Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Blurb

The back of the book or the inside of a book jacket -- known fondly as "the blurb" -- is possibly the most underread and undertoted access to each and every book out there.

When I poll children if they read the blurb, more often than not they will say no.

What a travesty.

I tell my kids that they MUST read the blurb. There are so many nuggets of gold hidden in there!

First off, I read it to them every time we are doing a read aloud -- I model. I share with them how excited I am to get my mind ready! I can read there and find out the main characters' name(s), a little bit about the problem in the story, and maybe a twist that may give me a hint as to how it is solved, or at least a teaser to get me hooked!

It is so vital in another way too. It will be a clear gauge as to whether the book will be a just right read for them or not. If they struggle through the blurb, it will be a challenge to read what's inside, for sure.

When they read the blurb, we talk about what we learned. For example, if I were reading a blurb about Charlotte's Web, I would have found out the pig is named Wilber, Charlotte is the mysterious friend (Hmmm...why her WEB? I always ask them - clue - what is she!) and Fern saves this pig, yet...there are some questions about the likelihood of his not living. This is GREAT STUFF! It totally helps my mind get an overall picture of where this is going, so as I read I can say "AHA! That's what the blurb told me!"

Make sure your kids read the blurb. It's going to make a big difference on how they read and what books they select!

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