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Reaching Reluctant Readers. By: Joy Millam Heather Gruenthal Teacher Librarians & YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Committee. What does a reluctant reader look like?. There is no single answer.

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Reaching Reluctant Readers

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Reaching reluctant readers

Reaching Reluctant Readers

By: Joy Millam

Heather Gruenthal

Teacher Librarians &

YALSA’s Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Committee

What does a reluctant reader look like

What does a reluctant reader look like?

There is no single answer

There is no single answer

  • They are the goths, geeks, preps, jocks, nerds, skaters, and gamers. Kids from every demographic can be RR’s.

  • How do we define a reluctant reader:

    • RR’s are kids who for whatever reason do not like to read.

Reasons they don t read

Reasons they don’t read

  • Sometimes they are too busy to read

    • Athletics and extra-curricular activities

    • Demanding course of study (IB/AP coursework)

    • Employment

How do we reach them

How do we reach them?


Digital book trailers

Purchase appealing books for them

“Read the movie”

Digital booktrailers

Digital Booktrailers

More book trailers

More book trailers

Publisher book trailers

Publisher book trailers

Publisher trailers 2

Publisher trailers (2)

Buy appealing books

Buy appealing books

  • RR’s like books that have these characteristics

    • Appealing covers

    • Attention getting opening

    • Edgy topics

How there s no

How? There’s no $$$

Ask for donations (registration packet or back to school night, alumni letter)

Recycling collection

Book fairs (physical & virtual)

Amazon wishlist

Selling bookmarks

Gateway books

Gateway books

  • RR’s also like Gateway books like PostSecret

    • Very visual

    • Few words

      These books don’t look like much but they lead to quality books.

Booktalking basics

Booktalking Basics

Booktalk do s

Booktalk Do’s

  • Read all books you share with students

  • Cover is impactful

  • Choose popular books

    • ie: Child Called “It”

  • Take notes as you read

    • Cite passages

    • Note important events

Booktalk do s cont d

Booktalk Do’s (cont’d)

  • Buy extra copies

  • Note popular titles & find similar titles

    • (ie: “It”- Bruises, Basement)

  • Practice, practice, practice

    • Your comfort is critical

    • Practice passages and summaries

  • Take your show on the road

    • Make regular appointments

Do s cont d

Do’s (Cont’d)

  • Take books to the classroom

  • Prepare several different presentations

    • Ensures availability

  • Wear comfy clothes

  • Leave brochures

  • Display booktalk books

    • Add encouraging note

Booktalking don ts

Booktalking DON’TS

  • Don’t booktalk a book you disliked

  • Don’t reveal too much

  • Don’t go too long per title

    • 2-5 min per title max.

  • Don’t memorize

  • Don’t talk too fast



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