Friday Five – Hand Sales in the Classroom

As authors, we talk a lot about "hand sales" — when a bookseller personally recommends a book to a customer in the store.  But that’s not the
only place hand selling happens. 

I often give quick book talks in my 7th grade English classroom.  I’ll pull a pile of new or favorite books from my classroom shelves or the school library and give quick pitches for them at the end of class.  My students keep a list books they want to read, so if they like the idea but are already in the middle of something, it goes on their to-read list.  It’s a great way to share new books with kids and make sure they always have a steady supply of recommendations.

In that spirit, here’s my Friday Five — a list of the most-snatched-up books from this week’s book talks, in no particular order:

~Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor — I read this last June, loved it, and couldn’t wait to share it.  The kids are loving it, too.
~Alabama Moon by Watt Key — One of my favorites for kids who ask for "something like Hatchet."
~First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover and First Daughter: White House Rules by Mitali Perkins — Super high-interest novels about a Pakistani-born girl whose dad runs for President of the United States. These books give a fascinating and incredibly timely look at life on the campaign trail and in the White House.
~Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney — This one consistently wins over the I-hate-reading crowd.
~The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson –  I loved this book, and it’s a title that some of my more advanced readers have a LOT to say about when they come by to talk books after school.

As for me, I’m immersed in the 1918 flu epidemic, with an ARC of Winnie’s War, Jenny Moss’s 2009 debut from Walker Books.  I’m halfway through and (aside from feeling feverish now and then because I’m so impressionable) LOVE the book.  Teachers who use historical fiction in the classroom will want to snatch this one up when it’s released in February.

What about you?  What new titles are you hand-selling this week?

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