How do you promote the Lone Star Reading List books at your library?

Promotional Ideas

ATPE has a Book of the Month Club and they use the Texas reading lists for their books. Each book they use has questions to go with the book so it's a great resource. (Lori Loranger, Chair, Texas Lone Star Reading List Committee, Walsh Middle School, Round Rock ISD)

Airman by Eoin Colfer - book trailer - (located at the bottom of the page)
I also create a movie to introduce the books using Windows Movie Maker. I use the book covers and then tape students doing the intro to the program and have teacher narrate the annotations. (Lori Loranger, Walsh Middle School, Round Rock ISD)

We have enjoyed featuring the Lone Star List as a way to kick off the school year with suggested reading. I like to visit the English classes in our Middle School and present a PowerPoint slide show featuring the Lone Star covers, giving a brief "booktalk" of each title. It's interesting how much discussion about reading this will typically generate among the students.

We keep a special Lone Star display near the circulation desk to make it easy for the students to find the books. Some of the Lone Star selections stay in heavy rotation for months due to student "word of mouth".

Cynthia Bartek, Assistant Librarian -- St. Stephen's Episcopal School, Austin, Texas

I booktalk all of the Lone Stars, especially to sixth grade classes who are unfamiliar with the program; I usually do three a visit, so it stretches out over several months. I use the PowerPoint at back-to-school night, too. We have a year-long display with covers and blurbs for all the Lone Stars and a special rack that I keep all the Lone Stars on. This year I created a display in our hallway display case with pictures of all the kids who read three or more or the books. I had special pencils printed from Harco that say "Paredes Lone Star Reader", and that's the reward for reading and reviewing three books. The program has really taken off since I've been here.

Mary Faye Randolph -- Paredes MS, Austin

I made this animoto video, which you are free to use, and emailed to my favorite teachers (all of them), and asked them to show it to their kids when they had time. It's pretty much hit or miss, so most of the kids will see it at least once or twice. Anyway, after making the video and showing it, I really don't need a contest...the books fly off the book shelves, and the teachers who want to team that up with a scheduled book talk are in for a treat because I have extra copies set aside for those classes, and I LOVE booktalking. Enjoy! lW6vK9r4r1gGxNu1syahWg

Kristen Gladden, MFA, MLS, Librarian -- Ross Sterling Middle School, Humble

I give awards for students depending on the number of LoneStar books they read. I did an Animoto video of the book covers. Since we have the list for next year I have students who are reading the books and who are doing book trailers for them so we will have those to show this fall (and linked on our website). I also monthly choose a previous year and pull those books for booktalks and display.
Debbie Andrews, MLIS -- Danny Jones Middle School , Mansfield, ISD

We scan covers and flap copy, put that on the back & front of a book-sized piece of construction paper, laminate that, and then use it as a place holder on my LS display shelves. That way, even if the book is out, kids can look over the cover and anticipate getting the book.

Our middle school librarians book talk the LS's to all the middle school language arts teachers during our professional development week at the beginning of the year. Thanks to a wonderful English Department curriculum coordinator at the district level!

Now...on to the the end of the school year I do a big activity with 6th grade classes (rising to 7th grade) to introduce the coming year's LSs to the masses. This activity usually takes a period and a half.

I have my display for the next year (in May I'll do the 09-10 books) with scanned covers. First, the kids come in and are seated. The first thing I do is give each student a ballot with a list of titles and a T and C column. I have them read through the list of titles and put a check in the T column of the book they'd choose if all they know is the title. (only give them about 30 seconds) Then, I have them take their ballot to the display (in small groups), scan the covers (no touching!!) and check their ballot in the C column for the book they'd select based on the cover. (only about 30-45 seconds to see the covers). We hand those over to my assistant to tally. I also have my teachers vote - always interesting to see their choices vs the kids' choices:)

Next, we discuss information contained in books other than the story - all the front and back matter. We discuss the ways that books are marketed (ads, cover art, title, etc) and how to make smart choices as a consumer. I talk to them about the info on the title verso...the CIP information, etc. We talk about the structure of the publishing industry...parent companies, divisions, imprints, jobbers, etc. This all takes about 20 minutes.

I have the LS books laid out on tables behind me while all this is happening. After our "lesson" I give each group of kids (pre-grouped by teachers) a set of 5 clues. All the answers to the clues can be found on the cover, front or back matter of the book. They locate their book using the clues, verify that they have the correct book with me or their teacher (teachers have an answer key), then sit back down to learn as much as they can about their book in about 5 minutes. Then they have about 15 minutes to develop a commercial for their book...they need to sell it to their peers. They have a maximum of 1 minute to do their commercial. Some of them are blah but many of them are hysterical or so appropo to the book that it amazes me. The kids LOVE this activity, the teachers enjoy it, everybody is pumped about the books in the end, and their last visit of the year to the library is memorable (in a good way!).

There is obviously a chunk of prep time for this...maybe a couple of hours not counting the cover scanning, laminating, etc, but my assistant works that in in kibbles and bits as soon as we know the final list so it doesn't hit us all at once at the end. It sounds more complicated than it is...really...and SO worth it.

Donna MacKinney, Librarian -- Rice Middle School Library

I had a request for the PowerPoint that was used at the 20th Anniversary Lone Star session at TLA. I've broken it into smaller files since it was too big. Enjoy!

Lori Loranger, Lone Star Chair