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:

books for 8-12 year olds

8 – 9 year olds:
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
The BFG by Roald Dahl
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Half Magic by Edward Eager
Girls Think of Everything by Catherine Thimmest, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Babymouse by Jennifer and Matthew Holm
Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry by Jack Prelutsky
Love that Dog by Sharon Creech

10-11 year olds:
Ella Enchanted Gail Carson Levine
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell, illustrated by Jonathan Bean
Savvy by Ingrid Law
A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
No Talking by Andrew Clements
Lost & Found by Andrew Clements

And if you’d like a printable copy of this list that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!

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  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

  4. 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.


  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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. 🙂

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