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Friday, September 21, 2012


Two fourth grade teachers invited me to their classrooms this morning to share how I PICK books to read. The students have been learning the acronym I PICK, and they reiterated its message: I look at a book; Purpose; Interest; Comprehend; Know all the words. I also shared Daniel Pennac's Rights of the Reader to complement the choosing strategies. Then I began to talk about the stack of books I'd brought with me.

I started with a book recommended to me by staff at the Red Balloon and from reviews: Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms. Though I knew it had been positively reviewed, I just couldn't get interested in it. I showed them the very thick classic The Swiss Family Robinson and told how though I thought I should read it, I found myself rereading too many lines, thus indicating I probably was not comprehending it as well as I could. I showed them the eerie cover of the first Animorphs book and read the first paragraph; science fiction is my least favorite genre. Then I held up four different covers of A Wrinkle in Time, the 1963 Newbery Medal Winner. Again, I knew I should read this book, but it has never been one that keeps my interest. Finally, I read the jacket flap and beginning of Touching Stars by Erin Moulton. It has received good reviews, and the character name and summary appeal to me. That's the one I finally selected in my demonstration.

Interestingly, several readers wanted the books I did not choose!


  1. I think you & your school are lucky that you & the library are so well integrated into the classrooms & highly valued. I did love a Wrinkle in Time (I was probably in my 20's when I first read it...) Thank you for sharing your library stories.

  2. I am lucky, Rita. I know that. Yesterday I received a message from a teacher who subbed in our building last year, telling me she never realized how fortunate our school was until she has seen the way it is in other buildings. All schools and students should have librarians.