Tuesday, October 2, 2007

What makes a book a book?

One of the things that I struggle with every book fair is what the kids buy from the book fair. The book fair ultimately helps me, for every dollar someone spends at the book fair my media center receives money from the sale. Money that I will convert into author visits or more books for the media center. It doesn't matter if someone spent $10 on good, quality books or $10 on pencils and a Pokemon book - BUT - as a media specialist, it makes me CRINGE every time I have to ring a student up and all they have bought is "junk". I think what makes it worse for me are the things that parade as "books". Pokemon books and comic books (NOT graphic novels, but books like the Simpsons). Books written after TV shows such as Sponge Bob and Fairly Odd parents. I guess you can call me a book snob, but you can spend $3.99 on a Sponge Bob book or $3.99 on a Magic Tree House book or Charlotte's Web. I guess in the end, both books have words and if a child is actually READING the books and not just looking at the pictures, it is a win-win, but STILL, how many people claim that reading a Strawberry Shortcake book when they were nine changed their life??

I try and steer the students toward "good" books, things that *might* just change their lives, but I guess all a teacher can do is lead their students to water and hope that they take a sip.

I for one do not purchase "character" books for my media center. I have noticed that their are some Nickelodeon character books in my media center now, but I can assure you that there will be no more purchased, at least while I am there. Of course, I do have a HUGE collection of Captain Underpants books, and for some reason, I don't mind those as much, maybe because there is not a Captain Underpants TV show?

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