I started my piece of the program by showing them the packaging for a new book from Little Brown, GHOSTGIRL (www.ghostgirl.com). The book arrived in a black coffin. I left the coffin behind but not the book as I have not finished reading it yet. The kids loved that and the Kindle I passed around next. (I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Kindle but more about that in a later post). Finally, I launched into booktalks. It was so invigorating to see them try to write down all the titles and authors even though I told them they would get a list from their librarians. One of the books I showed them was FOUND by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Simon and Schuster, 2008, already published).
This is the first bok in her new series The Missing. I suspect some of the kids had read her Among the Missing books in junior high and are ready for a new series. FOUND opens with a mystery, a great place to begin. A plane appears at a gate unannounced and unexpected. Aboard the plane are babies, just babies. The FBI are on the scene shortly and all traces of the plane (which vanishes as mysteriously as it appeared) and the arrival and the babies are buried or erased. Fast forward 13 years later as two begin receiving cryptic messages. It turns out the boys are adopted. And perhaps they were two of the babies on board that fateful flight? The first book sets up the premise for the series and introduces readers to a couple of the key players including "janitor boy." It is a nifty page turner that is bound to be one of those we recommend to kids who are already fans of Haddix and her other series and her books. It will also appeal to kids looking for a good mystery with lots of intrigue and perhaps some sci-fi elements, too.
I will post the Power Point later if I get the chance. I just want to mention that here are readers who have been salvaged from the deep waters of the literary canon (I showed them I AM SCOUT and FRANKENSTEIN and talked about classics and required reading) by a dedicated group of librarians who have fought for funds to bring authors into the schools, to bring books to the kids, and to provide them with a format in which they can discuss their books and opinions.