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From Caillou to the Wimpy Kid: Readers' Advisory for Children

Tips for conducting Readers' Advisory for Children.

Amber Emery

on 21 September 2012

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Transcript of From Caillou to the Wimpy Kid: Readers' Advisory for Children

Personal Interview Be Approachable! From Caillou to the Wimpy Kid:
Readers' Advisory for Children Ask Open-Ended Questions Examples:
"Can you tell me what you're looking for?"
"What sort of information/materials are you hoping to find?"
"What do you need to find out about _____?"
"What books have you read and enjoyed recently?"
"What did you like about the book?"
"Was there something you didn't like about the book?"
"What is your favorite book?" Readers' Advisory is the
process of
helping someone find
something to read. Forms of Readers' Advisory Personal Interview Getting them to talk about what they want! The Two Headed Monster Readers' Advisory with Parents Remember to smile, make eye contact, and say hello. Young children may be shy about asking questions. Be patient when asking questions and wait anywhere from 5 - 12 seconds for children to respond. That feels like a long time because adults usually respond in about 2 seconds. Verify Once you think you know what the child is looking for, verify by paraphrasing or re-stating the request by asking yes or no or either/or questions. For instance:
"So you want to find some books about whales for your 3rd grader?"
"You'd like a story about dogs
"Would you like books with drawings or photographs?" Avoid Jargon ...or at least be sensitive to it and explain it.
Library terms that are familiar to us may not mean anything to patrons especially young children. Follow Up Questions For example,
"Are you finding what you need?"
"Was that source helpful?"
Invite patrons to ask another question, "Let me know if you need anything else."
Ask them as they are leaving, "Did you find what you were looking for?" Practice Questions I'm looking for Ann Frank's Diary.
Where are the Dr. Seuss books?
I'm looking for Caillou books, who is the author?
My nine year old really liked Charlotte's Web, what else would you recommend?
What's the first book in the Narnia series?
I need some books and DVDs on potty training.
I need a book to read, I really like the Percy Jackson books.
I am looking for fantasy books for my son, but I dont want anything with wizards or witchcraft.
I would like some picture books about sharing for my preschooler. She is having a hard time with a new sibling.
My first grader is just starting chapter books, what would you recommend?
I need a historical fiction book for a book report. It has to be 100 pages. Can you help me find one?
Do you have any books for kids who just starting to learn to read?
I'm a preschool teacher and I need some books for a unit on St. Patrick's Day.
I have a high school student who reads on a 5th grade reading level, do you have anything he would like to read?
What books have won the Newbery Award?
I've read all of the Dear America books, what should I read next?
I like funny books.
Do you have any wordless picture books?
All my child wants to read is SERIES X, how can I get him/her to read "real" books? Reading Level Finding a book at a comfortable reading level is both an important and a delicate issue. Things to consider:
Grade level
Number of pages or words per page.
Is this an assignment or for pleasure? Always offer a selection of materials and let the child choose the ones that look best to them. Teachers teach reading,
public librarians promote it.
We should be less concerned with making children CAPABLE readers, and more concerned with making them AVID readers. Tips Remember, even within an age group or grade level there can be a wide range of reading levels.
If a child has their heart set on a book that is clearly above their reading level, suggest the audiobook. Children can usually listen at a higher reading level than they can read.
Other ideas: nonfiction, magazines, graphic novels or adapted classics. Child Present Child Not Present An Exercise in Hearsay Attempt to get the same information from the parent as you would a child. Is this for an assignment? What have the read and liked recently? What grade/age are they in? Remember, that this will be colored by the parent's perspective. Parents are more likely to be limited in their own knowledge of how children read and may have received only filtered information from their own children. You may need to rely on the books the child has most recently read.
