My daughter's public school library is run and staffed entirely by volunteers. I work a two-hour shift once a week. The job consists mostly of checking books in and out, shelving, and handling clerical tasks (pasting new bar codes on books, for example). But every now and then a student comes in who really loves books and actually asks my advice. One of them came in last week and again today. When I first met her last week, she was looking for a book on John Adams because, "he's my favorite president." Today this fourth grader, clearly a strong reader with lots of interests told me, "I'm just looking for a really good book. Any recommendations?" Browsing our (fairly limited) shelves, I suggested Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, The Doll's House by Rumer Godden, The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, Half Magic by Edward Eager and When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. She ended up taking Anne of Green Gables and Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (her own idea), both of which she was adamant about wanting to make sure were not "children's editions." I assured her I would never give her a children's edition! She spent so long making up her mind that her teacher sent another student from her class looking for her. She made being a librarian for a few hours really fun!
With my oldest child only 6 and having only recently started reading middle-grade and YA fiction as an adult, I am still working on recommending books for this age group. So, how'd I do?