Last month, Tara Martin, a remarkable educator from Lawrence, Kansas wrote a guest blog for Dave Burgess regarding #BookSnaps. When I read the blog, at first glance, I thought, "Pretty cool . . . that's a neat tool . . ."
Boy, was that a generic self-reflective response. Then, something incredible happened . . .
As Tara and I networked through #TLAP, I found out that something deeper was happening with this whole #BookSnaps thing. I asked Tara if she would take a look at a novel that I wrote for Grades 4-8 students, entitled, The Isolate /n./ without #BookSnaps in mind.
She not only graciously agreed, but, low-and-behold, all of these unbelievable #BookSnaps started filling up my Twitter notifications. I didn't expect Tara to do anything special for me, but it was almost like #BookSnaps were her "highlighter in hand" or her "digital or ink margin notes" with a graphic twist. Symbolic cartoonish #BookSnaps made me do a double-take. This is where textual analysis meets thoughtful tools of technology.
I couldn't believe my eyes--not just how #BookSnaps look through all sorts of graphics that grab one's attention, but the power they can have for readers who drive texts, rather than texts that drive readers (this is the exact type of constructivist reader-response methodology that I've always believed in).
Tara dove in to my novel and reminded me of literary elements, key plot episodes, and figurative language that I, honestly, forgot about (I wrote The Isolate /n./ over a year ago and it was published in September 2016--BUT, does every author remember everything that they write? Every line? Every simile or metaphor? Every piece of character dialogue?
#BookSnaps construct textual meaning-making for readers, teachers, and authors. I'm a believer. It is a powerful tool. And, Tara Martin is the artistic guru of contextualized meaning-making using #BookSnaps. She is YOUR go-to person (whether you are an educator, parent who can help your child to use them, or a reader who wants to enter in to new ways to make meaning without a highlighter or Post-it Note.
To learn more about Tara Martin and #BookSnaps, you can find her on Twitter @TaraMartinEDU or on YouTube where she has a series of R.E.A.L. videos on #BookSnaps.
In the meantime, I can't wait to re-read what I wrote in The Isolate /n./ and work through my own #BookSnaps for new meaning-making as both author and reader.
To view more of Tara Martin's #BookSnaps for The Isolate /n./, you can also look at my retweets on Twitter @RickJetter in conjunction with hashtag, #BookSnaps.