I know that some of you have been waiting for this. Here ’tis! I hope you’ll help me circulate it to teachers and librarians. I’m especially interested in reaching out to home-schooling groups who may not often have a chance at an in-person author visit, and to schools without budgets for such things.
Ahem. Here goes nothing! I may live to regret this moment…
Below, you will find a list of books I love. Some of them are newish books, but most of them are old. Most of them are “classics.” These are also books Penny loves, and so Penny and I have talked about these books, and decided that we want to encourage kids (and grownups) to read them.
To that end, we hereby announce the PENNY DREADFUL BOOK CLUB. Intended as an experiment in new technology and old books! The rules are as follows.
- For any group of (at least) THREE kids (or grownups, I guess) who wants to get together and read THREE books from the list below (that they have not read before) I will offer a FREE SKYPE VISIT to chat with the group about the books they’ve read. I’ll also happily chat about other things, but at the heart of the conversation should be the books on this list.
- This offer is open to anyone, any group of three readers, for the entire year of 2011.
- Skype visits will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time, but must be arranged at least a month in advance.
- I will schedule eight visits per month, no more. First come first served. Once the slots are filled, they’re filled.
- Groups should email me before they begin the process, so I can keep everything organized. When you write to me to express interest, I’ll send you all a little envelope with some bookmarks, for keeping track of your reading!
- Nobody needs to like the books I like. In general, Penny and I agree that good conversations usually involve some amount of disagreement. But I am pretty certain that everyone can find something on this list to like!
- A parent/teacher/guardian/librarian/grownup of some sort must be the initial point of contact for the visit. I will make up a permission slip, so that everyone feels nice and safe. I’m a pretty harmless person, but a permission slip will keep things tidy.
- Skype visits will commence in January, 2011. When I’m home from the road.
- Kids should feel free to read MORE than three books. But three seems like a nice number to start with.
- Groups can be as large as they would like to be! I’m happy to meet with classrooms and organized books clubs or library groups. But I don’t want home-schooled kids or interested threesomes of readerly afterschool chums to be excluded.
- Participants should feel free to email me through my website, as they read, if they have questions, or want to chat/connect. I’ll also be happy to follow up with emails after any skype session, to strengthen the sense that kids have really “gotten to know” an author.
- I reserve the right to add books to the list, as I read them. I don’t want any books on the list I haven’t read myself, because I need to be able to discuss them too!
I think that’s basically it. Pretty simple, really. You find a few friends, read three books from this list of awesomeness, and I’ll skype in to chat with you and see what you thought. Any questions? Leave them below!
Hello, Mrs Piggle Wiggle, McDonald
Mary Poppins, Travers
The Penderwicks , Birdsall
Betsy-Tacy, Hart Lovelace
Swallows and Amazons, Ransome
Bedknob and Broomstick, Norton
The Bad Beginning, Snicket
Pippi Longstocking, Lindgren
Olivia Kidney, Potter
Seven Day Magic, Eager
Five Children and It, Nesbit
Because of Winn Dixie, DiCamillo
The Phantom Tollbooth, Juster
Gone Away Lake, Enright
Ballet Shoes, Streatfield
The Thirteen Clocks, Thurber
The Anybodies, Bode
Savvy , Law
Jennifer, Hecate, MacBeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth, Konigsberg
The Egypt Game, Snyder
The Girl Who Could Fly, Forrester
Island of the Aunts, Ibbotson
Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, Rowling
The Canning Season, Horvath
Over Sea, Under Stone, Cooper
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Lewis
Bridge to Terabithia, Patterson
Tuck Everlasting, Babbitt
Island of the Blue Dolphins, O’Dell
A Wrinkle in Time, L’Engle
Emily of New Moon, Montgomery
Princess Academy, Hale
Dicey’s Song, Voigt
The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Speare
Little Women, Alcott