I read a lot of children's/teen literature for my job as a reference librarian on the youth services team. A booktalk is an effort to get a young reader to pick up the book and read it. It's not a book review - it's more like a brief sales pitch. My goal is to write the booktalks (as soon as I've read the books) and to make them accessible to my colleagues, parents, and other readers.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Booktalk: Wild Girl (Virginia Readers' Choice)
Lidie is a young girl from Brazil who is moving to America to be with her father and brother. They moved here years ago to start a new life after Lidie's mom died. Lidie doesn't speak much English; although she's really smart, she is having trouble in school. What is troubling her? A lot of things. First of all, she's lonely. She feels her teacher and her new classmates don't get her. She may be right. Also, she loves horses: riding them, watching them, being with them. She's a lot like her father and her brother in this respect: her father owns a stable and her brother is a jockey. Some people just have good intuition about horses, and Lidie is one of them. There's another character in this story, one who shares a lot in common with Lidie. That character is actually a filly who has been separated from her mother. This young horse is wild, super fast, and very lonely. When she meets Lidie, the two really like each other. The filly's name is Wild Girl, she trusts Lidie instinctively. Can you have a best friend who's a horse? Wild Girl by Patricia Reilly Giff.
Wild Girl by Patricia Reilly Giff. 145 p. 2009: Wendy Lamb Books. Booktalk to intermediate grades and to middle school. Virginia Readers' Choice for 2011-2012.