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News

Volume 65 Number 2

Chadwick Book Fair hopes to spark greater interest in reading

by Robert Mack - 2014-11-20

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The annual fall book fair from Nov. 12 to Nov. 17 in Christensen brings changes and increased hope for high school participation.

Each year, the Friends of the Library (FOL) parent group collaborates with the Chadwick Student Book Club and various book vendors to produce two book fairs: one at Chadwick in fall and another held at the Barnes & Noble’s Torrance location in the spring.

For the fall event only, Chadwick has changed Barnes & Noble for Book Safari, a company headquartered in Redondo Beach specializing in school book fairs, whose mission, according to its website, is “improving literacy, quality of children’s education, and introducing children to the joys of reading.”

Though the FOL has partnered with the local company before, their increased book stock and genre choice, according to FOL president Karen Fuire, makes them a natural choice for collaboration.

According to village librarian Amy Herring, in the weeks leading up to the book fair, Chadwick parents take time to present the Book Club with books that they have read and reviewed themselves and that may arouse the students’ interest.

“It gets all the members of our community involved,” Herring said.

In addition, the funds raised from the fair will go towards the library and bring books into the classrooms.

The books are selected for the students by Book Safari based on popular trends. Herring also provides her input: In the process, Herring says she considers the character of each class as well as the students themselves.

It’s not all about the classics either, “We could promote all the great literature and great non-fiction, but at the end of the day, what’s important is that the kids are reading,” said Herring. “It’s really just to get them reading for leisure.”

The book fair is also trying to capitalize on young adult fiction: Select books were nominated for best young adult fiction reviewed by the Upper School Book Club, the best ones selected for stock at the book club.

“There is a lot more interest in young adult fiction in recent years,” said Herring. “A lot of adults read young adult literature.”

When asked about the increased readership of young adult novels, Herring replied, “For a lot of adults in our busy world today, it’s really nice to be able to sit down and finish a book somewhat quickly, and a lot of these books are written in a series. It’s really nice to find a book or an author that you like and then have a lot of other books to automatically go to.”

She cited the wildly popular Twilight series as an example.

What worries Herring and Fuire, however, is attendance at the event.

To increase interest, especially for busy upper school students, the FOL is holding a drawing for two tickets to Disneyland as well as two tickets for a King’s Game.

“One could take ten to fifteen minutes to look at what we have on the book floor,” Fuire said.

According to Herring, Chadwick’s reading culture is a healthy one that the faculty seeks to cultivate.

“If you’re having a hard time finding something that you want to read, there’s a whole community of people who can set up suggestions for you. And that’s something you’re not going to get at Amazon or at the bookstore,” Herring said.


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according, book, fair, school, fol, chadwick, student, club, reading, herring, young, adult, lot, increase


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