When my library first began our youth book group a few years ago, there was one girl who never missed a meeting. She loved to read, and she always left the library with a smile and a big stack of books in her arms. She was our most faithful attendee, but during the discussion she would never say a word. However, when everyone else headed out the door afterwards, she’d rush over to me to talk about the book. She had so much to say and so many ideas to share. Turns out she was just shy.

Having been a quiet kid myself, I could understand this. Sometimes it takes a while to feel comfortable in a place. Sometimes you really want to structure your ideas before presenting them to a group of people. Sometimes it’s easier to write than to talk. For the kids who may feel more comfortable writing about books (or kids who love talking and writing about books), they may want to look at the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award blog: http://dcfbooks.edublogs.org.

The blog focuses on this year’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award nominees (Vermont’s state book award for grades 4 through 8), and it offers a space to share book insights with other readers. Readers can post to the blog, answer questions, and discuss the books they enjoyed or didn’t enjoy. It’s a safe and comfortable space to share ideas, and posts are monitored by adults to ensure a positive conversation. As the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award is a kids’ choice award, the blog offers an excellent way for kids to voice their opinions. Even the kids with quiet voices.

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