At the end of the day we gathered on the carpet, my fourth graders and I.
“So, guys, I’m going to a library book sale on Friday night, and I need your suggestions. Are there any particular books you’d like me to pick up if I see them? What’s missing from our library?”
“Graphic novels!” called a couple of voices.
“Yeah! Like Sisters and Smile!” someone said.
Hands flew up, waving frantically. Book titles and series names came fast and furious and I diligently jotted them down. “The Narnia books!” “The Stone Fox!” “The False Prince!” “Harry Potter!” My page quickly filled with titles. As students shared suggestions, the room filled with a buzz of vigorous nods and side comments like, “Oh, yeah, I love that book!” or “Those are great!”
Finally, I called on yet another enthusiastic student. “Where the Red Fern Grows,” he proclaimed. “You have got to get that book. I cried so hard when I read it.” Then he paused and declared with great sincerity, “That book is powerful!”