Reel Reading: Engaging Reluctant Latino Readers

20130207-190708My students are primarily of Latino descent. Most claim to “hate” reading. Every year I push, shove, pull, and sometime want to shriek as I try to get them to climb into a book. It’s not a mountain. It is just one book.

I truly believe that if a kid can find just one book that inspires, enlightens, “hooks” him, that kid can become a life-long reader.

The trouble is getting that kid to at least TRY reading. I have a lot, a whole lot, of Fake Readers.

That is why I love it when an author shows up with a book, or two, or three that kids will read. Last year the librarians at my school entered some contest, and they won. The prize package? a visit to our school from the author Simone Eckles. She spoke about her books and her writing process. She was funny and kind, and students clamored to get her autograph. The librarians had prepared well, getting additional copies of the books from Barnes and Noble, and allowing students to purchase them at a discount.

I purchased one of each, and all three books disappeared before the year was out. I purchased them again, and they are gone again. No one admits to being the last to return them, although my list says otherwise. I don’t quite get it.

There must be a reason my students steal these books, and since they’re stealing them, they must be reading them–maybe? The stories are gritty and real and mirror the lives of my students. The characters are well-developed and mimic the behaviors of my kids. The bad boy and the “good” girl overcome their differences and end up together:  a happily-ever-after my students surely hope for themselves.

So, once again, I am purchasing these books, and this week’s Reel Reading for Real Readers highlights to book trailers of Mrs. Rasmussen’s most often stolen books:




New to Real Reading? Here’s how it works. Join us.

What:  Weekly posts of book trailers of our favorite and most student-engaging YA books.
Why:   Visual images can intrigue the most reluctant and even hostile readers.
When: Thursdays so you can find the book in preparation for showing the trailer on Fridays. (We might get some traction with weekend readers here.)
How:  We’ll post ours. You post yours, using the meme Reel Reading for Real Readers. Leave us a comment with your blog link, so others can add to their book trailer libraries.

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3 thoughts on “Reel Reading: Engaging Reluctant Latino Readers

  1. Tara Smith March 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm Reply

    These are awesome trailers, I have started using book trailers both to teach and to book talk. Lucky for you that you were able to have this author come to your school and speak to your kids…author visits are so inspiring for our students, especially the reluctant readers.


  2. Joan Scott Curtis March 7, 2013 at 3:33 pm Reply

    I spoke to classes at two high schools in Denton about my book, and students want to read it — not every student but more than two or three. It isn’t a book about adolescents and their lives, except for the adolescents in my book who were losing their father. I am happy to come to any school and talk about the writing process with my books. And the good news is — I am cheap.


  3. Audrey March 7, 2013 at 12:38 pm Reply

    I just shared these trailers with classes last Friday when I was doing my Romeo and Juliet connections to YA talk. Simone Elkeles never fails! Guys and girls love these books.

    Today I’m sharing a sweet romantic book about love at first sight at 40,000 feet!


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