level spectrum for this age group.

Frank Einstein and the Anti Matter Motor by Jon Scieszka: This one is pretty right on reading level wise for most fourth graders. I will probably never get tired of reading the introduction of this one aloud. The kids seem to enjoy it as well!

The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett: A prankster named Miles meets the prank king of his new school. It is very funny, which is always a big plus. The kids were especially excited to learn that the pranksters succeed at pranking their principal.

Grace/Grace Stirs it Up by Mary Casanova: The American girl brand still holds a lot of weight with this age group. Including this one also gave me an opportunity to promote our library's Meet Grace event.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein: Kyle and his friends get to stay the night in the game maker Mr. Lemoncello's brand new library. They end up having to solve clues and find their way out. This book is worth including based solely on how awesome the library is.

Kate the Great (except when she's not) by Suzy Becker: This book is a great read alike for the ever popular "Wimpy Kid" and "Dork Diaries" series.

Tips and Tricks:
  • This is a great age to promote any databases your library provides access to. Tweens are starting to write more difficult research reports and can always use more reliable sources.
  • Use the popularity of certain series to your advantage by providing readalikes. It gives kids an easy point of reference and can immediately turn a book they've never heard of into a "must read". This is a big reason I included "Kate the Great".
  • It may seem obvious, but make sure to provide program related handouts that apply to all ages. I make a single handout every month that covers all elementary ages. You never know which kids have younger or older siblings! 
I am currently in the process of visiting fifth grade classes, which will be my last booktalk visits of the school year. Can't wait to update you all!

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