Do you think you could tempt someone to read a book the same way a trailer tempts someone to watch a movie?

Movie trailers tempt you to watch the movies they advertise. They only exist to lead you to the box office, and their makers will stop at nothing to make you feel like you must watch the movie.

Do you think you could tempt someone to read a book the same way a trailer tempts someone to watch a movie?

You need to hook viewers, to interest them with details without giving away too much.

For this contest you will create a powerful video trailer for one of the following three books. Use special effects, animation, music, or whatever your heart desires to engage and excite readers. However, there are some requirements and guidelines.


  • Engage and excite readers about one of the three books below
  • Last no longer than 1 minute
  • Include the book’s title and author
  • Use one quote from the book at minimum


  • Don’t replace the book’s scenes or dialogue with your own.
  • Don’t misrepresent the book — a thriller is not a romantic comedy or a biography, and readers don’t like being misled.
  • Don’t use video, music, or images that you do not have the right to use.

Helpful hints:

  • Work out the beginning, middle, and end of the trailer before you start taping.
  • Simple tends to succeed more often than elaborate.
  • Don’t film a plot summary and don’t give away too much of the story, especially not the ending. The trailer is a short teaser for the story.
  • Start with a dramatic moment to grab the viewer’s attention.
  • Include one sentence that says what the book is about — its theme.
  • Use at least one engaging moment from the book to hook readers.
  • Check the Resources tab for helpful links!


Choose one of the following three books to be the subject of your trailer.

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headly


Aza Ray Boyle is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it

ever harder for her to breathe, to speak — to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world — and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power — but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza’s hands lies fate of the whole of humanity — including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

Download the first seven chapters of Magonia for free

Download a scene from the book that you can use in your trailer

Read more about Magonia and its author

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman


Caden Bosch is on a ship that’s headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.

Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.

Caden Bosch is designated the ship’s artist in residence to document the journey with images.

Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.

Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.

Caden Bosch is torn.

Download the first 30 pages of Challenger Deep for free

Read more about Challenger Deep and its author

Proof of Forever by Lexa Hilyer


Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe were once best friends. Now they barely speak. That is, until the fateful flash of a photo-booth camera transports them back in time, to the summer they were fifteen — the summer everything changed. Photos fade. Friendships dissolve. Summers end. But this one will change the girls forever … again.

Download the first six chapters of Proof of Forever for free

Read more about Proof of Forever and its author

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