This is a small break to elaborate on why I’m calling this series “The Book Fair.” (That’s part 1, part 2 being just below it.)
My background is in education, being a former elementary school classroom teacher as well as a private tutor, so the Scholastic Book Fairs were an important time for me. Not least because it was fun to get a small break in instruction for the day and walk around a mobile bookstore-type thing with my students, but because I learned so much from it.
The hype began when we got the 4 to 6-page catalogues to pass out. Those things were thinner than newspaper so not a lot of them survived the bus rides home, I’m sure, but man, you couldn’t beat that excitement when you passed them out and kids started reading and circling and pinpointing what things they wanted. You couldn’t beat it.
…except for Winter Break.
…and Summer Break.
…And Halloween Parties, in my class at least, BUT THAT’S BESIDES THE POINT.
That’s all the mental aspect of it, though. Predicting and preparing for the excitement in things coming up is half of being a kid. When the Book Fair arrived there was no topping it. Those giant, silver rolling shelves get rolled in, opened up like the stone doorways to some forbidden temple, the marketing fliers get plastered all throughout the school, the cardboard stand get positioned throughout the library to let the students know what the biggest books being pushed are, and we’re good to go.
For someone like me, a book lover who loves teaching, seeing a chance for kids to take home a piece of literature to keep is something special. I’d pop in during my lunch break some days to mosey about, see what the kids were picking up and excited about, because honestly? Whatever the new hotness was was most likely going into my class library so I was going to need to know if they had 4 COPIES OF THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW.
You can learn a lot from a book fair, is what I’m saying, so this is where I’ll keep learning.
Thanks for reading,