Reader’s Advisory for Kids

17 Apr

More often than not, my reader’s advisory questions come from kids who don’t like reading, are uninterested, or at a loss as to where to find a book they might like.  When asked, “What is your favorite book?” or “What do you like to read about?” you’ll often receive the response, “I don’t know.”  In this case, I have a few tried and true favorites that I always pass over to the kids, hoping that something catches their fancy.

Then (every once in awhile) I’ll have the kid who is a voracious reader and has read everything on my “go-to” list and I get a chance to dig deep to find something they might like to read that isn’t already on their “I’ve already read that” list.  One of my patrons who started asking me about funny picture books (until I couldn’t think of another!) has now moved on to realistic fiction books for tweens and she especially loves anything that has a character with a disability – so after directing her to the Schneider Family Book Award and exhausting all the options, I had to create a new list for her.

Often when these kids need a more in depth reader’s advisory, I’ll try and find them a couple things to take with them while they’re at the library, and then offer to put together a more extensive list of things they might like and either email it to them or have them take a look the next time they visit.  This allows me the chance to really find some great books that I can’t always remember off the top of my head.  With the help of my Goodreads list, read-alike lists from other libraries, and suggestions by other librarians, I can usually come up with a 20-30 book list of (hopefully) books they haven’t read yet.  This is a somewhat different approach than the everyday interaction, but I think it provides the kids with a more comprehensive list of books which means better customer service from the library end.  Oh, and if you’re curious, here’s the reading list I gave this patron – realistic fiction for middle grade readers with a focus (when possible) on characters with disabilities.  And if you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

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