Books del Sur Author Talk & Read Aloud: Frequently Asked Questions
When are the author talks for 2021-2022?
All Author Talks are held at 11:00 AM Central Standard Time (Chicago)
Friday, October 29
Friday, November 19
Friday, December 10
Friday, January 28
Friday, February 25
Friday, March 18, 2022
Friday, April 29, 2022
Friday, May 27
*More information will be posted as it becomes available.
The event time won’t work for my schedule. Will it be recorded so I can watch it later?
How long will this event last? What if I have to leave early?
We try to keep each Author Talk to about 30 minutes. If you can only come to part of this event, that’s fine! The recorded session will be available online after the event if you need to miss a part of it and catch it later.
Who is invited to these charlas? What age group is this designed for?
The invite is open to any and all. These are kid-friendly and ideal for Spanish-speaking classrooms, though we’ve also had individuals and families participate. However, some books are more suitable for specific age groups. See our recommendation with each talk.
How many people usually attend?
The number of participants has been steadily growing over time -- we had around 50 just a few months ago, and our last author talk in March had more than 600 participants.
What’s the best way to participate if my classroom is still meeting virtually?
Some teachers have shared the zoom links with students, letting kids log on to participate from their own devices at home. That is perfectly fine with us, though it may create some challenges for the teacher in terms of being able to participate in the author talk while also maintaining clear communication with your own group.
Other teachers prefer to access the event on zoom on their own device and then simply share their screen with the students on a separate zoom session. We’ve heard that this approach works really well.
Whichever way works better for your context, we do ask that participants keep their cameras off and muted during the talk in order to protect kids’ privacy since the author talk will be recorded and viewable on social media.
There will be time after the reading for participants to ask questions. Just raise your “zoom hand” and unmute, but again we ask that you keep cameras off, especially if you’ve got kids with you. The chat feature will also be deactivated (though you’ll be able to chat directly with the host in case you need some tech help, for example). Experience has taught us that the chat gets a little too lively when there are lots of kids and it’s open and unrestricted! ;)
We did have to turn on registration for this event in order to ensure the safety of our participants. We’re still learning what that means for school groups trying to log on and participate, so if you joined us for the previous meeting, shoot us an email and let us know how it went for you! We’d love some feedback.
May I invite other teachers or classes from my school?
Absolutely! Invite anyone who you think would be interested. Our goal is to provide some relief to classroom teachers. Our author talks provide teachers with an opportunity to expose students to a high quality book without having to plan a lesson! We’re really excited to help readers get to know these amazing authors, and we’re especially thrilled at the prospect of highlighting that published authors are real people -- interesting, talented, funny, driven, relatable, and most importantly, totally accessible!
Should my class read the book beforehand?
It completely depends on your objective! The author talk includes a brief introduction of the author, the author reading the book (or part of the book) aloud, and participants’ questions at the end. If you happen to have a physical copy of the book on hand, it might be really valuable to spend some time doing a “book walk” before the event. Read and discuss the title and skim through the book, noticing the illustrations and making predictions and connections as you go. It’s also a great idea to talk about where the author is from. Find the author’s country of origin on a map and remind children that this author may speak a different variation of Spanish than the one that your students use. Our guest for the month of April is from Chile.
Should my students prepare questions for the author?
They are welcome to do so. Our authors are from Spanish-speaking countries and do understand English, but they feel most comfortable in Spanish, so we encourage participants to ask questions in Spanish.
We’ve found that some of the most interesting questions listeners have posed are the ones that go beyond the book itself. Encourage your kids to brainstorm questions not only about the book, but about the writer’s inspiration, hobbies, struggles, plans for future writing, collaboration with the illustrator, writing process, research for the book, favorite books, etc.
How do you pick your authors?
We (selfishly!) select authors that we ourselves genuinely admire and want to learn more about. It’s important to us that the writers have written high-quality, authentic Spanish children’s literature, and we love hearing them read their own stories and poems aloud. We hope you like getting to know these authors and their voices too!
Will there be more of these Author Talks?
Yes, there will be more of these! We plan to facilitate these Author Talks once a month during the school year.
Do I need to speak Spanish to participate?
Anyone is welcome to listen in. Though the authors will be speaking Spanish, they’ll be sharing children’s picture books, which means they’ll be reading aloud with lots of expression and showing illustrations that support comprehension. We think these events are wonderful for fluent Spanish speakers as well as people who are in the process of learning Spanish.
Do you have more questions that aren't answered here? Feel free to contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to help!