A booktalk isn’t a summary of a book or a review of one. I like to think of a booktalk as a teaser. Or better yet, a movie trailer with live-action theatre.
As the booktalk specialist for Jackson County Library Services in Southern Oregon, I present booktalks to 4th-7th grade classes throughout the county. I want the kids in my audience to go home and beg their parents to take them to the library. I want them to say, “There was this lady who came to school today and she talked about all these books and there’s this one I’ve got to read so we need to go to the library RIGHT NOW!…Please?”
Booktalks work. I see kids eager to read—and excited to try out new titles and genres. After a 30-45 minute booktalk presentation in their classroom, kids do insist on being taken to the public library. They swarm their school library asking for the books.
I prepare 35-40 books each semester and share them with upwards of 2500 students in our area.The title lists that I use for each grade are available on the Jackson County Library Services website. Here I will post the booktalks themselves, along with commentary and reflections from sharing the books in elementary and middle schools.
I hope this will be a useful resource for school and public library staff who’d like to do more booktalks (but don’t have time to select and prepare titles), as well as parents and teachers looking for great books to share with kids.
Jackson County Library Services