"Picture-Book Politics," at the NYTBR
National Book Award Finalists, 2008

Bookspotting, 4th Grade

Children_reading_1940 I borrow the term "bookspotting" from The New Yorker's Book Bench bloggers. They're always noticing someone reading something interesting on the subway and around town.

During silent reading time in a fourth-grade classroom recently, I spied kids engrossed in these books, among others:

Gregor the Overlander, by Suzanne Collins
The Great Brain, by John D. Fitzgerald
Magic Tree House: Carnival at Candlelight, by Mary Pope Osborne
Warriors: Into the Wild, by Erin Hunter
The People of Sparks, by Jeanne DuPrau
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray, by Ann M. Martin

Photograph: Children Reading 1940, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division (via Wikimedia Commons)


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I'm getting to be positively tiresome around school with, "What're ya readin'?" but I don't care. It never fails to tell me something about the kid, something about current school culture, or something that I've missed.

Recent observations:
the Titanic - still big
Girls reading seriously scary books
We're gonna need more My Weird School, and soon
Volcanoes - also big

I hear ya, YNL.

I'm fascinated by kids' reading choices. The 4th grader in this house is in keeping with your Titanic trend, having read one NF about the ship and one novel (White Star: A Dog on the Titanic).

Boy do I love The Great Brain. Fourth graders read the coolest things.

Lucas recently read Into the Wild, which I believe may very well be the first book he's read that I haven't. He has attempted to correct this, though, by loaning me the book. I think I'm going to have to read it when I'm done with the new Sarah Vowell.

Into the Wild? Holy smokes. That's quite a book for a fourth-grader! Wait a minute. You probably mean Sarah Beth Durst's novel, right? Not Jon Krakauer's book of nonfiction (for adults). I've read the Krakauer and would like to read the other.

Oh, I also chose The Great Brain for silent reading time at school around that age! And I am also very interested in what kids are reading (but not their assigned reading). :D

Tarie, me, too. I love to see the books that kids are really into.

Adrienne, now I know that you're talking about the "Into the Wild" from the Warriors. My mistake!

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