Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Blind Date with a Book

Almost every day a student approaches me for a book recommendation. I absolutely love helping students find great books. Still, we all judge books by their covers and titles. I  can't tell you how many times I've recommended The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale to both girls and boys, yet very few students have actually followed that recommendation. It's a great book! But the title and cover are terribly misleading and turn-off a lot of readers.

Recently, I read my public library started a Blind Date with a Book project. I've decided to do this in my classroom. It'll make book recommendations even more fun.

How to do Blind Date with a Book
1. Choose great books that don't seem great at first glance. Most will have a terrible title and/or cover.
Some titles in my classroom bin: Curse of the Blue Figurine, Whales on Stilts, Poppy, Pictures of Hollis Woods, Kensuke's Kingdom, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

2. Wrap the books in plain-ish paper

3. Write a few words, or a sentence, on each book to make it enticing

4. Display the books and recommend them to readers. There are lots of display ideas on the internet if you search "Blind date with a book."

This post is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.




18 comments:

  1. Oh I love this idea! I have yet to try it. I'm trying to figure out a way to do it online. People would have to vow not to search for the book cover I guess. But this really is an awesome way to get great reads that would otherwise be ignored out there. One of my favorite books of all time has a not so great cover: The Secret Garden. Of course back then covers weren't like they are now. But try handing that book to 12 year old. FYI: I have. She looked at me like I was crazy :P

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    1. I think The Secret Garden might be one of the books on my list! It is indeed a terrible cover and a less-than great title, too.

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  2. Hi there! I am stopping by your blog from the A-Z challenge!
    I really love this idea and wish that I had my own classroom so that I could give it a try. Covers often make or break a person's choice to read a book. Nothing is worse than when people choose to not read a book that is actually quite amazing, just because the cover isn't interesting to them!

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    1. I agree! My favorite example is how readership of The Lightning Thief SURGED when the cover was changed.

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  3. Stopping by from the A to Z Challenge, great blog. I love this idea ;)

    laineyrain.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks! I look forward to stopping by your blog, too :)

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  4. Dropping by on the A to Z Challenge. What a great idea! But I'm one of the few who doesn't judge a book by its cover, I'm all about the story. ;)

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    1. That's awesome! I'd like to think that I don't judge books by their covers and titles, but I'm pretty sure I'd be lying. The cover is the first thing I see and, often, how I decide what to pick up. Unless, of course, I get a glowing recommendation from someone.

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  5. What an interesting concept. Hadn't heard of this before. ~~Emmly Jane, On The Porch Swing

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  6. Great idea! I've actually seen displays like this in public libraries. You could also challenge students to choose books and write brief descriptions for "blind dates" for others.

    I'm posting about bookish topics all month for the A-Z Challenge---stop by if you like!

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    1. That's a great idea! Love it!
      Thanks for stopping by. I'll check yours out, too.

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  7. That's certainly a unique way to get people to read.

    J.L. Campbell writes at The Character Depot
    and the Jamaican Kid Lit Blog.

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  8. Interesting idea, though sounds like it could backfire if the book really is a little lame. But I guess you'll never know unless you try!
    Teaching English with Mr. Duncan
    A-Z of hotels

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  9. Stopping by from the #atozchallenge !
    @JLenniDorner

    I've heard of this idea before. Always sounds great to me!

    Did you know that Gone with the Wind was originally titled Pansy? (Scarlet was named Pansy then.)
    Titles... sometimes they just don't work out.

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    1. I didn't know that! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Hi Amanda! What grades do you teach? I worked with 2nd and 3rd graders on creative writing for a few years and I was shocked that many could not name a favorite book! In 3rd grade, my teacher read Harry Potter to us, and here I am 15 years later writing about Harry Potter for my A - Z challenge and with such a love for writing and reading!

    I hope your tactics inspire all of the young readers! :)
    Thanks for stopping by my blog!
    Michelle @ In Media Res

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    1. That's awesome that you had such a great reading experience in third grade. I teach 5th grade. I'm not surprised to hear that your 2nd and 3rd graders couldn't name a favorite book. The testing culture will do that to you.

      We work really hard at my school, though, to paint reading as a fun, wonderful activity, so I think most of our students have a favorite book.

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