Booktalks

The Spell Book of Listen Taylor Booktalk

  • Grades: 6–8

Listen Taylor...the strangest and most eccentric family ever...two second grade teachers...the Zing Family Secret...and a book of spells. How are they connected? That's for Listen to know and you to find out.

Listen Taylor was twelve years old when she and her father, Nathaniel, moved in with Marbie Zing. Then Listen found out about the Zing Family Secret and started school at Clareville Academy with Donna and her other friends.

Cath Murphy was beginning her fourth year of teaching second grade, and had a reputation for being strict sometimes, but mostly nice.

Warren Woodford was also teaching second grade, but it was his first year, and Cath had to work with him on his lesson plans.

Cassie Zing was in second grade, in Cath's class, and was the only Zing too young to know about the Zing Family Secret and be a part of the Zing Family Secret Meetings on Friday nights.

Fancy Zing was a wilderness romance writer and Cassie's mother, who wrote notes to Cath when Cassie was late, and sometimes when she wasn't.

Radcliffe Mereweather was Cassie's father, and had learned about the Zing Family Secret from Fancy when she was just a teenager defying her parents.

Listen doesn't know what Donna and her other friends really think of her.

Cath doesn't know that Warren is married.

Nathaniel doesn't know that Marbie is playing tennis and making dates with the aeronautical engineer.

Radcliffe doesn't know that Fancy is making a list called "Irritating Things About My Husband" that starts with the way he shaves every morning.

No one knows that Listen has a Spell Book, and is following the instructions in it very carefully. 

And even Listen doesn't know what effect those spells will have on the people around her and on the Zing Family Secret.

This booktalk was written by university professor, librarian, and booktalking expert Joni Richards Bodart.

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