National Library Week: Books for Your Classroom Library

Horrid Henry has crossed the Atlantic!

Yes, it’s true. And I’m not the first one to tell you. All around the blogosphere, people are talking about Horrid Henry and the recent arrival of the first four books in Francesca Simon’s series. Bianca Schultze has a most apt  description at the Children’s Book Review: “[with] revolting-but-captivating stories, large sized text, [and] illustrations included on almost every page … Horrid Henry is exactly what reluctant readers have been waiting for.” The books are a cross between a short-story collection and an illustrated chapter book.

As you know, I have a very large, soft spot in my heart for reluctant readers (or dormant readers as the Book Whisperer likes to call them). Whenever we can match kids with books that can grab them, then the task is simple: just do it! Right next to that spot is my love of libraries spot. So, in honor of great readers-to-be and National Library Week, I’m hosting a (rare) book giveaway here at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub.

The way to spread the most reading joy is to share a book with the most number of kids – whether as a read aloud (Horrid Henry is perfect for that) or by letting a book make the rounds of many hands (ditto). So the winners in this contest will be classroom or local school libraries. Horrid Henry’s publisher Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, sent us the 4-book set for review, and donated five, one-story books specifically for a giveaway. I’ve organized them into two prizes …

The Grand Prize: A Set of Four Horrid Henry books, plus a one-story Horrid Henry chapter book

Four First Prizes: A One-story Horrid Henry book

Anyone can enter the contest … just tell us about your classroom or school library. If you’ve got an idea for engaging dormant readers, we’d love to hear that, too. if you aren’t a teacher or a librarian you can enter on behalf of a school or teacher. We will mail the books directly to the teacher/librarians and explain that you helped them win. Winners will be determined by random number generator.

UPDATE: Due to the slow start for this giveaway, we’re going to accept comments through 22 April 2009. Winners will be announced on 23 April!

12 responses to “National Library Week: Books for Your Classroom Library

  1. I’m writing as a head custodian for my school. Can’t mention on this site as I’m a children author my self and can’t receive fan mail at my full time job.

    My school is great in such a way? The students are always looking for fun books to read. I’ve donated my three published books, now time for some one else to give or to donate. From William Sawyers

    “Daring to make a difference in today’s youth-one page at a time”

  2. Saw your tweet. I think these would be great for any school library, but I’m writing on behalf of my children’s school library. My kids enjoy going every week to take out books, though much of their stock, like most school libraries, is pretty worn. I think the series looks smashing and will be on the lookout for these for my son.

  3. I am a teacher, a reading teacher, who works with those reluctant readers! The boys in my classroom would love these books, because I am prone to choose books with girl characters.

    How do I find books for those reluctant ones? Well, I try to find out what their interests are. When I’ve done that then we aim to find books with those interests in the library. They MUST get a chapter book, but then they can get a free choice book, which usually helps. I also try to get them started on a series because then they don’t have such a hard time finding the next book to read. The popular ones are Wimpy Kid series and Captain Underpants. Definitely not my faves, but at least they are reading and we can move on from there. Once their interested, they’ll talk about the books and want more!

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

    shelcows AT gmail DOT com

  4. I’m a third grade teacher and am always looking for/asking for/scrunging and scraping my money up for more books for the classroom!! Just today I had one of my students tell me the book I gave him to read (a biography, he’s really interested in history) is the first chapter book he’s actually read. My best advice for helping dormant readers is to find out what they are interested in and match a book to their interests. Sounds simple, but it isn’t always though. Thanks for the heads-up on these books!

  5. I love the sound of Horrid Henry. I hope to read them for myself soon. Meanwhile, I would like to donate my entry to Shelly Burns (above in comments) because I know her blog promotes literature and literacy, my two favourite “l” words.

    My advice builds on Becky’s. Know your child. Find out as much about him as you can. If he’s interested in guinea pigs but reluctant to read, maybe a non-fiction book or magazine or online article about guinea pigs may interest him. Maybe he loves video games and would like to read cheat sites or participate in forums suitable for his age. He’s going to need help with those if his reading ability is not up to the level of reading on the site. Take the pressure off and read aloud to him. Encourage him to look at the text while you read. Play a game where you name a key word and see who can find it on the page first. Listen to him. Listen to his non-verbals. If he’s squirming, cut it short and come back later.

    Know your child.

  6. Horrid Henry looks like fun. I’m a primary school librarian, and find that the best prescription for the not-very-enthusiastic reader is threefold: lots of good non-fiction, graphic novels, and lots and lots of enthusiastic support from librarians, teachers, and parents. Sometimes kids are put off reading because some books just look too long–too much work, too much time. But they’ll eat up non-fiction titles because they look shorter and the topics are high-interest and familiar. Other kids can be hooked with the graphic novel because the format is highly visual and they feel as if there’s less text, (though in some cases there’s just as much text as in other stories.)

  7. My daughter loves going to her school library. However, once a week she comes back with either a very old and tatty or a book along the lines of Disney film books, which I hate to read to her and don’t really have much substance.

    We love Horrid Henry and the books would really help the school library!

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