Thanks to Jen’s Sunday Round-up, I found out that Professor Nana has slides from various NCTE sessions on her blog. As I have spent the last few day lamenting the fact that I couldn’t attend NCTE, this is a great find! Be sure to scroll through, as the slides are posted on various entries.
One of my favorite slide shows so far is “Don’t Wanna: Books to Let Reluctant Readers Discover Who They Can Be”. What a great presentation! I was very excited to see some of go-to books for reluctant readers listed by the presenters. This list validates my own book decisions and gives me even more confidence in my ability to help my students choose books. I know what works this year, with these students, but it is nice to see some of the same books on my list are also tried-and-true books for reluctant readers. For example, Darren Shan’s Cirque du Freak series has really taken hold of my class. This is a series I had never heard of until a few months ago when I briefly booktalked it as a boy’s companion for Meyer’s Twilight series. I was taking a risk, as Shan’s books were not stocked in our school library at that time and none of my students had even even heard of his books. Needless to say, I was thrilled when the series caught on and now I can’t get them soon enough for my classroom library. Now I am thrilled to see I made a good choice!
The slideshow also includes other titles for reluctant readers, most of which I immediately added to my wishlist. The list of topics reluctant readers want to read more about is also something I saved. What an informative piece of research! When I think of my students, these are all topics they love- though I am fairly certain that list would scare the bejesus out of a lot of parents. Most tweens and teens enjoy books about the darker side of life; crime, punishment, suicide, death/dying, the supernatural, etc. I know when I was a tween, I was a huge fan of Lurlene McDaniel. My mom was genuinely worried for a bit, because every single McDaniel book is about someone dying from a terminal illness. I used to cry at the end of every book. Thankfully, my mom let me be and I eventually moved on to other books. However, I still tend to read more “dark” books than happy ones!
Finally, I am printing the last page of the slideshow. I wish I could give a copy to every administrator, supervisor, legislator, and parent in the U.S. Kids need to read. Nothing will teach them more in life or school than READING. Plain, unadulterated, uninterrupted READING. Reading improves test scores, relationships, and lives.