Word of Mouth…
Have you ever read this book?
I have. It’s a magical story. It’s about a girl who is different, eccentric, and very okay just being herself. The rest of the student body is not okay with this girl. One boy decides to become friends with her…and the ending is quite heartbreaking.
I loved this story. Not because of the ending. But because of the WHOLE story.
I decided to have book clubs because I wanted my students to read REAL books, not just excerpts from an anthology. I wanted them to have an authentic experience reading quality books and discussing them with their peers.
I book talked each book.
I told one group that Stargirl was going to be their book to read and that this book was one of my favorites. I told them that I LOVED this book and after reading it, I recommended it to everyone I saw.
They took the bait.
They were hooked.
I gave each student in the group the book and they began to devour it.
All of the sudden, I heard these students tell other students about the book. It started as a small fire and then soon became a forrest fire, spreading quickly. I heard students talk about Stargirl in class, in the hallway, at recess, in the lunchroom. Students were carrying the book around with them everywhere they went, reading at any chance they had. I even saw them read it outside at recess.
Students in other book club groups came to me asking if they could read Stargirl. I said yes. Other kids asked if they could be next. “Of course”, I said. This was exciting.
It’s amazing how a book can spread like a wild fire, all by word of mouth. Students talking about a book to other students. Students being honest with other students. Recommendations being made. When students are hooked by a book, devour the book, and then tell others about it…this is pure magic in action.
This is what Stargirl did.