One of my absolute favorite parts of being a language arts teacher is book talking as many books as possible to students. During virtual teaching this past year, I held strong to my book talking ways but the usual verve I’m used to seeing in the classroom was replaced with black screens and the occasional student who was comfortable enough to chime in and say, “Oh I think I’ve read that” to which I’d enthusiastically respond, “You did?! Wasn’t it great?!” to which they’d respond flatly, “Yeah, it was okay.” Although I suffered many daggers to the heart during virtual book talks, I quickly learned to take what I could get, even if it was the occasional smidgen of excitement.
Now that we are back to being in person, my book talking ways are inspired. Today, I book talked The Prince and the Dressmaker. This book is one of those awesome books I forgot I had in my classroom library until I unpacked my boxes of books a few weeks ago. Immediately upon the book talk being finished, a student asked to read it. With the snap of a finger, he was so hooked in the book that he was able to drown out the sixth grade energy enveloping the room. There are few things I love more than seeing students get excited about books and fall into them. I had almost forgotten how much I love cultivating reading engagement and being in the presence of growing readers.