Book Lists

A Return to Madam Librarian for the Evening

One of my friends is in charge of weekly activities for the girls ages 8-11 at church and she asked me to do a little presentation on books. I pretty much had free reign and about 45 minutes.

I spent a lot of time picking books because I wanted a variety of genres and reading levels, not to mention a mixture of recent and classic books. (I desperately did not want to be the person saying, “Let me tell you about this great book you’ll love called Harry Potter.”)

We split the girls into two groups and half went with me, while the other half played a game I’d set up (a Jeopardy-ish game where each slide was an image from a movie based on a book and they had to guess which book it was from. . . apparently it was a big hit).

In the other room, I sat on the floor with the girls, set out all the books (about 7-8 per group) and chose one girl at a time to tell me one of their favorite books and then choose a book from the display for me to tell them about. Some of the books I gave them a synopsis of, some I read a little bit from.

It was so enjoyable – I’d forgotten how fun it is to have kids clamoring for books, laughing at the funny bits when you read aloud, and having them tell me about what books they love.

And, if you’re curious, here’s the books I used:

8 – 9 year olds:
Number the Stars
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Half Magic
Girls Think of Everything
Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry
Love that Dog

10-11 year olds:
Ella Enchanted
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat
A Year Down Yonder
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
No Talking
Lost & Found
Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry

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  • Reply Jenny January 26, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    What a fun activity!
    Wish I'd known–I would have sent my 10 year old.

  • Reply Karen January 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Sounds wonderful, Janssen. Heather and I are now in charge of activities for the 10-11 year old girls. We would like to steal your idea, and maybe your Jeoparday slide show.

  • Reply Nikki January 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    You should travel to Utah to do that for me. 🙂 I was just called as Assistant Primary Days Activity Leader so now I have to come up with ideas for 8-11 year old girls, too. haha

  • Reply lifeofadoctorswife January 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I have been a grown up too long, as I only recognize two of those books!

    Sounds like a very fun activity. I'm glad you – and the girls – enjoyed it!

  • Reply Heather January 26, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    wonderful – a joy for everyone. I'd love a digital copy of your jeopardy game if that could be wrangled somehow.

  • Reply craftyashley January 26, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Thanks for this! I'm the worst Activity Day leader ever and all my "activities" end up being super lame.

  • Reply Packrat January 26, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    How fun! I just finished Ella Enchanted this morning. What a cute story! (I thought the movie was awful.)

  • Reply heidikins January 26, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I love so many of your pics! I remember vividly reading "Number the Stars" and how it changed so much how I viewed the world.

    I love this. Like, a lot.


  • Reply Peaceful Reader January 26, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    This sounds like it was fun and you picked great books to highlight. Half Magic is one I want to read myself. It keeps getting checked out by young patrons!

  • Reply Chelsea January 27, 2011 at 5:23 am

    Like always it sounds like a lot of fun! You are so creative! I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I don't think I've read any of those books.

  • Reply emandtrev January 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Number the Stars! I loved that book. Still do.

    It sounds like a great time! I wish you were here to do the same with the YW in my ward. 🙂

  • Reply alisonwonderland February 14, 2011 at 5:11 am


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