April 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Pin it! SLJ Reviewers Share Their Favorite “Book Hooks”

As spring approaches, librarians across the country begin thinking seriously about summer reading and planning outreach visits to local schools. These visits often involve a quick summary of the various services available at the local library and a preview of the prizes and events that will launch with summer reading. One of the most effective ways to encourage reading—be it over the summer months or throughout the school year—is through booktalking. A librarian, armed with a book in hand, a few well-chosen words, and a killer “hook,” is often all it takes to turn a group of staid students into a ravenous rush of readers.BookHooks Board on Pinterest

We’ve asked SLJ‘s reviewers to share some of their favorite recent books, along with a short “book hook”; these are mini-booktalks intended to grab the attention of kids and teens—in as few words as possible. Their responses are curated on a fun and shareable Pinterest board.

Please add your own favorite titles and book hooks in the comments section below or post on social media using the hashtag #sljbookhook.

Kiera Parrott About Kiera Parrott

Kiera Parrott is the reviews director for School Library Journal and Library Journal and a former children's librarian. Her favorite books are ones that make her cry—or snort—on public transportation.



  1. Sherrie Stark says:

    Jude by Kate Morgenroth 9-12 book. Imagine you are watching TV while you father is in the kitchen. All at once you hear gun shots. You try to stay still so you aren’t killed. The gunmen sees you and you offer to keep quiet and not go to the police. WOW the gunman leaves and you are alive! But are you going to stay quiet? or are you going to tell your mother who is the District Attorney? This story will make you think about your choices in life. Jude has quite a twist at the end. If you love suspense you will love Jude to the very last page.

    • Kiera Parrott Kiera Parrott says:

      Thanks for sharing this, Sherrie— I got goosebumps reading your book hook!