For the first visit to the library in 2011 I organized a book pass for our sixth graders. A book pass is an easy and fun way to expose your students to all types of genres and authors. There are several ways to have a book pass, but this is what we did. I pulled four or five books for each table of students. It works best if there are the same number of books and students. I made sure each table had a variety of books, some "girl" and "boy" books, and genres like mystery, fantasy, and historical fiction. This is a great time to pull books that you know are great but do not get picked up often. I explained to the students that they will take one of the books from the stack and they have two minutes to look at the cover, read the back, skim through the book and begin reading. At the end of the two minutes the books rotate. This goes on until all of the books have rotated around the table. At the end of the book pass students can check out one of the books from the stack. In another variation students are required to write down a few sentences about each book that includes their opinions on the books. This activity is a wonderful time to explain to students how to evaluate a book and decide if it is something they want to read.
I knew I did well choosing books if the stacks were very small at the end of the activity. I heard, "I don't want to switch. I like this one." several times, which makes me happy.
If you have used this method or a variation of this method I would love to hear about it.