Using Book Trailers To Entice Reluctant Middle School Readers

Book Trailers for Middle School

I am in love with the idea of using well-crafted book trailers to entice reluctant readers to read. I also love the idea of having my students create some of these. I think that if I can combine technology (screentime!), a compelling teaser to a book, and peer advocacy, I can convince at least some of my reluctant readers to pick up a book.

That said, I’m just going to be up front here and admit that I haven’t used these book trailers in my class yet. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years now, but I still haven’t figured out how I’ll incorporate these trailers into a lesson. So, if you have any ideas, I’m all ears! Please leave your ideas in the comments.

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25


If I Stay

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Middle School: Get Me Out of Here by James Patterson

Million-Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica

Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Related topics: None

About the author 

Michelle Boyd Waters, M.Ed.

I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma student working on my doctorate in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an concentration in English Education and co-Editor of the Oklahoma English Journal. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify students' voices and choices.

  1. I show the Sequoyah Book trailers each year and then have the students write letters to the Library/Media Specialist about the book they find most interesting from the trailer. I then encourage the students to go check out this year’s Sequoyah books. After they’re hooked and have brought a Sequoyah book to class, I spend some time in class researching the author and showing their website to the class. I show them how to contact the author and encourage the students to send emails or tweets to the author of their choice. They are so excited when they receive a reply.

    1. I love the idea of using social media to enable students to connect with authors! Do you have them tweet authors from home or are they allowed to do this at school? Or do you use a classroom Twitter account? How does this look in your classroom, as in, how do you keep everyone engaged? Thank you for sharing, and I hope to incorporate this into my class, as well. Just have to work out those pesky logistics…

      1. Well, I haven’t mastered twitter, but our Library Media/Specialist has it down. Our students are allowed to use their personal device at our school and I encourage them to email the authors. If I can’t figure out twitter, I send them to our Library Media/Specialist. It’s always about the logistics! I haven’t had any problems engaging all students. They are entranced by the idea that they can possibly make contact with a celebrity. I do the trailers, then go to the websites and show them where to find the contact information. After that, they pull out their devices (only about 50% have them) or I roll in a cart of IPADS and let them spend time sending emails. For the next week or so, I spend some time each day allowing students to share with the class (I use my SMARTBD for a projector when needed) any replies they have received whether it’s twitter or email. After that, it’s a battle to check out Sequoyah books.

        1. Do you have many students who have no email address? What do you do about them?

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