"Ms. Ashley, I need a book to read."
"Ms. Ashley, do you know any good books?"
"Ms. Ashley, are there any good books in here?" To which I reply, "nope, this is a library of 10,000 bad books, sorry." Sometimes my sarcasm carries me away.
As librarians, we are bombarded with those questions every week, if not every day. I have found a few websites that I direct students to utilize when searching for their next big literary adventure. I always try to get students (especially reluctant readers) reading a series, since it will keep them occupied by offering a "next" book without all the worry and search. Here are a few websites that can help students (and you) find your next favorite read:
What Should I Read Next? comes with predictive text, which is helpful for students who may have difficulty spelling the title or author of the book.
Your Next Read has great graphics when suggesting books to read. It displays much like a mind map.
I like to use Book Seer; however, you have to know the title AND author of the book for it to supply suggestions. Oftentimes, the books it suggests are the next books in the series or books by the same author.
Of course, with a login Good Reads is amazing. It can be linked to your Facebook account or you can login with an email address. You can build shelves of books you've read, subscribe to discussion groups, and get suggestions. The downfall for younger students is having to have a login to do so. Good Reads also gives great reader reviews of books, which I use when compiling book orders.
If you can find a Professional Development session that is solid book talks, ATTEND IT! Ken Stamatis has a fabulous session that I attend every year titled So Many Book, So Little Time. He gives 50+ book talks on recently published books, provides the suggested age/grade range of reading, and has a good mix of fiction and nonfiction. Downfall: all of the books on the list will be grades 4 and up. I created a Pinterest board with this year's SMBSLT list. You can track the conversation from the sessions via Twitter using #SMBSLT or follow Ken Stamatis on Twitter.
Don't forget about AASL Blog post: What to Read Wednesday. Blogs are posted with suggested reading materials for all age levels. These lists and reviews are a great resource provided by the American Association for School Librarians!
What are some other tips, tricks, and resources you use to suggest books to students? I'll add them to the list!