What we wish for …

TeachingBooks.net recently created three new Book Readings with Newbery Award-winning author, Richard Peck.

One of the special things about the Original Book Readings we make in-house at TeachingBooks, is that they actually contain more than just book excerpts being read aloud. TeachingBooks.net’s Original Book Readings feature the authors themselves speaking about the backstory and inspiration for their books. So, in each of Richard Peck’s readings you’ll learn a bit about how and why he came to write A Long Way from Chicago (1998), A Year Down Yonder (2000), and his upcoming book A Season of Gifts (2009) (all Penguin). For example, in his Book Reading for A Long Way from Chicago, Peck explains the impetus behind his colorful character Grandma Dowdel: “When you’re a writer you can give yourself the grandmother you wished you’d had.”

I loved hearing this insight into Peck’s work.  I immediately imagined a creative writing or character development exercise based on people or pets or technology we wished we’d had in our lives.

One of the best parts of my work is getting to show and share with educators the multimedia resources on TeachingBooks.net.  The response I hear the most (from teachers, librarians, and even authors) is, “Wow!  I really wish I’d had something like this when I was in school!”

So, with these online multimedia resources at your fingertips, consider hosting a mini virtual author visit by using Book Readings and/or Author Programs.  Have Richard Peck, or another favorite author, in the classroom with you and your students!

What other ways could you use online Book Readings and Author Programs with students? Can you see them supporting summer reading programs? Book clubs? How about using them as a Readers’ Advisory tool?

My wish is that you’ll find even more wonderful ways to implement and share online multimedia resources, and that they will help you to generate enthusiasm for books and reading.

Richard Peck introduces and reads from A Long Way from Chicago (Penguin, 1998)




Richard Peck introduces and reads from A Year Down Yonder (Penguin, 2000)




Richard Peck introduces and reads from A Season of Gifts (Penguin, 2009)




Posted by Danika L. Morphew-Tarbuck, MLS, Web 2.0 Content Producer

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