Use open ended questions and get the parent to talk about the child. What does he like to do? What are her hobbies? What does she do for fun? What subjects does he like in school? What kinds of movies/games/television shows does she like? One advantage of this kind of interaction, is that we can talk to the parent about any issues that might affect the child. Is the book too scary? Too mature? Is there a particular aspect of the book that you feel needs to be mentioned? Offer a wider range of books for the parent to take home than if the child were present. And even if it's specifically stated, include a wide range of subjects, reading levels, genres, and any other characteristic that comes up during your conversation. Direct your questions to the child. Even if the adult answers for them, continue to direct your questions to the child while acknowledging the adult's participation in the process. It can be awkward and uncomfortable when you encounter a parent and child at odds with each other about what books to select.
Parents often focus on quality and look for books to help a child improve their reading, while children may focus more on popularity. Are their friends reading certain books? Is it on television? What Happens When They Disagree? The Two Headed Monster Booktalks Booklists and Displays Booklists should include author, title, annotations, reading level, and call number. When creating the booklist, make sure make the intended audience is clear. Booklists should be available in multiple formats, online, sheet, bookmark, etc. Booklists can accompany a display. Displays are great for browsing. Special Considerations Think of it as having a conversation not an interrogation. Sometimes children filter out details when asking reference questions. Or they ask informational questions phrased in a way they think the librarian wants to hear. Rather than giving all of the details necessary, they tailor the question to such a degree that the librarian may end up looking for the wrong information. Personal Interviews are conversations where someone who has a need discusses with a librarian how to find
something to fill that need. Pull a range of books and have them look at the text and see their reaction to the number of words and size of the font.
If they are not sure ask if they want a shorter story or a story with pictures. This may indicate they need a lower reading level.
Don't feel that you should discourage a child from selecting a book above their reading level, but it helps to suggest similar titles with a lower reading level.
Knowing what books other children in the same grade have liked can help. BASICS OF SPEED “READING”:
1. Select a book to “read”
2. On a card or sheet of paper record the Author, Title, Genre, Series Info, and Call Number. As you “read”, jot down notes about items listed below that seem pertinent.
3. Hold the book and look at its basic features - Is it heavy? When you open it, do the pages lie flat? Look at the typeface, the space between lines, the general layout - How easy to read is it? Is there much white space? Is it densely printed?
4. Look at the cover - What does it tell you about the book (or what the publisher wants you to think about the book)
5. Read the Blurb - Does it give you an idea of the storyline; does it tell “everything” (or maybe it doesn’t tell you anything). Is it inviting, teasing, ominous?
6. Read the first chapter - Does it pull you right into the story or is there a slow build-up? If it’s a series title, how smoothly does it deliver background info?
7. Skim and read bits and pieces here and there throughout the book - Does it seem to flow? What’s your general impression of the book?
8. Read the end (sorry, but this is important!). If it has an epilogue, read a couple of sections before the epilogue. Is there a conclusion or is it open-ended? Does the ending read like a checklist, wrapping up all loose ends?
9. What can you tell about
Style: humorous; serious; length of sentences, sections, or chapters; dialogue?
Pacing: leisurely or action-oriented
Format: straight-line narrative, flashback, single or multiple points of view (how smooth are transitions)
Characters: many or few; are they a recognizable “type”; does it seem character or action-oriented
Setting: time; place; integral or wallpaper
Story-line: character or plot driven
Genre: does it follow genre conventions?; sub-genre? Because children's memories are still forming,
you will encounter children who cant remember
titles or authors. Try asking about elements
