LT1 - Book Talk


Book talking is an art form in the library world.  From hand selling books to kids looking for something new to read to delivering more professional book talks as a publishing company representative trying to sell books to librarians, the art of the book talk takes practice. 


Your assignment is to create a book talk that incorporates at least 3 reasons why someone should read this book. 


  • Traditional literary analysis characteristics such as imagery, characterization, or mood and tone of the author could be one aspect. 
  • What about ah-ha’s you had as you read?  Were there any parts that made you go ah-ha, I never knew that, I hadn’t thought about that issue that way, I need to do something about that in my own life, I need to talk to a friend about that? 
  • Comparisons to other books/movies -  try to associate another book they may have read and liked / movies that are similar



It should:


  1. Include the author and title of the book.  Often giving some background information about the author or why the story was written helps sell the book too!
  2. Tell about one or more of the characters with details that distinguish that character.  Personal or physical features.  Will we like the character, hate ‘em, or will we have to wait to find out?
  3. Use at least one quotation from the text to support your analysis of the book.
  4. Do NOT give the ending away!  Instead, give enough details to give that cliff hanger effect.
  5. Be 3 – 5 minutes in length.   


It may be helpful to give the time and setting of the story.


Practice! Practice! Practice!!!  To this end, we’ll use the voice recording app on the iPads on ___________________. 


I’ll be recording you on __________________ with a Flip-cam.  BRING THE BOOK!!!  You’ll show it to your audience. 


There will be a piece of self-assessment as you watch your video the next week. 



Book talk examples from YouTube


First, copy/paste in this address:  In this one, while her body language is pretty boring, she does a great job giving a brief summary that tries to make the listener interested in the book.  But for our assignment, she is way too short on time, and like I said, her body language is BORING!

Second, copy/paste in this address: .  Here's a school librarian that does a better job discussing characters and giving pieces of the plot that build up suspense rather than give away the story. 

Third, try . This girl talks with passion.  But she also talks too fast and has so many filler words such as "like", "and" and "um".  Can you count how many she has in the two minute segment? 

Fourth, try .  This person does an overall great job.  She’s easy to listen to and she doesn’t give away the story with too much summary.  I want you to MODEL AFTER HER SENTENCES where she says “So if you’re ….then I highly recommend this book.”

Finally, go to .  Watch until 5:40.  We meet characters, hear quotations, get connections to teen real life.  Again, she's easy to listen to.  It is obvious she has PRACTICED! 


Now it's your turn....

Sample Book Talk Outline




  1. (Attention getter)


  1.  (Connection to audience)


  1. (Brief summary & any author background info)



  1.  (Thesis – introduce reasons why someone should read this book.  Remember to tie in your ah-ha’s and, either through the ah-ha’s or as separate points, talk about characterization and setting)











  1. (Reason #1)




  1. Example from book






  1. (Reason #2)




A.  Example from book






  1. (Reason #3)




A.  Example from book







  1. (Review thesis briefly)




  1. ( Final thoughts  - think “full circle”)