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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

"Hand-selling" children's books = engaged readers

October 21, 2011

The world is addicted to media and technology. Information whether accurate or not speeds from one corner of the globe to the other in a matter of minutes. Got a question? Google it. Want a book or music? Download it. Want to create a reader? Slow down.

An article about New England booksellers getting back to basics — how to "hand-sell" children's books — reminded me that talking about books to children and the adults in their lives remains vital.

Being in touch with authors is still a thrill to kids and grown-ups alike. I recently saw Rosemary Wells and her Hyperion editor, Stephanie Lurie, speak to a group of teachers and college students. They talked about how they worked together to make the forthcoming Yoko Learns To Read a rich experience for readers of all ages, the process of writing, editing and publishing books, and more.

The teachers and future teachers and librarians who shared the afternoon with them are sure to share the insights they gained with the young children in their lives. They'll hand-sell Wells' books — and look for ways to do the same with other books.

They'll probably share some of the ideas or get more using the various media now available in so many formats — very useful tools. But let's not forget that young readers often start with an adult who shares their passion for books.

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