Our book budget students have continued to meet with vendors to spend our $5,000 James Patterson Partnership grant. They have gone through a long process to create a survey, survey students, analyze data, set goals, and meet with vendors to create consideration lists. They met with Jim Boon of Capstone Press and Gret Hechenbleikner of Gumdrop books. Students have just finished meeting with their final vendor, Avid Bookshop.
We love working with our local independent bookshop. They are always willing to come into the school or Skype in to share books with us for projects. Will Walton, author and bookseller, came in to do book talks with our 3 small groups of book budget students. Each grade comes in separately for 30 minutes, and each group picks up where the previous group left off.
We pulled up our goals on the screen so that Will could use them as a talking point with students. He brought some Advance Reader Copies of books that might meet our goals but also offered his own knowledge of books that matched many of our goals such as graphic novels, scary, and humorous stories. As Will talked, I was in charge of creating a Google doc of the books so that students could look back at them later.
One of the things that I absolutely loved as Will was talking was how our students were getting hooked on the books he was talking about. There was an immediate trust of Will, and several students found a book that they personally wanted to read. He graciously handed out some the ARCs and told students to read them and pass them on to someone else. He also encouraged students to come in and visit Avid Bookshop. Several requested that he write down the address of the shop since they had never actually been inside.
Will also started thinking of certain authors and series and going onto the shelves of our library to find them. He handed out several of our own books and students checked them out to read. He really reminded me of the importance of book talks and how I really need to be doing this more than I am!
After Will left, we continued to work on our Avid list. I email it to Janet Geddis and the Avid team. They will now check the list to make sure all of the titles are available, and they will send us a quote to help us narrow down our list to what we will actually purchase. Students have two more meetings before the holidays, so we hope we can fine tune all 3 of our lists to match our $5,000 budget.