of the story. Children and Memory Booklists are great for shy children who don't want to approach the desk. What if I don't read children's books? Connect with those that do, in person or online. You can check out Goodreads, LibraryThing, Shelfari, or the online booksellers. I get so nervous when a kid asks me a question! What can I do to calm down? Ask them a question back. What have you read recently? What do you like in a book? Do you like books with animals, funny books, etc? What do you do for the kid who has read everything or isn't excited by anything? Try to get them to branch out into a new genre or if they are older try some YA titles. How do I deal with Leveled Reading? Leveled reading programs like Lexile Measures, Accelerated Reader (AR), Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA), and Guided Reading Level (GRL) can be challenging because libraries (especially public libraries) don't arrange our books according to a particular program. What about children who read way above their age/grade level? Try organizations with gifted programs like:
Hoagie's Gifted
GT World
University of Washington Robinson Center
A Different Place http://adifferentplace.org/ HOW TO READ A BOOK IN TEN MINUTES Children's Book Blogs Educating Alice
Read Roger
The Brown Bookshelf
Chicken Spaghetti
Waking Brain Cells
wakingbraincells.com/ A Fuse 8 Production
100 Scope Notes
Chasing Ray
Abby the Librarian
Good Comics for Kids
blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/goodcomicsforkids/ Print Resources A to Zoo: Subject Access to Children's Picture Books by Carolyn W. Lima
Popular Series Fiction for K - 6th Readers by Rebecca L. Thomas
Best Books for Boys: a Resource for Educators by Matthew D. Zbaracki
Best Books for Children: Preschool through Grade 6 by Catherine Barr
Across Cultures: a Guide to Multicultural Literature for Children by Kathy East
Great Books for African-American Children by Pamela Toussaint
Hit List -- Frequently Challenged Books for Children by American Library Association
Picture Books for Children: Fiction, Folktales, and Poetry by Mary Northrup
Book Crush: for Kids and Teens: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Interest by Nancy Pearl
The Book Tree: a Christian Reference for Children's Literature by Elizabeth McCallum
A Picture Book Primer: Understanding and Using Picture Books by Denise I. Matulka
Best Books for Kids Who (Think They) Hate to Read: 125 Books that Will Turn any Kid into a Lifelong Reader by Laura Backes
Great Books for Babies and Toddlers: More than 500 Recommended Books for Your Child's First Three Years by Kathleen Odean
Great Books for Girls: More than 600 Recommended Books for Girls Ages 3-14 by Kathleen Odean
Scary, Gross, and Enlightening: Books for Boys Grades 3-12 by Deborah B. Ford
Primary Genreflecting: a Guide to Picture Books and Easy Readers by Susan Fichtelberg
What to Read When: the Books and Stories to Read with Your Child and All the Best Times to Read Them by Pam Allyn
Getting Graphic!: Comics for Kids by Michele Gorman
Graphic Novels for Young Readers: A Genre Guide for Ages 4-14 by Nathan Herald
What Should I Read Aloud?: a Guide to 200 Best-Selling Picture Books by Nancy A. Anderson
100 Best Books for Children by Anita Silvey
Read with Me: Best Books for Preschoolers by Stephanie Zvirin
What Should I Read Aloud?: A Guide to 200 Best-Selling Picture Books by Nancy A. Anderson Other Resources Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) - www.ala.org/alsc/
Read Kiddo Read - readkiddoread.com/home
Children's Cooperative Book Center - www.education.wisc.edu/ccbc/
Center for Children's Books - ccb.lis.illinois.edu/
Database of Award Winning Children's Literature - www.dawcl.com/
Kids Reads - www.kidsreads.com/
Guys Read - www.guysread.com
Reading Rockets - www.readingrockets.org

School Library Journal - www.schoollibraryjournal.com
The Horn Book - www.hbook.com

Children's Book Council - www.cbcbook.org
Reading is Fundamental - www.rif.org

100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know - kids.nypl.org/reading/recommended2.cfm?ListID=61
Juvenile Series and Sequels - www.mymcpl.org/books-movies-music/juvenile-series
SLJ's Top 100 Picture Books - http://www.slj.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/SLJ_Fuse8_Top100_Picture.pdf Booktalks Passive Methods - Booklists, Displays, website Look up from your computer especially when someone new walks into your area. Let children know what you're doing if you turn away from them or get up to walk to a section of the room. Be proactive. Watch for parents or children who appear lost or confused and approach them. It's all right to eavesdrop a little bit. With small children consider kneeling down or bending over so that you are at their eye level. Be respectful and non-judgemental. Treat all of their questions as seriously as you would those from adults. "Do you remember any of the characters' names?" "Do you remember anything that happens in the book?" "Do you remember where you saw the book? At the library, school, bookstore?" Children may lack the ability to formulate a question or to articulate their likes and/or dislikes.
Secondhand questions.
Imposed queries - homework assignments and/or reports.
Library systems (ILS, DDS) are not created with children in mind.
