There were two other points made that I think are important to highlight: giving kids time; exposing kids to books through book talks.
Time is so precious in the classroom, I know. But sometimes I cannot be rushed when it comes to selecting the next book I will read. Yes, there are the no-brainer next reads. Donalyn or Colby or Katherine or Franki or Cindy mentions a book, and it rises to the top of the TBR stack. An ARC arrives (like the new Penderwicks book did today) and I seize it and move it to the top. A favorite author has written a new book? Up at the top of the stack it goes.
But then there are the days that a box arrives and nothing really jumps out at me. Then, I try to take come time to preview the book. I read blurbs, first chapters, etc. Sometimes, I simply set them aside for the time being. Kids need that time to do the same. Some kids will find next books quickly; others will need more time. And all will, from time to time, need the personal introduction to books we can provide through booktalking.
People are so complimentary about my ability to make a book sound interesting through a book talk. I am not so sure it is my skill that makes readers connect to a book. I think, instead, it is knowing what the book is about, knowing something of character or plot or setting or conflict, etc. that helps make the match during booktalks. And can I just tell you how much I love hearing others do the booktalks? Kids, colleagues: does not matter. I still am ready to find the book and read as soon as I hear about it.
So, keep these in mind as we are thinking of how to make the match: booktalk and time.