aka YA Literature

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Why I Will Be Buying A Lot of Simon & Schuster Books

Simon & Schuster has a great website that I'm loving. It has book trailers and videos of authors talking about their work. I love it because (1) the videos are not on YouTube, which means the students can actually watch them at school, and (2) the book trailer videos are really well done. I've put some of these on my library blog, and the students and teachers are loving them. I've created so much interest in these books that I'm having to order extras. The students especially like the Leviathan and The Monstrumologist videos. I have noticed that the author interviews aren't all that popular. I posted the Ellen Hopkins one, and students who already like her books are sometimes interested, but not a single person has asked about her books based on that video. The trailer-like videos are much more effective at getting readers interested in the books. (But I do have to say that the books I booktalk myself, even when I don't do a great job at it, seem to be more popular than most of the videos.)

I have been especially interested in this whole enterprise because of the really interesting research by Vivan Howard in this month's issue of VOYA. The article is entitled "Most of the Books I've Read, I've Found on the Floor: Teens and Pleasure Reading," which is a great title because it alludes to the biggest cause students reported in why they start reading less in middle school: they have a hard time choosing a book they think they'd like. The whole study fascinated me, but I was surprised by this as the biggest barrier. I was also heartened because if this is one of (or THE) biggest obstacle to adolescent reading for pleasure, it's something librarians can do something about. Anyway, if "difficulties selecting good reading material" is their biggest obstacle, these video trailers seem to be helping at least some of my students. When they were watching the videos, they were not only asking for the books, but I heard them saying things like, "This book looks cool."

So I foresee myself buying lots of Simon & Schuster books for the simple fact that these videos are getting students interested in the books and creating a big demand for them. Here's a trailer for The Hollow by Jessica Verday:

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