Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The "Special" Bookshelf

There's a bookshelf in our classroom, right next to my desk, where I keep my "special" books.

These are the titles that have grown near and dear to my heart throughout the years. The ones that I reach for when a student says, "I don't know what to read." The ones that I often look to when I am looking for a new read aloud.

At the beginning of the year, only a few students will wander over to my shelf to ask if they can borrow one of the books. But lately, more and more students have been doing so.

I like that.

It tells me my students and I have connected as readers.

Yesterday, one of my boys got very excited when he found Kwame Alexander's Booked on my shelf. He asked if he could borrow it. At the end of our reading time, he came back to me to tell me how much he loved the book so far.  He opened the dust jacket and read me the words that printed there as a teaser. "Isn't that awesome, Mrs. Laffin? I just love the way he writes."

Yes, it is awesome.

Books, "special" or not, are powerful things.


  1. Such great titles in your "special" and somewhat "secret" stash. Many that I have read, enjoyed, and share with my readers too. Kwame Alexander's BOOKED is definitely a winner. And, I love THE CROSSOVER too. Kwame has a new book coming out in Feb. and I'm sure it will join the other books that you have by your desk.

  2. I did have that shelf, Jennifer, one of those that were for displaying picture books, but it held favorites that I especially wanted students to find. Love hearing about your shelf, and your student!

  3. So much to love about this post -- what a wonderful idea - a shelf for books "near and dear to my heart." We would love to use this idea in the book we are working on right now. Let us know what you think -- if you are interested we would love to get photos and permissions from you.
    And then this... "Isn't that awesome, Mrs. Laffin? I just love the way he writes."
    Thank you

  4. I love this! How special to connect with your readers and share that bond.

  5. I don't have a shelf, but I have several baskets that serve the same purpose. It's magic when kids connect to books through you, their reading mentor.

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  7. I love when we can help kids and books find each other!