A recently came across Shelfari via a blogpost somewhere or other. It's a nice little book review site with a social networking dimension - brilliant for book clubs and reading groups. The idea is that you post a review about the book you are reading and the site aggregates all reviews about each title so people can browse, comment and get reccomendations etc. You set up a neat online bookshelf (which you can post on your blog) and join groups that are of interest to you.
I suspect that in the struggle to stimulate children to read, Shelfari might prove to be a nice tool for a class to collect reading matter and exchange opinions. Fundamentally, Shelfari is an adult site with book groups on adult subject matter, however, if you create your own group you can set it as "private" and thus can create a book group for your class.
- Account holders must be 13 years old;
- Individual account holders must have an email address;
Some teachers are already using Shelfari and you can read about what they do using these links:
If you are riding the cycling wave at the moment, you might like to visit my own embryonic bookshelf.
Another lovely reading idea, which may have mileage in your school is Book Crossing. Thanks to a Tweet from Martin SFP for bringing it to my attention. The concept is simple: register, read and review a book at the Book Crossing website, then leave it somewhere public for someone else to pick up and read. In the front of the book you will have placed a bookplate with details of the Book Crossing website and your book's ID. The reader can then comment on your review, make their own and leave the book for someone else to read. In this way a single book can pass through many hands and all can comment on it as it travels. The Book crossing site has official Book Crossing bookplates and ways of promoting local Book Crossing points (why not set one up in your school?).
All that remains to do is for me to scan my bookshelf and decide on a suitable book...