Children may have less experience with libraries and information sources. It is good to establish early on whether or not the book is for an assignment.
If it is for an assignment, this means finding a pleasurable read but also satisfies the assignment requirements. To help with this, become familiar with books that straddle genres.
Was a specific book assigned?
Was a specific author assigned or an author with some particular trait, such as nationality or gender.
Was a specific genre assigned, and if so, what is the teacher's definition of that genre?
Is there a list that students can or must
choose from?
"What class or subject is this for?"
"What did your teacher tell you about the assignment?" Instead of asking if a child wants fiction or nonfiction, ask if they are looking for a story or facts/information on the topic. Point to or use a book for reference. For instance, ask if they want a picture book and point to the books or pick one up to show them. Feel free to walk away to let them look and return with other suggestions. Allow children the time to browse. For younger children, don't forget nonfiction! Just because they can't read it, doesn't mean that they wont be interested. A child who loves a particular subject like dogs, dinosaurs, or airplanes will still be interesting and a parent can "translate" the information for them. If possible, accompany the child or parent to the shelves to ensure that they find the correct title. Children usually prefer to read about other children 1 - 2 years older than themselves. If a child is reluctant to try something new, present the new choices as books popular with other kids who have also read the current favorites. Invite them to come back and tell you whether they liked the books or not. Let them know that it is OK if they didn't like them and we can try again. Recognize that a child may provide information colored by the presence of the parent. So it's good to read tone and body language to see if the suggestions are in line with what the child is thinking. Try to offer a broad range of books. Try to accommodate the parent while also showing the child that you truly care about finding something they are interested in and will enjoy. Remind parents that we don't expect that every book an adult reads is Shakespeare. Children should read both above and below their reading level, to read popular and classic books, and to read for pleasure as well as information. Just like adults. If a parent is extremely worried about improving their child's reading level, let them know that just like with anything else, the best way to improve at anything is to practice. As long as they are reading and enjoying it, that's what counts. If it becomes a chore, then they are not going to want to do it anymore. Those children who only read at their highest reading level may spend a great deal of time frustrated. That is not what we are trying to accomplish. Validate children's reading choices while relating them to what you are suggesting. Try to engage the child in explaining what he or she wants even if it's only by nodding or facial expressions. Try something that has just been published. Try nonfiction. Or a graphic novel. Try a classic which may have been previously overlooked. Try asking questions about what they do. This can give you inspiration for a book that fits along those interests. Sometimes if you give them a stack of suggestions and then leave them alone with the space to look them over, saying "Go ahead and look these over and whatever you aren't interested in just leave on the table." Usually they will find something. Personal Interview Think of it as having a conversation, not an interrogation. Be Approachable! Be aware that that some patrons may feel intimidated by the library. Young children, especially, may be shy about asking questions. Be aware of your body language and nonverbal cues. Remember to smile, make eye contact, and say hello. Look up when children or families enter your area or approach the desk. Let children know what you are doing especially if you turn away from them to search the computer or get up to show them where items are located. Bring children and/or parents to the area on the shelve where an item is located. This ensures that they find the items with no problems. Invite them to browse the section. This is especially true for nonfiction. Let them know they are allowed to take titles off the shelf and look even if they aren't going to check them out. Be proactive and watch for children and parents who appear lost or confused and approach them. It's OK to eavesdrop and chime in if you hear that they are frustrated at not finding something. Ask Open-Ended Questions This helps get children to tell you what they want. Sometimes children filter out details when asking reference questions. Or they ask informational questions phrased in a way they think the librarian wants to hear. Rather than giving all of the details necessary, they tailor the question to such a degree that the librarian may end up looking for the wrong information. Examples:
Can you tell me what you are looking for?
What sort of information/material are you hoping to find?
What do you need to know about [topic]?
What have you read in the past that you enjoyed? Disliked?
What did you like about the book?
Was there something you didn't like about the book?
