7th grader: I need a book?
Me: Okay, did you have one in mind or are you looking for suggestions?
7th grader: I’m just looking for fiction books.
Me (with a smile): Great, we have a lot of those. What have you read that you’ve liked in the past?
7th grader: I don’t like to read.
Me: Okay, so what book was okay for you? Meaning you were able to get through it and it was kind of, sort of, not that bad? Was it fantasy or magical? Did it have some history to it? Do you like mystery? Sports stories? What about a story that feels like it could happen?
7th grader: I don’t know, just like fiction.
And repeat. Sound familiar? There’s myriad reasons why students don’t know what they want and while it is our job to unpack it, this is not always an easy task.