The Fireside Book Chat

The Fireside Book Chat

via The Fireside Book Chat.

Over the past week I have been exploring the podcast site, The Fireside Book Chat.  It is a site which promotes books for teens.  Look at the site and the first thing that catches the eye are the teens reading and the statement, “Books for Teens, Reviews by Teens.”

Teacher Scott Hertzog is the interviewer and moderator for The Fireside Book Chat.  The podcast is used as a diving board to engage the students in his classroom with literature.  Each podcast features one student and one book.  Mr. Hertzog starts the discussions with a silly comment which generally loosens up the teen.  He then asks general questions about what the reader thought of the book.  The questions usually follow the same pattern.  

“Why did you choose this book?”

“What was your favorite part?”

“What did you not like?” 

“Would you recommend this book?”

“How would you rate this book?”

Mr. Hertzog may begin the discussions, but the students are in charge.  They choose what they read and that is the key to developing a love of literature.  When you provide opportunities for people to choose and then openly participate in positive dialogue about what interests them, the results create engaged readers and critical thinkers.


One thought on “The Fireside Book Chat

  1. nogginquest says:

    The podcasts I listened to included the following books and impressive reviewers:

    Freakanomics by Stephen D. Levitt
    Reviewed by Andrew
    Rating: 4
    He chose the book because he was interested in learning about money.

    Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
    Reviewed by Lindsay
    Rating: 5
    She chose to read the book because Mr. Hertzog read excerpts during a class.

    Against Medical Advice by James Patterson
    Reviewed by Brandi
    Rating: 5
    She thought it was interesting that the author incorporated Tourette Syndrome and understanding in the book.

    Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
    Reviewed by Josh
    Rating: 5
    He chose the book because of the gun on the cover.

    The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
    Reviewed by Sam
    Rating: 10 (on a scale of 1-5)
    She chose the book because the movie is her favorite.

    Great Ghost Stories by John Grafton
    Reviewed by Sam
    Rating: 3
    He thought the stories in the book were probably good in their day, but not now.
    He also commented that the stories with 19th century wording were difficult to read.

    Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
    Reviewed by Lindsey
    Rating: 5
    She recommends reading the book before seeing the movie.

    In Your Room by Jordanna Frailberg
    Reviewed by Amber
    Rating: 4
    She chose the book based on the synopsis on the back cover.

    The Butterfly Effect by Harry Humes
    Reviewed Gabe
    Rating: 5
    He chose the book of poetry because he was looking for something different. His favorite aspect of the book were all the metaphors.

    Guys Write for Guy by John Scieszka
    Reviewed by Derek
    Rating: 5
    A librarian suggested the book because it’s about things guys would appreciate and Derek does not enjoy reading. He really enjoyed the stories.

    Black American Short Stories by John Hendrick Clark
    Reviewed by Kelli
    Rating: 4
    She made a comment about connecting with some of the stories and being inspired to read the book because Maya Angelou’s writings had been introduced to the classroom.

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