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.
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.