Monday, January 17, 2011

Book Trailers: A Librarian's Viewpoint

This week, TC&TF runs a series of posts on book trailers, in honor of my very first!

Trailer created by Jesse Johnson at

Today, we hear from librarian and book trailer devotee Charna Gross of Sinai Akiba Academy.

Do you think trailers are effective forms of advertising? How are you exposed to the many trailers that are out there? Any sites that you regularly visit?

Yes! Kids are used to music videos, Youtube videos and movie previews. Book trailers speak their language. I look at book trailers that are mentioned on LM-Net, and I look them up on Youtube. I like and here is a site that gives a lot of info on how to make book trailers:

Could you give a few examples of well-executed trailers, and tell us why they might persuade you to read the books they promote?

I really liked the Found book trailer so much that I ordered the book: I also really enjoyed the trailer for the Secret of the Scarlett Stone at They are exciting visually and musically, and describe the book well without giving anything away.

Conversely, what kinds of trailers do not pique your interest?

If a trailer uses music that doesn’t fit the story or doesn't provide enough supporting text, it doesn't work for me. Another observation is that trailers shouldn't be too static. A trailer is meant to move.

How have you been using trailers at your school?

I have used them mostly as student-made products, either for a report on a book that the class is reading or for individuals to create their own trailers on books they want to promote. I have an educators’ account on Animoto, so it is limitless in terms of students making their own trailers.

What kind of observations/feedback have you gotten from the students about trailers?

Students inevitably want to check out books they’ve seen trailers of. Creating the trailers adds to their tech skills. They really enjoy using Animoto, but that is not the only way to do it.

Thanks for giving us your input, Charna.

Tomorrow: an interview with Tom Lichtenheld, illustrator of Shark vs. Train.

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