Shopping for Books for the School Library
For more pictures, go to Your Permanent Record.
By Kim Underwood
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
JANUARY 9, 2019 – When students from Moore Elementary came to the Bookmarks Bookstore to pick out books for the school’s media center, Ashley Bryan started the adventure with a tour.
When Bryan, who is the Youth & Schools Coordinator, wrapped up the tour, she asked whether anyone had any questions.
Third-grader Jaden Crowell did indeed have one.
Does the bookstore have any nonfiction books 70 pages long?
Absolutely, Bryan said.
Jaden was glad to hear that because one of his assignments was to write a report about a nonfiction book at least 70 pages long.
With all of the students oriented, Media Coordinator Lisa Crede was ready to have them embark on their mission to pick out books for the school.
“Think about something that someone else will like, too,” Crede said.
And they were off.
Such a fun adventure was made possible by Dav Pilkey, the author and illustrator of two hugely popular series of books – Captain Underpants and Dog Man. When Pilkey came to Winston-Salem in September for the 2018 Bookmarks Festival of Books & Authors, he met with students from nine schools in the downtown area at BB&T Ballpark.
Afterward, he donated $1,000 to each of those schools for the schools to buy books for their media centers. At some schools, adults chose the books, said Ginger Hendricks, the Bookmarks Executive Director.
At Moore, they decided to let students choose. Students in second through fifth grade who came to the bookstore on Tuesday were winners of a story contest about the Moore Dragon burning down the school library and writing how they would rebuild the school’s Magic Library.
The first-grade students were selected so younger students would also have input in the book selections. Hendricks son, Dalton Combs, was one of the first-graders with the group.
Once he started looking, Jaden had no trouble finding just the right book. The book – Where Is the Mississippi River? – was 105 pages, plus appendices, and he was looking forward to learning about something he knew very little about. Jaden, who got to shake Pilkey’s hand when he was in town, also picked up the latest book in the Dog Man series.
Jaden is a big fan of reading.
“Reading is something that makes you stronger,” he said.
Also, he likes that reading helps him learn new words.
Asked whether he had a favorite word, he didn’t hesitate. “Spectacular,” he said.
If anyone ever wants to say to him, “That’s spectacular,” he would be delighted to hear it. After he finishes his career as a professional basketball player, he wants to become a doctor who works with basketball players.
When fifth-grader Deanna Huff started looking for books, she knew she wanted one book to be connected to Wonder, a best-selling book that has been turned into a movie. She had liked both the book and the movie.
She picked out Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories.
When Deanna grows up, she wants to play professional basketball and do things to help others.
“I want to make people feel better,” she said.
Second-grader Jurnee Marable was delighted to find a Who Was (Is)? series of books. One she picked out was Who Was Queen Elizabeth?
“I wanted to pick out something that will help the kids learn about her,” Jurnee said.
She also picked up Who Is Michelle Obama?, along with such popular books as Dork Diaries and Payback on Poplar Lane.
Jurnee, who wants to be a dancer when she grows up, said she liked the bookstore.
“I really, really like it,” she said. “It’s a nice place.”
One of the books fifth-grader Jocelyn Knight knew she wanted to find was Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World.
“I like cats and animals,” Jocelyn said. “I have read it before. I want to have it in the library.”
At home, Jocelyn has two dogs, one cat, one goldfish and one hamster.
She also picked up a book in the I Survived… series. Each book in the series is about someone who survived a disaster such as the sinking of the Titanic or an attack by a grizzly bear. She thought it might be something her teacher, Renee Stephen, would be interested in. Jocelyn discovered that the bookstore has a really comfortable pink chair so she kept returning to it to read, something she really enjoys doing.
“I like that it takes you different places,” Jocelyn said. “If you are having a hard day, you can open a book and it will take you to a new place.”
It doesn’t have to be anywhere exotic or magical. She likes going to a nice house in the country in her imagination just fine.
Fifth-grader Sierra Stocks likes chapter books that are part of a series because, after you read one, you can read others.
Crede was thoroughly enjoying watching the students zip around the bookstore making their selections.
“They are really looking and trying hard to find interesting, fun books,” she said.
Ross McNeil, who is a principal intern based at Moore, also came with the students. He liked that students were focused on picking out books with others in mind.
“It teaches them empathy,” McNeill said. “You have to care about other people.”
When the students finished picking out books for the school, they gathered in a tiered reading area at the back of the bookstore.
Looking at their selections, Bryan said, “You picked out some good ones.”
Hendricks had a surprise bonus for them. She had a stack of books. Some were even signed by authors who had some to the store. She invited each of the students to pick one to take home and keep for him or herself.
In general, fifth-grader Vladimir Dimov likes books that take him to another world. With him wanting to become a lawyer when he grows up, though, he decided that Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham was the ideal choice for a book to take home and keep.
The Moore students who helped pick out books for the school Bookmarks Bookstore were:
5th grade - Sierra Stocks
4th grade - Yuen Seguerra
3rd grade - Jaden Crowell
2nd grade - Jurnee Marable
1st grade - Dalton Combs
Bookmarks Bookstore is in downtown Winston-Salem at 634 W. Fourth St. #110.
To read the story about Pilkey’s visit to Winston-Salem, go to Dav Pilkey.