This was the inaugural year for the Kingfield School Community Read and they came up with a great plan for launching it! The book being used was kept an absolute secret. Excitement in the gymnasium was running high. The first thing to do was to figure out the name of the book!
Kingfield’s wonderful English teacher, Maggie Adams, had been the driving force behind the community read. A group of area seniors were invited to the launch. Then, grades 3-8 formed lines and teams were made up of one child from each grade and one senior. Maggie projected a group of Scrabble titles onto a screen, showing the letters to be found in the title. The first team to solve the anagram would be picked to reveal the books and hand them out.
A team solved it with only one hint, the first word being: The. Then the lights went out and the music came on. Principal Kim Ramharter and an able assistant wheeled out the books on a display wrapped as a present!
The winning team tore it open and revealed 175 copies of Megan Frazer Blakemore’s great book, The Water Castle. Each winning team member grabbed a pile of books.
Then the team hit the stands and gave everyone in the room a copy The Water Castle. Huzzah!
I was up next, to tell everyone a bit about why The Water Castle is such a great book, and such a great choice for their Community Read, particularly one launched with mystery and puzzle solving.
After that, principal Kim Ramharter sat down and read everyone the first chapter.
Many people followed along in their copies.
There were still 10 minutes left for everyone to read more on their own before it was time to get ready for the bus. The Community Read launch mission was a giant success!
I adore this post . . . especially that wonderful photo at the end!
Love, Love how this went! I am curious how you went about choosing the book, paying for the books, and knowing how many to purchase!
I’m the bookseller in the equation Cheri, but I can tell you what I know about the school’s thinking on these questions. The book was chosen for two reasons. First, I had approached the school regarding the author’s availability for a school visit, and the school was drawn to the idea of having an author visit in connection with the community read. Second, the school has a broad age range, it is K-8, and The Water Castle has a great reach and appeal along grade lines and both genders, along with good curricular tie ins, and quality writing. Paying involved community fund raising. In terms of how many, it was done by looking at the total number of students plus 50 community copies to circulate and be made available around town.