The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest

Some days you can spend hours surfing the ‘net and find nothing of value to share with others, but then other days you can’t believe your luck!  Today is such a day.

The Great Scavenger Hunt Contest is a FREE reading promotion contest open to public and school libraries.  Author Kay Cassidy has created a site worthy of your time to explore.  Her premise:

“I know it’s hard being a librarian in a rough economy. You’re strapped for time and cash, but still want to create fun programs to keep your kids and teens reading week after week. Not because they have to, but because they want to.

The Great Scavenger Hunt ContestTM is here to help you do just that.”

According to the site, over 150 authors for tweens and teens have created sheets on individual books  with ten trivia questions and a personalized message (see the example for Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth).

The available books cover the gamut of genres.  According to the site:

“If you’ve been looking for a way to get kids reading a variety of books, look no further. You’ll find nearly every kind of book you can imagine: fantasies, historicals, mysteries, romantic comedies, sweeping literary novels… you name it. The Great Scavenger Hunt ContestTM authors include many New York Times bestselling authors and winners or finalists of the Newbery Medal, Printz Award, National Book Award and Edgar Award. There truly is something for every reader.”

The books have been divided into two lists:  Middle Grades/Tweens and Young Adult.   You can see the trivia sheets for each book without registering, but to get the answers, you’ll need to register.

You will find a list of librarian resources, including a ready to print promotional flyer for the contest (don’t you love it when things are easy?), easy administration tools (printable checklists by author and by title), and tips and tricks.

B.O.W. and W.O.W. Are Coming!

As we prepare to begin the 2009-2010 school year, I am thrilled to hear that our administration wants to highlight our literacy initiatives.  We’ve had a successful voluntary reading program in place now for eight years and added several other programs in the last few years.

Reading Paws

paws in the snow

To kick off our Sustained Silent Reading (SSR) program three years ago, the former administration sponsored a contest to name it.  The winning entry was “Reading Paws” – a play on words since our mascot is the bulldog.  However, the name was not well promoted, and for the most part we still called that 15 minutes daily our SSR time.

Radical Readers

In conjunction with Reading Paws, our literacy coach began a program to reward classes for doing an exceptional job with silent reading.  Teachers could nominate their 4th block class (Reading Paws was held during that block) on the basis of participation and enthusiasm for reading.  The winning class would win a free lunch from Chic-Fil-A.  The first group to win was an English IV class who called themselves “radical readers.”  The school literacy team loved the name and decided to name the program “Radical Readers.”

Reader of the Month

READissance 002

The next year to encourage individual readers, our literacy coach began our Readers of the Month program.  Again, teachers could nominate students based on their enthusiasm for reading.  The winning student each month received a Barnes and Noble gift card.

Bulldog Booklovers Club

In the fall of 2006, I asked our literacy coach to co-sponsor a book club that brought teachers and students together to discuss young adult literature.  The Bulldog Booklovers Club was born and has continued to grow each year.  The first year we averaged five members attending each meeting, but by the end of this school year we were averaging seventeen members in attendance.

Changes in the Air

The administration, literacy coach, and I have been discussing ways to increase participation in these initiatives this year.  Creative ideas are being bandied about and excitement is in the air as we prepare to involve more faculty in promoting reading.  Booktalks will become part of our student produced news program and both student and faculty written book reviews will be included in our student newspaper.  The book club will expand to include meetings during lunch to accommodate those students who are unable to attend after school meetings.

B.O.W. and W.O.W. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

This year I will be promoting a Book of the Week (B.O.W.) and Website of the Week (W.O.W.) by creating a display in the media center and posting them to the media center blog.  I want to include a wide variety of books and sites that will be interesting and helpful to the students.

Any suggestions for the new initiative would be greatly appreciated!

What Do I Read Next?

Summer time.  A delicious respite from the hectic bell schedule we library media specialists and teachers must adhere to during the rest of the year.  Time to relax and read.  I have a “To Read” list that I occasionally add to, but often don’t see anything on it that tickles my fancy when I am in-between books.  Here are several  free Web 2.0 Readers’ Advisory tools that I’ll use and recommend to my faculty and students.

The Book Seer

Type in the title and author of a book you recently read on The Book Seer site and get recommendations from Amazon and LibraryThing (although I received no recommendations from LibraryThing with several different books including Twilight – gasp!).

screen capture of suggested reading site












Teacher Book Wizard

Scholastic has created a site that offers multiple options.  The Teacher Book Wizard’s Book Alike helps you locate similar books based on reading level.  Great for creating those Readers’ Advisory lists.  The List Exchange page provides lists of books in many categories including awards, grade level, author recommended, and themed. 


teacher book wizard screen capture











To learn more about this teacher created site for teachers, take the tour.

What Should I Read Next?

What Should I Read Next asks you to enter the title and author of a book you recently enjoyed.  The results returned are from a database created by the users of the site. 

what should i read next screen capture


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,173 other followers