What is your favorite book/movie/video game/TV show? With small children, consider kneeling down or bending over so that you are at their eye level. Be respectful and non-judgemental. Treat all of their questions as seriously as you would from adults. Getting them to talk about what they want! Be patient when asking young children questions and wait anywhere from 5 - 12 seconds for children to respond. That feels like a long time to an adult because we usually respond in about 2 seconds. It's easy to jump in and try to finish a child's sentence or answer for them, but this may lead to getting the wrong information because a child may not want to contradict an adult. Note about Asking Young Children Questions Collection of books aimed at 2nd and 3rd grade students and designed with newly independent readers in mind. These books help make the transition from Easy Readers to longer chapter books an easier and more rewarding process for children and parents alike. First Chapter Book Collection The First Chapter Book Collection is intended as recreational reading for children to practice newly acquired skills and find a wide range of reading material that interests them. Featuring books with less than 125 pages, larger font size, and illustrations, these books help children gain confidence and discover the pleasure of independent reading. Specifically designed to look like longer chapter books but without the intimidating small print, these books also incorporate other beneficial qualities such as: A simple vocabulary that introduces a limited number of unfamiliar words – this allows children to focus on enjoying the story rather than learning a bunch of new vocabulary words. Sentences that are relatively short, direct and uncomplicated – good transitional books avoid compound sentences with lots of clauses and commas, those sorts of grammatical elements are more appropriate for an older or more experienced reader. Brief episodes, chapters, or intervals that stand out to the reader – this assists inexperienced readers understand and gain familiarity with two common conventions of fiction writing: jumps in time and changes in setting. Content compelling enough to hold a child’s interest but not so complicated that it’s hard to follow – if a child doesn’t enjoy reading, he or she is less likely to want to read, so one of the most important aspects to this collection is providing books that offer an entertaining read without being too difficult to decode.
•How can I help my child become a better reader?
Continue to read to him every day and expose him to the language of books. Have him read to you. If he makes a mistake, simply tell him the correct word and let him move on. This increases enjoyment and fluency. To increase comprehension, talk about the story after you’ve read it.
•What level should my child be reading at in each grade?
There is a range of levels within each grade. Your child’s teacher can address your child's current level and the goals she is working on with your child. To see how levels generally correspond to each grade. With good instruction, your child will steadily become a better reader, even if he is one or two levels behind peers. Here are some suggestions: Find out grade level and age this can help guide you. It can be useful to have booklists handy with examples of titles appropriate based on grade level/age. Check NoveList, they include Lexile levels in many of their records. You can search by Lexile level as well. Try www.arbookfinder.com/, www.lexile.com, www.fountasandpinnellleveledbooks.com/, or www.scholastic.com/bookwizard/. Explain to parents how the library is organized and show them areas where they can browse books at their child's level, example: Early Readers, First Chapter Book Collection, Chapter Books. Ask if they have information about the leveling program and recommended titles from the child’s teacher, if they know at what level the child currently reads, and if they have a list of appropriate books. Note that when reading at home, educators say that children should read a level or two below the one they read at in school, when they are receiving instruction from the teacher. Other options: Classics or adapted classics Try databases like NoveList Look for booklists focusing on "Gentle Reads" Historical Fiction Nonfiction Graphic Novels What about children who read below grade level or reluctant readers? Find out what titles your library owns that fall in the High Interest/Low Readability category. These will become your best friend. Some publishers specialize in Hi/Low Books: Orca Currents, Orca Soundings, New Series Canada, HIP Junior, Deer Lake, Stone Arch, Saddleback, and Keystone Books. Nonfiction series like Blazers (Capstone) and Torque (Bellweather). There are many booklists produced by other libraries that includes choices for Hi/Low books. Look for books with lots of action, adventure, humor, and fast pacing. Let them know that other children have read the books and have enjoyed them. This can carry more weight than an adult's opinion. Don't intimidate them with long chapter books, try to find shorter books that are more manageable. Find out what their outside interests are and how they can relate to titles in your collection: movie/television tie-ins, graphic novels, nonfiction subjects, magazines. A short, simple description that grabs the readers attention and is designed to motivate a reader into choosing a particular title or titles. Booktalks can be informal or formal, verbal or digital, and can range in time from 15 seconds to 7 minutes depending on setting. The Booktalker's Bible outlines six "Golden Rules of Booktalking":
