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Helping Students (and Adults) Discover New Books

discover new books
Written by Lori Gracey

This website helps children and adults alike discover new books to read by presenting them with just the first page of an unknown book.

I stumbled across a new website the other day that has me excited. It’s called Recommend Me a Book, and its premise is simple. The site offers the first page of a book for you to read without revealing the title or author or showing you the book cover. After reading the first page, if you’re hooked, you can click a button to find out more about the book.

How the Site Works

While this is not earth shattering, I was very intrigued. This resource prevents the judgment that we sometimes make based on the cover of a book, and instead draws us into the words that the author has chosen. I found myself reading lots of first pages, trying to guess what the book was, as well as just enjoying the reading experience. And then I discovered that you can select a specific genre to read, such as historical or science fiction or children’s. I spent another hour just reading the first pages of favorite children’s books that I hadn’t read in a long time, and that was wonderful!

The website shows predominantly more well-known books. You can also have it show you just book covers, much like browsing in a bookstore. Once you find a book that interests you, you can click on the cover to get the first page. There is also a link provided to Amazon, in case you want to purchase the book.

Educational Uses

I think this site would be great for kids to use and become exposed to many new books that might interest them. Simply click on Genre in the top right and then select Childrens. Click the Save Settings button to keep it there for students. They also have a Young Adult section for older students. As a teacher, I would ask the students to write their own titles for the book after they have read the first page and then compare it to what the author chose. Since the books are given out randomly, each child in the class could be reading a different first page, which could lead to all kinds of sharing activities. They could design a book cover themselves, draw what they think the main character looks like or what the setting is, and make a prediction on how the books will end. For older students, they can dissect the first page to see how the author draws us into the story. Even if they don’t find a book that they want to read, they will still be exposed to at least the first pages of many well-known books.


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About the author

Lori Gracey

Lori Gracey has 28 years of experience in education, with 22 years as a curriculum and technology director. She currently serves as the executive director of the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) and is responsible for training technology directors, administrators, curriculum supervisors, and teachers across the country. During her nine years in this position, she has led TCEA in membership and revenue growth, helped to pay off their building and purchase a new, larger building, and implemented new conferences, partnerships with other associations, and professional development opportunities for members and non-members. She serves more than 17,000 members and oversees a staff of 21. Lori is also on the board of the Texas Society of Association Executives and SXSWedu and recently served as the Regional Program Chair for the ISTE 2017 Convention in San Antonio.

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