The readers' attention quickly turned to the cart of mystery books in front of them. When a student recognized a familiar title (like Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix) or author (like for Sid Fleischman's Jim Ugly), I received a silent thumbs-up or gasps of delight. After sharing snippets about 40+ titles, their teacher called student names to come select books. Each person quickly located the one that captured his or her interest. Some children wanted second copies of books and walked with me among the fiction shelves. One well-read child reminded me I had forgotten to mention the Enola Holmes mysteries by Nancy Springer. She then helped me straighten the few mysteries remaining on the cart before finding a soft chair and starting her new book.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Mysteries on the Cart
Every month, intermediate teachers request book talks on different genres. After a short question and answer session about the characteristics of the mystery genre with fourth graders this morning, I proceeded to read aloud from Margie Palatini's humorous picture book mystery The Web Files. The children quickly identified the crime, the suspense, the suspects, those seeking the solution, and the clues. A groan moved across the story steps when I stopped midway through the book. How could I stop there? I asked their teacher to please finish the story later.