Down the Hall: Book Sellers’ Day a success at Montevallo High School

By RACHEL PEETE and HEATHER LAWLEY / Guest Columnists

“I like the idea of Book Sellers’ Day because it gives students a chance to understand all of the books on their summer reading list instead of diving blindly into a book they know nothing about,” said sophomore Heather Lawley about Montevallo High School’s recent Book Sellers’ Day.

Book Sellers’ Day, an innovation by English teacher Mary Howard, was recently hosted in the library by Media Specialist Anita Glover.

When the sophomores walked through the library doors, students from the 11th grade honors English class were standing next to their finished project with books in hand. We were seated and were given bookmarks containing a list of all the books that were being presented. We were able to take notes on the bookmarks about which books we did and did not like. The beautifully made freestanding boards included information about the author, a short summary of the book, a student made book cover, powerful student reviews and excerpts within the book.

“One thing I liked was the presenters did not sugar coat their reviews. They gave an honest opinion, along with whom the book would better attract. Although some reviews were negative, I still believe I would enjoy them,” said Lawley.

Afterwards, presenters and presentees were treated with a caf/-style book talk.

The library book talk was organized in this fashion: first, upperclassmen presented books to lowerclassmen; second, students sampled and purchased summer reading books; third, students munched snacks and sipped drinks as they discussed their summer reading plans in the “caf/.”

“I am going to read each book on the summer reading list. I am especially excited about “Deadline,” “Thick” and “The Bell Jar”,” said sophomore Rachel Peete.

Glover also gave students an opportunity to buy the books after the presentation without paying the eight percent sales tax. The books will be on sale for a week. After that, Serendipity, Montevallo’s local bookstore, will sell the books.

Next week, the sophomores will be presenting the summer reading list to freshmen.

But the sophomores have a little trick up their sleeves.

They will present their books using posters and movies.

Yes, Erma Hinton’s sophomore English students created movie trailers of their books using Windows Movie Maker.

Anyone can find these marvelous, Oscar-worthy films on Hinton’s blog at http://podcasts.shelbyed.k12.al.us/ehinton/.

Just click on the Summer Reading 2008 page. There will also be a photo story with pictures from Book Sellers’ Day.

Rachel Peete and Heather Lawley are sophomores at Montevallo High School