The last ten minutes of my meeting with fourth graders yesterday turned into a book buzz delight. We were discussing their last independent project of the year: to think about a book recently read and write a description that created enough enthusiasm that a classmate would want to read it over the summer.
I modeled the buzz with a book we had just read as a group. Then I showed them some of the books that I had in my summer stack, that my friends had recommended to me, making the point that we read books that are shared by our friends. I lifted up Kate DiCamillo´s Flora and Ulysses, and noted that a teacher they knew had loaned the book to me and that I would be writing a book buzz on the classroom site about that book. I suggested they might consider this book, reminding them of other books they had read by her: Tiger Rising, Mercy Watson, Winn Dixie. The kids oohed and aahed recalling those much loved read alouds. It was then that one of the students asked if anyone had read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. I quickly replied it was one of my all time favorite books.
Of course I told them that I cried at the end, to which two of the five participants said they did as well. One girl piped up and shared her saddest part of the story. Recalling these moments brought tears back to our faces, marking another first for remote learning, crying with students on google meet.
I believe we convinced the three non-readers of Edward Tulane to pick it up this summer, either that or we scarred them for life with our gushing and praise. It is making me consider adding this book to my summer list to revisit those favorite parts as remembered by my fourth grade reading friends.
Oh! The power of a good book buzz!
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