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Children's Literature: Book Talks

A guide to assist in locating and researching children's and young adult literature.

Book Talks

A book talk is a short (30 second - 2 minute) speech designed to encourage someone to read a book, giving an idea of plot, characters, or themes of the book, but, unlike a book report, does not summarize the whole plot or give away the ending or major plot points. In other words, no spoilers! Book talks are traditionally thought of as a tool used by librarians and teachers in classrooms and in library programming.

For example:

Scholastic book talk for Cornelia Funke's "Inkheart" (1:40).

Examples of Book Talks

Tips for Creating Book Talks

Book Talk-Trailer Hybrids

In-person book talks have often incorporated props or other audio-visual aids into the talk, especially for younger audiences. Many online video book talks these days do this as well, using images in addition to the "talk." Some even incorporate an aspect of an author interview. This creates something like a hybrid between a traditional book talk and a book trailer.

For example:

Book talk/trailer/interview with Brian Selznick for his book "Wonderstruck" (2:10).



Book Trailers

A book trailer is different than a traditional book talk in that it uses conventions typical of movie trailers to advertise or promote interest in a particular book, rather than a single person "talking up" a book. They can use any combination of video, still pictures, audio, and text. Like book talks, they tend to be short, typically between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. Like book talks, they should provide plot "teasers," but not "spoilers."

For example:

Book trailer for Jon Klassen's "This Is Not My Hat" (0:35).

Examples of Book Trailers

Tips for Creating Book Trailers