The spring book fair was held last week at my middle school. As the language arts teacher on my team, I escort all of our students to the fair and I love it. I get to spend about 20 minutes with each class, browsing and making book recommendations. They also love telling me about books that I haven’t read yet. It’s always a lot of fun to see which books are popular, as I take over 100 students over the course of the day. I see a lot of the same books being bought over and over. Many times, it’s because someone in 1st period saw it, raved about it, and convinced students in later classes to buy the same book. I love watching these social reading experiences!
Mark Teague’s The Doom Machine was very popular with a lot of my students. They were intrigued by the cover and even more excited when I listed some of Teague’s other books. Kids love reading books by familiar authors.
During my first period class, a group of girls purchased Alphas by Lisi Harrison. They decided to read it together as a book club, even going so far as to assign pages to be read each night so that they could discuss it at lunch the next day. I found myself laughing at dismissal because one of the girls read ahead and the rest were mad at her. Gotta love it!
My romance lovers were drawn to the fantastic cover of A Novel Of The Titanic – Distant Waves. I haven’t read it yet, but found myself talking about it over and over as we tried to figure out what it was about. Thanks for not putting a summary on the back, Scholastic! (Can I just say that I hate it when publishers don’t put jacket copy on the back cover of a paperback? It stops so many kids from buying the book!)
I also had a few students pick out books for their younger siblings. For baseball-loving younger brothers, one student purchased Six Innings and The Brooklyn Nine. I love both of these books and they are very popular with my students, who are now sharing the love with their siblings.
Students looking for scary stories seemed drawn to a few major titles. Most popular were Neal Shusterman’s Full Tilt and Dread Locks: Dark Fusion # 1. Mary Downing Hahn is always popular, so All the Lovely Bad Ones went home with more than a handful of students, too.
Some other popular choices were-
- Smile by Raina Telgemeier
- The Clique Summer Collection by Lisi Harrison
- Big Nate: In a Class by Himself by Lincoln Peirce
- Ruined: A Novel by Paula Morris
- The Season by Sarah Maclean
- Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor