On December 10 and 11, The Book Fair was held at Mount Greylock, run by parent volunteers, in order to promote literacy and foster excitement around books. Open to all grades, the fair particularly targeted middle schoolers; seventh graders visited during their English block and eighth graders during their science block. Liza Barrett, new librarian, played a key role in the fair.
Last year, the fair was initiated and organized by Andrea Malone and Libbie Pike, two seventh grade parents. This year, they brought on two new parents from this year’s seventh grade, Trish Clairmont and Maggie Goss, who will be joined next year by two more seventh-grade parents, a cycle which looks to preserve and ensure the fair’s future prosperity.
Barrett noted a plan to revise the timing in the future, perhaps during the week of open house in the fall, as parents would be in the building during evening hours.
The addition of pre-school and elementary Spanish books as requested by Greylock Spanish teachers was one of the fairs many hits. Not only were over thirty Spanish books purchased, the remaining books were bought and consolidated into a library for students by the Spanish teachers.
In addition to the Spanish section, this was the first year featuring a “recycled reads” table, stocked with free books made possible by donations from Chapter Two books and community members. Ms. Barrett called this new section “wildly popular” and Trish Clairmont reported that “we gave away between 50 and 75 books at the fair. No student who came to the fair left without a book who wanted one, regardless of ability to pay.”
Overall, the most popular selling genre was historical fiction on World War II, with the single-most popular book being Allies by Alan Gratz. Seventh grade English teacher Alexander Davis assigning the entire seventh grade a free-choice historical fiction book the day before the fair may have contributed to this trend.
Barrett admitted the reaction from students is always mixed, with varying levels of enthusiasm, but she said that the fair is always a great event. “I loved being a part of the book fair from my new position as the school library media teacher,” she said. “It was important that I was present at the fair to build excitement and help students choose books, so I was grateful that principal MacDonald was willing to get a sub for me in the library for both fair days.”