Last week we held a reader's advisory workshop here in the Alamo Area Library System presented by Kathleen Baxter. The title of this workshop was "Grab Them: Books with Real Guy (and Gal) Appeal!"
Ms. Baxter gave an entertaining and informative presentation; she was very funny. Her recommendations were practical and attainable. New ideas for titles to suggest to boys (and girls) were discussed. Most of the titles she mentioned are great to suggest to boys who struggle to find material in the library that interests them. Parents and librarians can use the title list that was handed out in this workshop to find great materials to read to kids. Many kids will want to check these items out for themselves too. All of the books listed involve things which are frequently a fascination for many boys. But she made the point that girls might like them too--don't assume that they won't be interested. Some examples included titles on unsolved mysteries, man-eating tigers, war planes, gross things, BMX, bugs and more. Most of these were nonfiction, although there were a few fiction titles.
Ms. Baxter demonstrated storytelling by reading some children's books and singing songs (which was a nice surprise!) while generating tons of laughter from the audience. Participants each received 5 hours of CE credit. A good time was had by all who attended.
Kathleen Baxter is currently a children's literary consultant who gives booktalks and speaking engagements nationwide. She will be speaking at the Public Library Association annual conference in her hometown of Minneapolis in March 2008. More information on Ms. Baxter can be found on her web site at www.kathleenbaxter.com