Yesterday I had my first official book talk experience. Giving a book talk, I mean.
About two weeks ago one of the head librarians asked me if I'd be willing to go with Connie, our Young Adult Librarian, to some area middle schools (7th and 8th grade) to book talk graphic novels and talk up some of the programs our library is hosting over the summer. I said I'd love to, and then was asked to prepare a little talk on two titles.
But Friday they said another middle school called, and they wanted us to come there as well. And they wanted us to fill an hour by talking about 5 books each. And they wanted us by Wednesday. So it goes. I picked three more titles, made posters for everything and figured out how I was going to talk about these books to these crazy kids. They specifically asked for a couple of manga titles but I wanted to work in some other things as well. I ended up picking these:
Runaways: Pride and Joy. Story by Vaughan, Brian K.
Leave it to Chance: Shaman's Rain. Story by Robinson, James.
The Prince of Tennis: Volume 1. Story by Konomi, Takeshi.
Full Metal Alchemist: Volume 1. Story by Arakawa, Hiromu.
Elfquest: Volume 1, The Grand Quest. Story by Pini, Wendy and Ricard Pini.
Connie and I went in expecting to talk to two groups of about 20 each. When we got there we were told the program was a hit. The first group would be 55 7th graders and the 2nd group would be 85 8th graders. Not quite the comfy little sit down conversation we had in mind, but we adapted.
The 7th graders were great. They listened. They raised their hands to ask questions. And afterwards they came up to us and looked at our handouts and asked more questions. The 8th graders, on the other hand, were there to have fun. They shouted out their questions. Made quips and jokes as we talked. It wasn't that they were bad....just different. All in all, a good time though.
I wasn't quite sure how much they were paying attention until we got a call at the library last night from another branch. A kid who was at the talk was asking about some of the titles we pitched but couldn't remember what they were. Sometimes, I guess, kids do listen.