When you’re starting to build a classroom library, one of the best ways to find high-interest books is to ask your students what they like.
It’s not always best practice just to ask them with no context, though. If they don’t see themselves as readers, they may request a book they read several years ago, like A Child Called It or The Giver. That’s no good.
What is better is to team up with your local public library and put on a Book Faire. I’ve written about the Book Faire at Envision Academy in Oakland. It’s great. Students browse about 150 books and then fill out a slip of their top three requests. Then, if you have the money, you buy some!
Take a look at a few of the most-requested books from last month’s Book Faire in Oakland!
Any surprises? For me, there’s nothing shocking about The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Life in Prison, or Perfect Chemistry. But I didn’t expect Hunger Games to still be so popular.
On the other hand, I was pleased that Zom-B, Monument 14, and Article 5 made the list. Students everywhere still like zombie-filled, post-apocalyptic, and dystopian tales. Why not? (I liked Zom-B.)
The only non-memoir nonfiction title in the group, Buzzed is an excellent resource for students who want “the real truth” about drugs. It makes me happy that it’ll be checked out. wtf, maybe not so much (though I haven’t tried it yet).
Please let me know what you think of the students’ requests! Did they choose well? Have you read (and enjoyed, or hated) any of these books? And feel free, as always, if you feel the urge, to buy a few for my students over at their Amazon Wishlist!