What’s a “cool” book?

I had a kindergartener tell me today that he didn’t read his library book this week, because it wasn’t “cool”.

My first reaction: I was sorry that that child took home the wrong book for him. (It was a great book, but a little sophisticated for a kindergartener, and he didn’t know that when he chose it. I did, and I told him I didn’t think he’d like it, but he wanted it anyway.) I want every book to be a good match! In kindergarten there will be lots of mistakes as kids navigate the library for the first time, but they’ll get there eventually.

What’s a cool book? Children are very impressionable. They will like what the people around them like, what the people who are important to them think is cool. For kindergarteners, that means they will want to bring home something their parents and family members value. As the school year goes on they’ll pick up things from their classmates and their teacher, and pretty soon their book choices might reflect an author the teacher’s reading or a series other kids are talking about. Eventually, the really “cool” choice will be what the child is interested in personally, without outside influences. We hope that, given exposure to lots of books and lots of ideas, children will gravitate to what really interests them and find their own favorite kind of book, regardless of what their friends are reading or what is the current tv show or movie or bestseller. But that takes a long time, and probably a lot of wrong choices along the way. That’s okay: there’s plenty of time, loads of books to choose from and that’s how you learn what you like.

What if your idea of cool is different from your child’s? What if you don’t want him/her to bring home something about Star Wars (which all the boys seem to want to read) or fairies (which many girls favor)? Please feel free to send me a note about your preferences and I will do my best to guide your child at library time. Remember that the book that is brought home is your child’s choice, not mine, and I will intervene if a book isn’t age-appropriate but that’s about the only time I will get involved unless I have communication from a parent. Also, parents are welcome to visit the library themselves after school, perhaps when they are picking their children up, and take home books themselves to read with their children. That way you get to pick some books that YOU want to read, not the same dinosaur book over and over. How about a great book that you can read aloud at bedtime?

In my 25 years of working with children and books, I will tell you that adults can get a child to accept a book that is not “cool” if they present it the right way. Many times I have read a book to a class where, initially, the kids didn’t think they were going to like it, and they wound up spellbound by page 2. It’s all in the delivery and the attitude of the adult. If you are confident and excited about a book, you can sway your child and make the book a winner. Don’t underestimate your power as your child’s teacher, parents! Your child will listen to you, and they will want to please you. So work with them on their book choices if it is important to you. If you want them to bring home something special/specific, talk about it. And always feel free to talk to me!

26 Comments on “What’s a “cool” book?”

  1. robert Says:

    I read this book called Boxers. I thought it was a great book. I read this book called German Shepherds. I thought it was cool.

  2. emily Says:

    I read a book called Muti’s Necklace. I thought that book was good and cool!!!!!!!!!!!



  3. matthew Says:

    i read a book called ranger’s apprentice. now that was a cool book.

  4. jerome head Says:

    i read a book called the edge chronicles book 5 it was great

  5. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a cool book. It’s about a rabbit who becomes lost from his owner, and goes on many adventures in order to find his way back home. The rabbit has learned to think of others and not just himself. My class loves this book.

  6. Luke Hayward Says:

    I think NERDS is the best book ever I have read book 1 and almost book two.I’m sorry to say only geeks and nerds are aloud to read this book.I like this book because it has a lot of ADVENTURE and EXCITEMENT!!!

  7. mia Says:

    I’ve read Rapunzel’s Revenge 4 times, and loved it. For Hanukkah I got Calamity Jack. I already love it.

  8. Brooke Says:

    The book The Secret Garden is the best book EVER! It is full of adventure, mysterious events, action, and pure fun! The Fairy Realm series of books are cool, too. I read two books out of the nine so far and I’m reading the third book right now. The Million Dollar Throw is a great book, too. I love all of those Mike Lupica books. Animal stories are a must for me, too. I love all types of books!

  9. Lily Weafer Says:

    Waiting For Normal was such a good book! I recommend it to book-lovers.

  10. Ben Hofmann Says:

    I’m reading I am number four. It is amazing on page two someone died!!!!

  11. Brooke Says:

    The Subtle Knife is a great book! I can’t wait to read the Golden Compass. I would have never read the book if Mrs. Keane hadn’t recommended it to me! I am also going to read the next book in the series because it leaves off on a cliff-hanger! Read it! 😛

  12. Ben Hofmann Says:

    Hunger games amazing

  13. Lily Weafer Says:

    I’m reading The Same Stuff As Stars right now. I heard Mia read it, and really liked it. It’s really good, and if you’ve read Waiting For Normal, I think you’ll like this book.

  14. Josie Forbes Says:

    I read the book The Giver by Lois Lowry it was the best book ever! Read it. The story of a boy whom lives in the future and feels nothing until the Giver gives him feelings. I wont tell any more so I don’t ruin the book. :]

  15. Livy Says:

    I read the book Trouble Twisters by Garth Nix. It is soooooo awesome and it is a big adventure. I Loved It!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. alivia Says:

    i read my brother sam is dead. It was such a good book i couldn’t put it down.

  17. Brooke Says:

    The Christmas Secret is a mixture of exciting events, sad moments, Christmas miracles, and much more. It has come to be one of my favorite books ever!

  18. HANNAH EVANS Says:

    I read the book Mandy in 4th grade and it was the best book i’ve ever read! Its about a little orphan girl named Mandy and she finds a cottage in the back of her orphanage home and she is not supposed to go there, but she does and something bad happens…….

  19. Lily Weafer Says:

    READ MOON OVER MAINIFEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. McKinley Says:

    I am currently reading Dial-A-Ghost and it is really good. I’m half way through the book and I Love It soooooo much.

  21. Nikki Tribble Says:

    I read Heartbeat. It was one of the most amazing books I have read. Its about a girl named Anna, her mom is having a baby and Anna thinks its a pumpkin, she also loves art, and she’s really fast at running. This book is put into a poem, and is really easy to read. I think that upcoming 4th graders should read it. When you read about the main character it’s likes she’s speaking to you.

  22. preston Says:

    The book Mocking Jay is amazing!!!!!!! It has soooo much action and adventure.I love The Hunger Games series, if you haven’t read it, you should!

  23. Annika Says:

    I read the book called An Eye For An Eye. It was really interesting reading about the time of war. It was the Revolutionary War. Sam and her twin brother James were going all kinds of places all the time.

  24. alivia Says:

    i read my brother sam id dead. i loved that book, i couldn’t put it down.

  25. Emalee Harrington Says:

    I am reading Pippi Longstocking!!!! It is a great book about a girl who lives in a house by her self! Pippi makes some new friends and they have some awesome adventures. I think this is a great book and everyone should read it!

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