Yes, all of you from the Valley already probably guessed it--it is yet again time for the Green Valley Book Fair. (Thanks to Richmond Magazine for the photo, which shows just how amazing of an experience this event is.) For those of you who have not been fortunate enough to experience this extravaganza firsthand, let me just say that this event happens six times a year, and it is a gigantic warehouse full of books that have been reduced to 60%-90% of the original price. There are two huge floors with over 500,000 books, and they cover every genre you could possible imagine. It is a book event unlike anything I have experienced prior to moving here. Sound too great to pass up? It's open through October 20th! Can't make it by there this month? Don't worry, there's still one more opening this year from November 29th through December 15th.
This time, we actually made it out there on the first day of the sale, which means that I was able to pick up a new set of the Beautiful Creatures series for myself and a friend as well as a box set of The Lord of the Rings plus the Hobbit. When I first started going, I had virtually no idea what was popular in the young adult literature world, and I was overwhelmed. Each time I go, I learn more about what's popular, as well as the range of Young Adult literature now available to our students. By now, I'm starting to feel like a trained professional going in there ready to peruse the thousands of books with a keen eye, able to discern which purchases would best serve the students and enhance my classroom library.
Among this weekend's finds was The Shining, which I'm glad to provide since the long-awaited sequel by Stephen King, Dr. Sleep, has now come out. Last time I went, they had several of Cassandra Clare's books, including the first of her Infernal Devices series. This time, there were a couple more of the Mortal Instruments series, which I'm glad to add to my collection. I was also thrilled to find A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, which I heard about on NPR. I was glad to find more by Lisa McMann since I have several students currently completely obsessed with her books. After hearing Phyllis Renolds Naylor at the National Book Fair, I was glad to pick up one of the books in her Alice series. I was also thrilled to find more of Matt de la Peña's work, and I was glad to pick up books by Jenny Han and Kristin Cast, since several students have been talking about both of those authors. I'm still anxious to get a hold of copies of Lauren Oliver's books, which I loved and which have been a raging success with students. I'm also on the look out for Matt Quick's work after seeing him speak in DC at the National Book Fair.
As far as this weekend's finds, I'm already halfway through Love is the Higher Law by David Lavithan, and I'm loving it. Next up (after I finish the other 2 books I'm currently reading), Jhumpa Lahiri's short stories collection Interpreter of Maladies followed by A Long Walk to Water and the next book in the Cassandra Clare series. I also need to read OCD Love Story next week, which we're discussing in our faculty book club soon. So many books--so little time! My list keeps growing.
Here's a full list (in addition to Beautiful Creatures and the Tolkien box set) of what I bought for my classroom library this time:
Atwater-Rhodes, Amelia Persistence of Memory
Atwater-Rhodes, Amelia The Den of Shadows Quartet
Bissinger, H. G. Friday Night Lights
Cast, P.C. and Kristin Cast Chosen
Cast, P.C. and Kristin Cast Betrayed
Cast, P.C. and Kristin Cast Marked
Chbosky, Stephen The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Clare, Cassandra City of Ashes (The Immortal Instruments: Book 2)
Clare, Cassandra City of Lost Souls (The Immortal Instruments: Book 5)
de la Peña, Matt Mexican White Boy
de la Peña, Matt We Were Here
Han, Jenny It's Not Summer Without You
Han, Jenny The Summer I Turned Pretty
King, Stephen The Shining
Lahiri, Jhumpa Interpreter of Maladies
Levithan, David Love is the Higher Law
McMann, Lisa Dead to You
Mitchard, Jacqueline Look Both Ways
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds Incredibly Alice
Park, Linda Sue A Long Walk to Water
Walls, Jeannette The Glass Castle
Woods, Elizabeth Choker
Almost all of these books were selected because of student recommendations or because I had read and loved other books by the authors. For more information about good young adult literature for the classroom, check out the other YA lit posts. Coming soon, there will be a page on the site with all of the books that I have in my classroom library as well as a list of those that I have read and taught. I can't wait to get these new books onto the shelves and into the hands of students!
Also, as another factor that makes the Book Fair amazing, they are now selling copies of the Broadway High School 2013 literary magazine! We have some copies left over, so they are willing to give selling them a try. If it goes well, we can order more next year with the intent of partnering with them to sell to the wider community! For more information about the literary magazine, see this post. The distribution of the magazine to a wider audience, along with the students' web pages (which can be accessed through the class web page), is really teaching them about writing to a real audience and it's giving them exposure to the publication process.