"[F]ollos, an experienced school librarian, calls upon librarians to introduce reading for pleasure to middle school students in a manner that will encourage them to make reading a natural part of their lifelong habits….[w]ould be useful for a librarian interested in creating a new program within a middle school or for students in media studies….Upper-division undergraduates through practitioners." - Choice
"Follos, a school librarian since 1989, focuses on middle school readers and the real-life resources and demands of reading programs and school library programming. She describes why keeping kids involved in literature is more important than ever, especially in an age of mass communication pile-up. She shows the importance of literature in libraries that double as havens and instruments of time management, cooperative planning with other educators and the administration, setting up the foundations for literature programs, including integrating literature into the curriculum and working with adolescent development. She then gives a number of great ideas, such as title trekking, readers' workshops, story time enhancements and journaling, developing a visiting author program, raising cash, and using young adult literature to help adults." - Reference & Research Book News
"Sounding the call for school librarians to attack the issue head on, Follo's book both explicates the need and presents the author's own small boarding-school library program (fourth through ninth grade) as a case study for success….Professionals who are serious about revamping their programs to emphasize reading will want this book." - VOYA
"This realistic and reasonable guide is recommended for school and public library professional collections and will also serve as effective supplemental text for library-school course work." - Booklist/Professional Reading
"An accomplished librarian shares techniques she has used to make reading a priority at her small, private boarding school. The strongest portion of the book deals with specific long-term projects that she has implemented, including a reading-incentive program called Title Trekking, a Reader's Workshop, and a program to encourage faculty to read young adult literature. Follos also gives a thorough discussion of how to host visiting authors….[s]ome sound ideas that middle school and young adult librarians will be able to adapt for their curriculums." - School Library Journal
Student reading is at an all-time low, just when young adult literature is at its best and when youth need literacy skills more than ever. Sounding the call for school librarians to attack the issue head on, Follos's book both explicates the need and presents the author's own small boarding-school library program (fourth through ninth grade) as a case study for success. Sections include keeping up with YA literature (most useful to new librarians); cooperative planning; integrating literature into the curriculum; collection development; all-school programs like "title-trekking," readers' workshop, and author visits; funding activities such as book fairs; and YA literature for teachers and administrators. Information is both philosophical and practical, and includes some annotated bibliographies. The title-trekking bibliography is available on the school Web site. Follos's program is exemplary and enviable-probably dauntingly so to the average professional. Although there is a bounty of wonderful ideas here, librarians will need to assess utility for their own school and how much they can or want to rock the curricular boat to promote reading. Follos's readers' workshop activities, for example, may be well covered by English teachers in other schools, and her "title-trekking" requires considerable faculty buy-in and librarian effort to succeed. Most useful may be the practical information for author visits and book fairs. Overall the book is an enjoyable and inspirational read, although there is much repetition and Follos tends to extol the benefits of a program before explaining it, which may confuse readers. Professionals who are serious about revamping their programs to emphasizereading will want this book.
An accomplished librarian shares techniques she has used to make reading a priority at her small, private boarding school. The strongest portion of the book deals with specific long-term projects that she has implemented, including a reading-incentive program called "Title Trekking," a Reader's Workshop, and a program to encourage faculty to read young adult literature. Follos also gives a thorough discussion of how to host visiting authors. The chapter on fundraising does not cover new ground, focusing on book fairs, parent donations, and grant writing. Some useful booklists on a variety of topics of interest to middle school students are included. In Part I, Follos strings together statistics and quotes to make the case that reading is declining and that librarians must reverse the trend. In a few instances, complete sentences and statistics are repeated within a span of 10 pages. The occasional typo and cumbersome word choice distract readers. Nevertheless, Follos, who is unfailingly enthusiastic, does provide some sound ideas that middle school and young adult librarians will be able to adapt for their curriculums.-Marcia Kochel, Olson Middle School, Bloomington, MN Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.