Book Talks 2021

Karen Dennis and UM’s Literary Council presents ‘Book Talk’ Program at State Conference

Sydney SnowEducation, News

MOBILE, Ala. – Dr. Karen Dennis, associate professor of education, and the University of Mobile’s Literary Council presented the School of Education’s unique “Book Talk” program at the Alabama Literacy Association 53rd Annual Fall Conference.

The virtual presentation was filmed in George and Pat Dorsett Auditorium on the university campus on Nov. 5. The Alabama Literacy Association is an affiliate of the International Literacy Association with a mission to transform lives through literacy. The virtual presentation gave UM School of Education students an opportunity to make a professional presentation in their field at a state level.

The Book Talk program encourages children to read through an engaging presentation of university students, faculty and staff dressed as characters in children’s books.

“Book Talks began in the Methods of Teaching Reading course as an assignment of an example for alternatives to the traditional book report,” said Dennis. “It introduces a strategy that could be used to engage elementary school students in discovering the joy of reading.”

Each semester, faculty and student members of the Literary Council make their books “talk,” said Dennis. “When we become our favorite literary characters and ‘sell’ our story to an audience, we generate enthusiasm and eagerness to read a book talk book to discover the ending, which — by the way — a good book talk never reveals.”

“Book Talks are beneficial in schools, because it allows the characters to really come to life,” said Amber Blackmon, UM Literary Council president. “Visualizing what they read allows children to feel enveloped by a story and become a part of it.”

The Literary Council buys a few Book Talk books to give to schools when they perform live. This semester, the council gave the following books: After the Fall – How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again, Snippets, Splatter and I’m Not Just a Scribble.

Literary Council officers include:

Amber Blackmon, president. Blackmon is an early childhood and elementary education major from Bay Minette, Alabama.

Maggie Diehl, vice-president. Diehl is an elementary education major from Fairhope, Alabama.

Mikaela Dees, secretary. Dees is an early childhood education major from Fruitdale, Alabama.

Breanna Englebert, treasurer. Englebert is an early childhood education major from Saraland, Alabama.

About the University of Mobile

The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in over 75 academic programs. Founded in 1961, the University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For information about the University of Mobile, areas of study, admissions and more, visit, connect with UM on social media @univofmobile, or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.