professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Readers of the blog know that yesterday, just as I hit POST, my entire blog disappeared into the unknown wilds of the Internet. I might have screamed. I might have cried. Instead I simply left the blog post announcing that it was brilliant knowing I would not resurrect it as it had written itself. However, the topic was important, and so we are giving it anothere go today (Save, save, save, Teri).

It began with one of those requests. I know many of my friends and colleagues get these same requests for book recommendations as I do. I know that they find many of them frustrating, too.
There is a difference between a friend asking me to recommend a good audiobook for a forthcoming trip. I know my friend. I listen to lots of audiobooks. Howeve, the requests that make me nuts ask me to recommend a book for 4th grade (or 8th grade, etc.) and give me no other information. Pray tell, what does a 4th grade book look like. Tell me mor about the reader in question. What has he or she read and liked and disliked? Does she or he have favorite authors, genres, forms, etc?

If I am going to match a book to a reader, I need to know the reader in more detail than age or gender. That is not how I file books in my head nor on the lists I keep. Of course, sometimes the request is for a book for an entire class. If someone is seeking some read aloud recommendations, again, I am comfortable with that. But I do not recommend books for whole class consumption. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all book for any situation like this. I can suggest a dozen or so on a related theme so that kids have choice, but do not ask me for ONE book.

But this request was even more specific. It was one that indicated the levels the book should fall between. First, I do not ever keep lists in levels or lexiles or letters (truth be told, I do not know what those letters mean, and they frighten me because they are one more way of pigeonholing books and narrowing the choice readers have). Using systems like this do not guarantee a good match between reader and book. Teacher knowledge does
That. No number or letter can.

Well, that was the gist of yesterday's post. I assur you the post I lost was more insightful and more brilliant. But the truth is, it needed to be said despite the fact that it cannot be constructed as it was.

And now, I will turn to my latest book. Here are the numbers I know about it: it publishes in has 223 pages. As for letters, it has a bunch of them, word too.
Tags: book recommendations
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