With high stakes standardized testing upon us, we in the library wanted to make sure students had plenty of good books to read, to enjoy during down time and to help them relax. We were so fortunate to have a student teachers with a public library background and a special interest in young adults, who introduced a kind of reading "round robin"or "literary square dancing," in which the upper graders sat at a table and looked at books from a particular genre, during which time they were allowed to judge a book by it's cover (and synopsis and a few pages), filling out a simple rating form.
Then we rang a bell about every five minutes, and they changed tables.
After all the tables were visited, students were encouraged to check out books that they rated highly. Wow, what a hit! Almost all the kids checked out books outside of their usual comfort zone, and by the pile! They really got into it! Thanks for a great idea brilliantly executed, Ms. Crowley!