Book Talk Bust

How do you get through a book talk?

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Hearing the words ¨book talks¨ can be the scariest two words combined in the English language for some students. Every nine weeks all students from freshman-senior know about the dreaded book talks. Here are their stories and advice for any students thinking they can get away with not reading a book for book talks.  

¨I have never tried to fake a book talk, but I remember one time this guy in my class was reading straight off the back and like reading straight off of it. He even flipped through pages to get information. It was really funny and I learned really quick to actually read my book or I will get a zero on my book talk,” an anonymous student said.  

One way a student has tried to pass book talks was by using a book they read when they were younger. 

¨I didn’t feel like reading another book, so I went to my closet and found one I had read in like fourth grade. It was a good book so I remember some of it, and I just winged the whole thing. It sounded pretty good until Mr. Barney started asking questions and I had to think for a really long time about what my answer was. I guess I faked it pretty well because I made an A. My advice is to fake it till you make it, act so confident and people will believe you, also make sure that you don’t pick a book that they have already read,¨ an anonymous student said. 

For any students going into book talks, remember not to choose a book either of the Barneys have read. 

¨Sophomore year a kid from my class borrowed a book from Mr. Barney for his book talk. He totally knew nothing about the book and Mr. Barney would ask him questions you would only know if you read the book. That kid ended up making a really bad grade and now knows not to borrow books from Mr. Barney. It definitely taught me not to pick a book from Mr. Barney, ¨ an anonymous student said. 

Remember to calm down, take a breath, and chill. Students lie all the time, how is this time any different. 

¨One time I was so nervous about not reading my book I almost fell off the podium while I was giving my book talk. I was super nervous and to make it worse Mrs. Barney had read the book so I could not even make anything up about it. I guess in the end I did not do too bad because I think I got like an 85 on it. I would recommend actually reading a book or at least pick a book Mrs. Barney has not read.” an anonymous student said.  

Of course, the teachers themselves can usually tell when students have not read the book for their book talk.  

¨The first dead give away is nervousness, but a different kind of nervousness than just being up in front of the class. Also, having little information to share or sounding like a book jacket is also a big tell. I can always tell when a student just read a review or summary of a book because students do not sound like themselves,¨ Mr. Barney, English teacher, said. 

Book talks are a guaranteed way to get students shook. The best way to get through book talks is to know at least a little bit of detail, do not totally wing it, and most importantly, learn from these students’ mistakes.