Yesterday’s booktalking session went well. Fast. Definitely fast. When it was over I realized that I’d talked about ten titles in about thirty minutes. I added a book when I got there, Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story, because I happened to see it on the shelf. It’s good that I did, because otherwise I would be plagued today by the knowledge that I did nine books instead of ten. I’m very attached to things in tens or sometimes fives but never nines. Nine. Yikes. Gives me the shivers just thinking about it.
Come to think of it, this tiny obsession with the fives times table is one component of my general tardiness. I leave for work about twenty minutes before I’m on the schedule, but on a bad red-light day, I’m more like twenty-two minutes away. But I can’t think in an odd number like twenty-two. The only other choice would be to think of my work as twenty-five minutes away, and then that feels too far. I can’t admit to myself that I spend twenty-five minutes driving to work when there is another branch of the library three minutes away. And because that library is exactly three minutes away, I’d think of it as five minutes and I’d always be two minutes early.
Anyway, back to the topic. I really enjoyed sharing the books with an interested group of high schoolers. I didn’t get a particular feel from them about one title versus another, but it was fun talking to kids who really cared about reading.
Yesterday I said that it freaked me out a bit when the librarian mentioned that several of the book group members were Mormons. I want to explain a bit. You see, I don’t work for a conservative county, but it is a very careful one. I’ve found that mentality slipping into my own suggestions, or at least making me very conscious of the “issues” in a book a concern that came to the forefront when the librarian specifically mentioned religion.
I remember going to a teen booktalking class with a well-known presenter and being very impressed by the books that she was sharing. Someone asked, with humor, how she could get away with talking about some of these controversial books in schools. Basically, her answer was that she didn’t ask if she could, she just did it. In this era of lawsuits and challenges, it seemed so... brave. What do you think?