Booktalking is the wonderful art of turning kids on to books. It is
a sales pitch for specific books at a specific time. The librarian
(or someone else who has a passion for reading and wants to pass that
along) presents books to a group of kids.
Enthusiasm and creativity are key elements to book talking. If the
presenter does not like a book, she can not promote it in a credible
Books can be grouped according to themes or subjects, and can be
"talked" in the classroom or library. Teachers can collaborate
with librarians and invite them to their classroom to present books
that would augment their lessons.
The following are a few tips by Hazel Rothman (Tales of Love and
Terror: Booktalking the Classics, Old and New) with my notes:
"Leave the listeners wanting more" - Don't
overdo the sales pitch (talk too much)
"Think about what will convince people to read
books" - What will pique their interest? (Hint - What piques
"Don't tell the ending" - Leave them hanging
and wanting more!
"Don't tell everything about a book"
"No right or wrong way to do a booktalk"
- Be creative! Use a variety of approaches. Play a character. First
person, third person. You can invent dialogue, but just stay true
to the character. In a collection of short stories, do several episodes
or one whole story in the collection. The key here - be yourself.
Use buzzwords - don't just be enjoyable to watch, but inspire kids
to want to read the book!
Rothamn, Hazel. Tales of Love and Terror: Booktalking
the Classics, Old and New. A twenty-five minute videocassette produced
by ALA Video, American Library Association: Chicago, Illinois -
*The above is also a book - ISBN 0-8389-0463-7, 86-32285
Bodart, Joni Richards, Editor. The New Booktalker
Vol. 1. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, Inc., 1992
Bodart, Joni Richards. The Powers of Persuasion:
Student Booktalking in the Secondary Classroom. "Connecticut
English Journal, Volume 22, Fall 1993, p. 151- 153 (Contains a bibliography
for more books on booktalking)
Chelton, Mary K. Booktalking: You Can Do It. "School
Library Journal 22:39-43 (Apr. 1976). R.R. Bowker Company/A Xerox
Corp. (Reprinted in Turning Teens on to Books)
Gillespie, John T. and Corinne J. Naden. The Newbery
Companion: Booktalk and Related Materials for Newbery Medal and
Honor Books. Englewood, Colorodo: Libraries Unlimited, 1996
This page last updated May 10, 2001
© 2001 Daphne Jorgensen. All Rights Reserved.