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Monday, July 15, 2013

Looking for New Mentor Texts? Look up!

I am at my public library a lot.  I mean a lot.

I have two kids (Sam is almost 8 and Anna is almost 5) who treat the library like their own private bookstore.  We are there a few times a week choosing new books to read, taking out DVDs, signing up for programs (my son just participated in the "Read to a Guide Dog" was incredible!!!), and/or using their computers and iPads that are bookmarked with the most incredible websites and apps for kids.

I am also an educator.  Going to my public library a few times a week gives me a chance to "do work" without really feeling like I am doing work.  I am constantly on the lookout for new and exciting mentor texts but don't necessarily have the time (remember I have two kids...) to search through the thousands of picture books (not to mention chapter books) that my library has to offer.  So how do I effectively and efficiently flip through all of the texts there at my fingertips and choose the right ones?

I look up.  The talented, knowledgeable, and patient librarians have done this work for me!  Librarians take time each day to hand pick the newest, most beloved, ALA recommended picture books out there for children.  They select books in various genres, thinking about children of all ages, and prop them up above the book shelves for me to see!  I have found many of my beloved mentor texts by simply grabbing some of the librarian-selected books at the library.  I'll grab a few each time I visit, bring them home, digest the possibilities, and THEN purchase them for use in the many classrooms I visit each year.

The next time you are looking to boost your classroom library for mentor texts, check out your public library and look up.  You may discover some new texts that will help your young writers to do things they never dreamed possible.

Here are some of my recent favorite librarian-selected picks:

Anna's flip flops laying on my desk next to The Loud Book, To Be Like the Sun, Chloe Instead, and Pug and Other Animal Poems.

 Doing some nonfiction work and flipping through Same, Same but Different, What Do You Do When Something Wants to Eat You?, and Castles, Caves and Honeycombs along with Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey

 Wrapping end of the year teacher gifts and testing out some mentor texts...The Librarian of Basra, My First Day, and Who Says Women Can't be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell.

Take a trip to your public library and let me know what you found?