You love books. You talk books. You share books. So what do you do when you can’t contain your booklove? You hold a book bonanza!
This week we hosted an evening to celebrate our love of books with the Maine Literacy Council’s Fall Book Bonanza. We wanted to share some of our favorite new books with teachers and librarians from schools and communities that support K-12 readers. The energy was palpable! Getting together in a room packed with passionate book lovers is a great way to launch a school year, or to re-energize a midyear slump, or even prep for summer reading. The idea is to create buzz for books that ‘infects’ everyone around you-colleagues, students, parents, etc!
Create your own Book Bonanza…
Invite book talkers. Find some colleagues who would love to share their passion for books and who would be willing to share a brief booktalk.
Research. Find out what is new and loved in the kidlitosphere. Join chats like #Titletalk #MELit #ShelfieTalk #kidlitchat #bookaday #WeNeedDiverseBooks We also looked for what is new in professional books for teachers. There are so many offerings, it is nice to hear from others what is helpful and who might find it valuable.
Read. (ok, this is probably the easiest step for most of us!! haaa)
Create a platform for sharing. We created a Google Slide so that book talkers could add their books and blurbs. We hyperlinked all books to Amazon (not because we want readers to buy from them necessarily, but so they can review the books they love more easily!) We also created a Padlet. Our Maine Student Book Award committee created a Symbaloo to share their titles.
Find a venue. Think about who you want to invite and find a suitable space. Maybe it is your local library, your classroom, or a conference room.
Bring food. Breaking bread with others is a wonderful way to build community, create a festive atmosphere, and attract participants. You could make it potluck, look for donations, or make it yourself.
Have swag. It’s fun to win or get “stuff”. It adds an element of fun to an event, and makes participants feel appreciated, important and special. I save ARCs from conferences I attend, I’ve saved gently used books, and I purchase inexpensive office supplies. I also reach out for donations, and you’d be pleasantly surprised at how willing others are to support teachers!
Play games. We raffled off some free items and our MSBA representative played a game of Kahoot with participants. If you haven’t checked out Kahoot, you need to! You can create an interactive trivia or question/answer game in minutes!
Book talk. Bring books, read books, share books with brief book talks that make your audience want to run out and get that title!! (no spoilers, please!) Then allow participants to share some of their favorites as well. It shouldn’t be all “sit and get”.
That’s It. Those are the basics for hosting your own Booklove Event. Start small. Go big. Whatever is best for you. Sure it’s work and we’re all busy, but I can guarantee you that it will spark your own passion and spread an excitement for books that will ‘feed forward’ for a long time to come!
What’s On My Book Radar?
Catrina (Cat) and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya,has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool sea air. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna!. With Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) coming, Cat thinks (worries?)she’ll get a chance to see them.
Long wait list at our library for this one!