Why have a shelf of my own books in school when every class has their own library, and we have a school library I hear you ask?
Simple. Why not? I have a stack of books that I’ve read and enjoyed, and I want to share them. Even the ones I’ve had signed by the authors. Especially the ones I’ve had signed by the authors.
These are books that the children can’t just take; they have to ask. It means they have to talk about the book they’d like to read. What attracted them to it? Why THAT book? Will they tell me how they are getting on? Those children who do read at home, are proficient, that I don’t get to talk about books with regularly enough.
And, for the more reluctant readers, it gives me a way of saying, “I’ve read this book, I think you’d really enjoy it. Will you give it a try?” It gives me the chance to really open up the conversation about why they don’t read at home, and what books, if any, they have enjoyed.
It gives me the information I need to find books that could change them from children who find excuses not to read into children who look for opportunities to read.
It’s forcing me to read books that I probably wouldn’t usually pick up, because they’re not the books I’d usually read. But I won’t put a book on my shelf unless I’ve read it, so I can really talk about it with whoever is currently reading it.
There isn’t a children’s book I read that doesn’t ping a child’s name into my head saying “They’d love this book because…”
So, I’m growing my bookshelf* and talking to all the children about what they like, the children are telling each other which book they should ask to borrow.
It’s created a real buzz about books. And that is so exciting!
*Oh boy, has it grown! It’s now a wall sized book case, and it’s just about to reach capacity. Again!