Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Read It Forward

Kay, Linda. Read It Forward. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-59884-808-3

Publisher's Description
Most school librarians have experienced the phenomenon of suggesting a title to a young patron only to have the student unconditionally snub the recommended novel. Two weeks later, the same student returns begging for that title because, this time, a friend suggested it. Such is the power of peers—and of Read It Forward.

With this practical guide, it's easy to implement the proven fun—and learning—of a read-it-forward program in your middle school library. Teens recommend books to other teens, offering a surefire way to promote books and reading.

Finding the right book for each student is almost impossible if you serve several hundred students, as most school librarians do. Read It Forward offers an innovative way around that problem: a program that lets librarians saturate the school with a title that encourages middle school students to read for pleasure. As an added bonus, Read It Forward (RIF) creates learning opportunities that can be leveraged across the curriculum.

The program presented here is based on the author's experience with a community RIF project that was a collaborative effort among nine middle school librarians from schools with varying needs and socioeconomic levels. This thoroughly practical book takes librarians through the process step by step, offering specific examples of what worked and what didn't, then showing how the process can be extended to almost any book. The author also discusses other aspects of running a successful RIF program—such as getting buy-in from school administrators, the PTA, and department chairs—so that parents and teachers can collaborate in the experience.

• An easy-to-follow process for creating an RIF program in any middle school
• Testimonials from those who have initiated and run RIF projects
• Specific examples of what works and what doesn't
• Resource lists from which librarians can draw in creating their own programs
• Offers librarians step-by-step guidance in running a read-it-forward project in which students are encouraged to read books then pass them on to others
• Shows how RIF encourages interest in reading for middle school students during a period when they often stop reading for recreation
• Discusses how RIF can provide a focus for library programming throughout the school year, connecting it to academics
• Demonstrates ways to get students excited about reading by connecting it to the curriculum they are studying

Sample Topics
21st-Century Learning
Curriculum Connections
Extra-Curricular Activity
Library Public Relations
Pleasure Reading
Reading and Technology
Reading Program
Reading Promotion
Real-World Connections to Reading