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?

9 Replies on “Friday Five – Hand Sales in the Classroom

  1. Birds on a Wire by J. Patrick Lewis & Paul B. Janeczko, as you already know. I hand-sold it to the local librarian today, and to an elementary school librarian yesterday as a “must-have”.

  2. I hand-sell A CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT by all the time (to my daughter’s friends, to school librarians, to the students I speak to at school visits…).

    Recently, I’ve been hand-selling VIOLET RAINES ALMOST GOT STRUCK BY LIGHTNING by debut novelist Danette Haworth.

    Have you read SHUG by Jenny Han? I think it’s great for the sixth/seventh grade crowd.

  3. I’ve hand-sold many books. My friends come to me all the time. I loved A CROOKED KIND OF PERFECT! I also shared, THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, STORY OF A GIRL and SWEETHEARTS, by Sara Zarr, recently. I have to check out Danette Hayworth’s book, and SAMANTHA HANSEN HAS ROCKS IN HER HEAD. Now, I’m looking for books for special ed. readers. Please check out my blog. 🙂

  4. Well, thanks for handselling TAJF, Kate! And with 7th graders no less! I’d love to hear their thoughts!

    When I’m out on the road I do handselling too. It’s fun for me to talk about my faves.

  5. CROOKED is one of my all-time favorites, and VIOLET is a new favorite. I have two copies of SHUG in my classroom but haven’t read it yet – it’s on my list because the kids have been recommending it, too!

  6. My girls last year absolutely loved SWEETHEARTS – we couldn’t keep it in the library. I’m looking forward to SAMANTHA HANSEN, too – she sounds like my kind of girl!

    How old are your special ed readers?

  7. I actually have all five of our library’s copies of your book reserved for my literature circles unit. I can’t WAIT to hear what that group has to say after they read. Listening to kids talk about a book I love is like enjoying it all over again.