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Hemby Bridge students work to save 'misfit books'

Hemby Bridge Elementary students in third, fourth and fifth grades are invited to check out these books, read them, write a short review, and recommend whether the books should be saved or removed from the school's media center.

Everyone knows the adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Unfortunately, this is exactly what some students do when browsing for books in the media center.

“Even though we teach children how to preview books, they often make choices based on cover art or other superficial characteristics,”said Hemby Bridge Elementary Library Media Coordinator Susan Shikany.

This results in many wonderful books sitting on shelves month after month without being enjoyed by readers, she said.

Instead of purging the bookcases of these unread treasures, Mrs. Shikany is giving them a last chance to be saved by creating the Island of Misfit Books project.

Students in third, fourth and fifth grades are invited to check out these books, read them, write a short review, and to recommend whether the books should be saved or removed.

When reviewers return the books and recommendations, they receive a small gift. "However, the true gift is knowing they have participated in giving new life to some old friends," said AIG teacher Betsy Ziskind.

Fourth-grade students Isabella Tufano and Hannah McIntyre spoke about the project.

“It is sad that no one picks these books because the covers don’t look interesting," Isabella said.

"We hadn’t noticed a lot of these books before," Hannah added. "Hopefully, lots of people will pick them and be able to read and enjoy them.”

Written by: Betsy Ziskind, AIG Teacher
Posted: Dec 16, 2013 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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