Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Story-slinging Starts Young

One more post in honor of School Library Month

Recently at the middle school where I work, next year’s prospective students visited in order to “shadow” a current sixth grader and basically get the lay of the land. It’s a cool custom that gives kids a chance to try out middle school—and set aside some fears ahead of that first day of school in the fall.

This time the “shadow-ee” (current sixth grader) was an exuberant character—and frequent library visitor. The “shadower” (current fifth grader from another school) was a small, very quiet girl. I wasn’t sure when they left the library, where all shadow-ees and shadowers met, how this particular match-up would work out.

But midway through the morning in the three short minutes between classes, both girls rushed into the library. The sixth grader led the way to the shelf. “It’s not there!”

No, all of my copies of Ally Carter’s I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You were checked out.

Both girls were disappointed. “It’s so good,” said the sixth grader, still shaking her head over the empty spot on the shelf.

I was sorry not to have the book available. Even though technically the visiting fifth grader won’t be able to check it out until next fall, it was clear she wanted to read that book that instant—all because her shadower had been talking up the Gallagher Girls.

So, along with regret, I was really, really proud of the sixth grader for slinging stories and talking up books at such an early age.

Just goes to show you’re never too young to be a story-slinger. Here’s hoping I’m never too old…

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