​Cast Your Vote for Literacy in The World Book Talk Championships!

By Dr. Brad Gustafson and Jennifer LaGarde, Guest Bloggers 

What happens when two passionate (competitive) educators decide to create a podcast about book talks? The “World Book Talk Championship” is born!!
The premise of the global podcast project is simple; 16 participants create their best 30-second book talk video and share it with the world. (30 seconds goes by fast, so participants are forced to pack a lot of passion and creativity into a succinct video!) Then students, classrooms, and teachers everywhere cast their votes and the most compelling book talks move on.
This year, co-collaborators Jennifer LaGarde and Brad Gustafson are more passionate about the #30SecondBookTalk project than ever. Jennifer is a Digital Teaching and Learning Specialist from North Carolina, and Brad is an elementary principal from Minnesota. They’ve seen firsthand how highlighting educators book talk videos directly translates to students being empowered to create their own book talk videos.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the 16 “round one” book talk videos from the 2017 World Book Talk Championship!  
This year’s competition has been made even more incredible thanks to the generous support of Scholastic! Not only will all 16 of our round one participants be given a small gift pack of books for their schools, classrooms or libraries, but the book-talker who receives the most votes at the end of round two will take home the coveted Vince Lombooki Prize as well as $500 worth of books to share with the kids they serve each day! Now that’s what we call a win-win!
Both Brad and Jennifer believe strongly that one of the best ways to help our students associate reading with feelings of happiness and camaraderie is for us to share our reading lives with them in authentic ways. Children need to hear the adults in their lives talking about books and reading in contexts that emphasize joy (not just tests, quizzes, and book logs).
The #30SecondBookTalk project is a way for educators to do just that!
Important Links:
Voting Link: Cast your vote for this year’s champion!
#30secondbooktalk hashtag 
Brad’s Blog
Jennifer’s Blog
Reproducible Rubric
Reproducible Bracket
Tips for creating an awesome #30secondbooktalk
Lights! Camera! Action! Tips for Creating Awarding Winning Video Booktalks - INFOGRAPHIC
Crowdsourced Tips for EPIC BookTalks by #LiteracyLegends


Dr. Brad Gustafson is an elementary principal, author, and speaker. Brad is Minnesota’s 2016 National Distinguished Principal and a 2015 Digital Innovation in Learning Award (DILA) winner. His passion for learning is palpable. Brad co-hosts the “UnearthED” program on the Bam Radio Network.  He recently released a new book, Renegade Leadership: Creating Innovative Schools for Digital-Age Students.  You can connect with him on Twitter @GustafsonBrad or find more information on his blog at www.BradGustafson.com

Jennifer LaGarde (aka library girl!) is the Lead School Library Media Coordinator/Digital Teaching and Learning Specialist for New Hanover County Schools in Wilmington, NC. With over 18 years experience in public education, Jennifer has been a classroom teacher, school library media coordinator, district level leader and educational consultant for the NC Dept of Public Instruction. Jennifer is a past winner of the  ALA, New York Times and Carnegie Corporation’s  "I Love My Librarian Award" and she was also named a Library Journal "Mover and Shaker” for her efforts as a school library advocate. Jennifer earned her bachelor's degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in English/Language Arts from the University of NC at Wilmington. And she earned her Master’s in Library Science from the Appalachian State University. She also holds National Board Certification in the area of School Library Media. Jennifer has published numerous articles on best educational practices for journals like Teacher Librarian and Knowledge Quest.  She is also the author of the award winning blog The Adventures of Library Girl where she proves you don’t have to be super hero to be a teacher librarian, but having a cape sure helps.