I'm volunteering at my local library to help out during the summer teen reading program and as part of this volunteering I have been introduced to the wonderful world of booktalking. Booktalking, for those who don't know, is a short introduction given on a book to increase awareness and interest--something like a movie trailer for movies. I gave my first booktalk yesterday--and made it through just fine despite a general fear of speaking in public and a rather large audience--where I presented on just a single book (there were several different women presenting 1 to 3 books each). However, to better familiarize myself with this new thing and prepare myself I've decide to read all of the Beehive Book Award nominees for 2011 and write up a booktalk for each one. So without further ado, here are the first 4 (the next 4 to follow next week and the last 4 the following week--fingers crossed):
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

When faced with a long summer with her academically demanding mother, Auden makes a snap decision to spend it instead with her aloof father, her stepmother, and her new baby sister. A summer job in a boutique introduces her to a small group of girls and their girly ways—things she totally missed out on as she tried to be the perfect daughter—and eventually to Eli—the town’s angst-ridden loner. When Eli discovers Auden is a fellow insomniac (something that has plagued Auden since her parent’s divorce), he becomes her guide to the nocturnal happenings of the town—including the best pie in town served, of course, at the local laundromat. As their friendship grows they decide to embark on a quest to give her the childhood she never had—complete with junk food, food fights, and learning to ride a bike. Of course, Eli also has a quest: to come to terms with the guilt he feels over the death of a close friend. “Along for the Ride” by Sarah Dessen
Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

What would you do if you were told that you could no longer do the thing you love best simply because of the color of your skin? What would you do if doing this thing was the only time you felt free, accepted, and completely happy? What would you do? Or perhaps the better question is what wouldn’t you do? Ida Mae Jones is a girl who loves to fly airplanes. The sky is where she feels closest to her dad, also a pilot who died when she was 12, it is where she feels free, and it is where she feels happiest. But it is 1941 in Louisiana and because she is a woman and is African American she is forced to keep her feet firmly on the ground. However, when the U.S. Army creates the Women Airforce Service Pilots, known as WASP, Ida Mae see’s her chance to fly again. The only problem is the WASPs don’t accept African Americans. With her light skin, though, she might just be able to “pass” as white. And though it is dangerous to do so—dangerous enough that it might cost Ida Mae her life—there is just about nothing she wouldn’t do to be up among the clouds again. Along the way she’ll learn about herself, friendship, family, sacrifice, and just maybe a little about love. And most important, she’ll learn if all the risks were worth it to become a “Flygirl” by Sherri L. Smith.
My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Have you ever wished for a Fairy Godmother? Or maybe a Fairy Godfather—as the case may be? I’d like to introduce you to Jane. Jane is a bit unremarkable with her ordinary brown hair, plain old clothes, glasses, and a real love for school—as in Calculus. Jane just sort of blends into the background where no one notices her. You might think that Jane needs a Fairy Godmother, but you’d be wrong. There is nothing wrong with Jane that can’t be fixed by a quick trip to Forever 21, a few highlights, and a pair of contact lenses all provided with the help of Jane’s sister Savannah. Suddenly Jane has all the attention from guys that she could wish for. So how does Jane thank her sister? She steals her boyfriend! Now with just weeks to go before Prom and her life in ruins, Savannah is the one who could really use a Fairy Godmother. And that is just what she gets—well sort of. You see, the Fairy Godmother assigned to Savannah is not so much a Fairy Godmother as she is a “Fair” Godmother—as in not good just fair. What Savannah’s Fair Godmother Chrissy offers her are 3 wishes. Unfortunately none of the three wishes goes exactly according to plan because—well did I mention Chrissy is just a “Fair” Godmother? A couple of Medieval fairy tales later (Medieval as in no electricity and no indoor plumbing), an ogre, a dragon, a black night (who it turns out is a really good kisser), and a goat out to lick her, will Savannah ever get her prince, return to her own time in time for prom, and find her own happily ever after? And will she be able to do it even with the help of her own “Fair” Godmother? “My Fair Godmother” by Janette Rallison.
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George (this is the booktalk I gave)

What young girl wouldn’t love to dance away her nights at a splendid ball in the arms of a handsome suitor? Now hold on, let’s think about this for a minute. What if your handsome suitor didn’t smell quiet right? And I’m not talking about the way boys smell after P.E. I’m talking more like the stink of something that has just crawled out from under a rock. And what if that ball took place in a dark and creepy castle deep beneath the earth? And what if you were forced to dance each night—all night—even when you are exhausted or sick? Doesn’t sound like so much fun after all, does it? Well this is precisely the predicament—the curse—of Rose and her eleven sisters. And while many have tried to break the curse, Galen, the handsome soldier turned gardener, his manly knitting skills—yes I said manly—, an invisible cloak, and true love might just have the best shot at saving the “Princess of the Midnight Ball” by Jessica Day George.

Any suggestions or recommendations (especially on how to give a booktalk) would, of course, be much appreciated.


Jenny said...

I've missed you!
My kids all did book talks in kindergarten--I thought it was a pre-reader way to "read" to other kids. They always made some sort of a prop to go with their booktalks, and then flipped through a few pages to show the highlights of the story.
You could make a treat that goes along with the book's theme or storyline... food ALWAYS sells.

Jen said...

You are the perfect person to do a book talk! I'm so glad you reviewed some more books for me! I'll add them to the list, which I'm loving by the way. I just haven't had a chance to report on any of them yet. The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had was one of my favorites.

Yankee Girl said...

Jen--The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had is one of my all-time favorites!