1. Read the Book
2. Like the Books You Booktalk
3. Know Your Audience
4. Booktalk
5. Don't Tell the Ending!
6. Leave a List. http://www.cityoffargo.com/CityInfo/Departments/Library/ChildrensServices/BooklistsforKids/ Check out other library websites - Hennepin County Library, Multnomah County Library, New York Public Library, Monroe County Public Library, West Bloomfield Township Public Library. Read at least a few of the most popular authors so you have some base to start with or read a few award books and keep those lists handy. Find out what the bestsellers are from either Publishers Weekly or New York Times. Make sure to remember series tie ins. Find out what some of the hot books are and be familiar with them. Look at Top 10 lists or readalike lists in NoveList, Amazon, other libraries. Don't feel that you need to read a whole series, just read the first one to get a feel for characters, pacing, setting, etc. Check out the children's area of the library or bookstores. Check out blogs devoted to Children's Books. Ask the Children's Staff. Default to something that can be more comfortable such as teaching them to use the catalog. Model a search with a favorite or topic of interest and highlight features that allow them to locate similar titles. Walk around with them and look at displays and ask them if anything looks interesting. When possible stock displays with some of your favorites to give you a comfortable place to start. Pretend the child is an adult. Repeat the question back to ensure you are both on the same page. Get the child talking which will give you time to compose yourself and organize your thoughts. Children's Fiction Genres Historical Fiction Sources Used From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Books by Kathleen T. Horning
Reference Services for Children and Young Adults Ed. by Bill Katz and Ruth A. Fraley
Youth Information-Seeking Behavior: Theories, Models, and Issues by Mary K. Chelten and Colleen Cool
Fundamentals of Children's Services by Michael Sullivan
Bare Bones Library Services: Tips for Public Library Generalists by Anitra T. Steele
Crash Course in Children's Services by Penny Peck
Research-Based Readers' Advisory by Jessica E. Moyer and Amanda Blau
Some of My Best Friends are Books: Guiding Gifted Readers by Judith Wynn Halsted
Outstanding Library Service to Children: Putting the Core Competencies to Work by Rosanne Cerny, Penny Markey, and Amanda Williams
Reference Sources and Services for Youth by Meghan Harper
Children's Literature Gems: Choosing and Using Them in Your Library Career by Elizabeth Bird
Conducting the Reference Interview: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians by Catherine Sheldrick Ross, Kirsti Nilsen, and Marie L. Radford
Reference and Information Services by Richard E. Bopp and Linda C. Smith
The Booktalker's Bible: How to Talk About the Books You Love to Any Audience by Chapple Langemack
Charlotte Huck's Children's Literature by Barbara Z. Kiefer

Readers' Advisory for Children and Young Adults Wiki (ALA)
Reading IS Fundamental http://www.rif.org/
Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) http://www.ala.org/alsc/
Handout for Practical Readers Advisory for Children and Teens http://2012conference.wla.org/files/2011/06/Practical-Readers-Advisory-for-Children-and-Teens.pdf
Teaching the Art of the Reference Interview http://pacificreference.pbworks.com/f/Teaching%2Bthe%2BArt%2Bof%2Bthe%2BRef.%2BInterview.pdf Search google by reading level: http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1095407 Amazon.com includes the publishers designated reading level. Fantasy Adventure Sports Stories Science Fiction Humorous Stories Ghost Stories Scary Stories Mystery Realistic Fiction Graphic Novels (format) Easy Readers, Easy Reading Books, Beginning Readers, or Early Reader Books are appropriate for children age 5–7. These books are designed to help a emergent readers build their reading skills. Readers Characteristics of Readers: Repetitive Language Patterns through repetitive use of words, phrases, and questions. Familiar Sequences such as numbers, days of the week, months, and hierarchies. Repetitive Story Patterns and Predictable Plots Cumulative Tales Use of Familiar Songs and Rhymes Know of a few fast-paced books with action and/or humor. Also consider graphic novels, nonfiction, and magazines.
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