Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Hashtag hatching, continued

This blog entry could be subtitled: one upside of Twitter.

A month ago, I wrote about coining a hashtag as part of an effort to build a middle-school reading community. The first of those readers began contributing last week, and this slice documents what happened next.

I'd describe the whole endeavor as cautious toe-dipping into the shallow (though still potentially deep) end of social media. My students are mostly younger than 13, so they have the option to post via my Twitter handle as proxy. Two students accepted this invitation within 24 hours of me extending it, and one of those wrote to a favorite reread: Ingrid Law's middle-grade fantasy, Savvy. 'It' wrote back!

Having responded to clarify the quirks of Robert speaking through my account, I figured there was little risk in pushing the dialogue further. See, Robert and I had been talking in class about how the Savvy series is one of his favorites, which made it feel hard to try other titles for fear that they would only disappoint him. He wasn't ready to embrace that risk. I hoped an invitation from a beloved author might encourage him, so I asked. Once more, a gracious response!

Needless to say, Robert's reading life just became a little more energized. I've experienced more than once how Twitter, among other platforms, helps make connections like this possible. Though the milieu's not all peaches and cream, sometimes it can be.

Mean time, if you'd like to explore 100 Best Middle Grade Fantasy Books of the Last 10 Years, well, that digital gift just keeps on giving.


  1. What fun for your student! It's something he'll always remember. And I had to go check out the fantasy book list. So many great titles on that list.

  2. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. That was one small step for Robert, one giant step for your class. So powerful to get an author response so quickly. What better endorsement can there be for your "cautious toe-dipping".

  3. So cool and powerful to be able to connect with authors in this way! I can only imagine the excitement it fuels!