A Jaw-Dropping Book-Talk

I watched as her jaw slowly dropped open. Her eyes widened, moving faster and faster. I knew what was happening. Her jaw continued to sink towards the floor. I waited. She slumped back in her chair. Her arms dropped by her side, one holding onto the book. She stared into nothingness, trying to process what she just read. Her eyes looked over at me and I smiled.

“Whaaaaaat!” she yelled.

Everyone else looked away from their books to see what was happening. The class had just settled into their 10 minutes of reading, and normally I wouldn’t like such a disruption, but this student was experiencing one of those oh-my-god moments. One of those I-can’t-believe-this moments. One of those this-book-is-awesome moments. It’s the moments we live for as readers. The ones we never see coming. The ones everyone should experience.

“Surprised?” I asked her.

“This is the second big twist. I can’t believe it.”

“I told you it had a few surprises, don’t spoil it for anyone else.”

Another student, waiting to read the same book, looked on with jealousy; envious of the experience.

The book in her hands was Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. A book that disappeared from my classroom library a couple months ago. With the recent movie release, it seemed like everyone was asking me if I found it yet. I couldn’t resist giving my readers what they want so I purchased four more copies. They were gone the minute they came in. There’s now a long list of students waiting for those four to finish.

Typically whole-class disruptions or yelling out can cause problems, but today’s disruption served as the best book-talk there is. Everyone watched and listened as one reader experienced the true joys of reading.

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