Books That Give You the Feels


This bulletin board display was inspired by one of my favorite young patrons, who loves to read realistic fiction that tugs at her heart.

There are a substantial number of 4th-6th grade students who aren’t interested in books with magic, time travel, unicorns, mermaids, fairies, or dragons; they want to read books that include angst, confusing dilemnas, tragic family circumstances, kids facing big life challenges, and equally big disappointments. They want books that elicit strong emotions, and allow them to experience intense scenarios they may never encounter in their real lives, in a safe way: on the pages of a book.

With suggestions from one of the online librarian groups I am a member of, I printed and laminated small covers of the books in the school library that make eyes water and hearts ache.  I placed a book rack under the bulletin board with all the available books, to make picking one up to read just-that-much easier.

These are stories that demonstrate the importance of empathy, perseverence, overcoming adversity, and deal with tough topics–often more than one–such as disfigurement (Wonder, Firegirl, The War that Saved My Life), cancer (Ida B, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes), neglectful/absent/abusive/alcoholic parents (Rain, Reign, True…Sort of, Because of Winn-Dixie), disabilities of all sorts (So B. It), orphans and foster children trying to find their place in a world that seems not to care about them (Echo, Counting by Sevens, Pictures of Hollis Woods, Missing May), financial hardship (Faith, Hope and Ivy June, Out of the Dust), families that are separated by death, distance and grief (A Dog Called Homeless, Walk Two Moons, Our Only May Amelia, Chasing Redbird, The Boy on the Porch), friendships that are strained or severed (The Thing About Jellyfish, Breadcrumbs, When You Reach Me), mistreated animals (One and Only Ivan, Flawed Dogs, The Underneath, Shiloh), and lots of dogs that die. Lots and lots of dogs that die (Where the Red Fern Grows, Old Yeller, Love That Dog, Marley and Me, Sounder).

Are there any popular books in your library that belong on this bulletin board too?  Leave me a comment!

And pass the tissues, please.

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It’s Always Time to Read

FullSizeRender-1I’m getting bulletin boards ready for the start of the new school year. Here’s one I finished today. Each book title has a number between 1 and 12 in it. Lily, a student volunteer, did a great job of searching the Destiny catalog and locating the books needed for each number.

The titles I used were: The One and Only Ivan, The Two Princesses of Bamarre, Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days, The First Four Years, Across Five Aprils, Now We Are Six, Counting by 7s, Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Dreams into Deeds: Nine Women Who Dared, Ten True Animal Rescues, Eleven, 12 Again.

I always allow kids to check out books even if they are part of a display (isn’t that the point?), so I have a few back-ups handy: One Came Home, Eight Keys, etc. (I am secretly hoping no one checks out 9; I have no replacement in my collection.)

Below is a picture in progress. I used four T-pins to affix each book stand to the bulletin board.  Even though they are aligned when empty, they required adjusting after books were added, to account for size differences.

IMG_8973I’m all ears, if you can suggest other back up titles with numbers in them in the comments.  Especially nine!

Book Displays

Sharing a few book displays from the past and present.

IMG_1255What’s better than a picnic with books?  I used green indoor/outdoor carpet, a picnic tablecloth, picnic basket, some napkins and plastic ware, and made a few Styrofoam and pipe cleaner ants.

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I wanted to showcase the many sports-themed books I have in the elementary library, with authors like Matt Christoper, Jake Maddox, and Mike Lupica, among others.  I used my Silhouette Cameo to make a volleyball, baseball, volleyball, football, soccer ball, and basketball.  I printed a couple of referee shirts, and then added a base of green construction paper with yardage lines.

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A little something pink and girlie.

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Students Declare Their Love for These Books

I Love This Book display

A quick and easy student-decorated display for Valentine’s Day:

Wrap red paper around the circulation desk.

Set out markers, tape and paper hearts.

Ask students if they’d like to write the title of any book they’ve ever loved–from Hop on Pop to Eragon and everywhere in between–and tape it to the desk.

Listen to all the conversations it generates.

That is all.