Congratulations to the Winners of the Fall 2008 Middle School National Student Crew Contest!

The first place winner of a visit from Diary of a Wimpy Kid Author Jeff Kinney and a $2,000 shopping spree for books is:

Gulf Middle School
Cape Coral, Florida
Student Crew Count: 48
Book Fair Theme: La Readatouille

Last fall, 48 Crew members from Gulf Middle School transformed their media into a French restaurant in Paris with a banquet of books. Their theme of La Readatouille was a parody on the movie Ratatouille, about a rat who loves to cook. They created an Eiffel tower, and played French music to set the stage. Crew members became maitre’ds, waiters, and chefs, and French classes translated the cafeteria menu, media center signs, and portions of the daily news into French.

At Gulf Middle School, everyone got involved in the Book Fair! Crew members, teachers, and the cafeteria staff became RATTs (Read All The Time) by having noses and whiskers painted on their faces. This was a big hit with students! To increase Book Fair excitement about the Book Fair, the assistant principal agreed to challenge a student to a French silk pie eating contest if Book Fair sales reached $6,000. Teachers and French students were also treated to croissants, éclairs, and cocoa at a grand opening preview for the Fair.

To generate student enthusiasm, Crew members passed out bookmarks, created their own Book Fair DVD production, and developed games du jour. Other activities to encourage students to come to the Book Fair included Viva la France Day (students wearing blue, white, and red) and be a RATT day (students who purchased a book could get a nose and whiskers painted on them). Gulf Middle School also held their Fair in conjunction with a Recipe for Success at GMS Parent Night, where parents could attend reading and history Fair seminars, shop the Book Fair, and sample French vanilla hot chocolate.

All of the activities, advertising, and school-wide participation made Gulf Middle School’s Book Fair a five-star event!

Second place winners of a $1,000 shopping spree for books are:

Sammy McClure Middle School
Dallas, Georgia
Student Crew Count: 39
Book Fair Theme: Books at Twilight

The Crew at Sammy McClure Middle School took one of the most popular Book Fair books and developed it into a Book Fair theme! The Books at Twilight theme included many spooky decorations and contest to get students excited about the Book Fair. The Crew hosted a Fright Fest, where teachers got a preview of the Book Fair, created wish lists, and were served a menu of terrifying treats. Crew members created buzz about the Fair by doing booktalks and daily PA announcements.

The Crew also developed a reward that students at the school couldn’t get enough of! If students spent $25 at the Fair, they were able to visit the Fear Factor room. In the room, students were challenged to contests such as a taste test with spooky treats. Another popular contest was the One for Books grade war. Whichever grade donated the most money for One for Books won a no-homework night. All of these activities, plus trivia contests, locker lottery, and guessing games, made Sammy McClure’s Book Fair one of their best yet!

Wiley Middle School
Leander, Texas
Student Crew Count: 25
Book Fair Theme: The Kings Royal Book Fair

Hear ye! Hear ye! The Wiley Middle School Crew turned their media center into a royal castle and the Sherwood Forest. To generate Book Fair buzz, Crew members wore sandwich board, made posters, delivered daily announcements, and more. And as part of the Family Night, the Crew planned a talent show that included singers, dancers, comedians, bands, skits, and more. The show included more than 30 acts, and created a lot of excitement among parents and students.

To generate One for Books funds, the Crew developed a contest in which the grade receiving the most donations got to throw pies at their counselor. The eighth grade Crew members won the pie-tossing honor! Counselors weren’t the only ones involved in this grand event. A teacher sneak peek was planned, complete with a costume contest. Students who dressed up in medieval attire were also awarded a prize. This was a royal event that got the whole school community involved!

Cypress Lake Middle School
Ft. Myers, Florida
Student Crew Count: 20
Book Fair Theme: Reading Campaign 2008

Two-thousand and eight was not only a history-making year for the country, but it was also one for Cypress Lake Middle School. The Crew chose Reading Campaign 2008 as their Book Fair theme, teaching their school about the presidential election as well books. The Crew reached out to Margaret Peterson Haddix, Carl Hiaasen, Roland Smith, and Gordon Korman and featured them part of their reading campaign. They even received e-mails and bookmarks from some of the authors! The Crew members campaigned with T-shirts and signs for the different authors, trying to rally other students at their school to vote for their authors. This activity greatly increased excitement about books by these authors, making them top-sellers at the Fair.

Besides the six-week campaign, the Crew also made daily commercials to air on the school’s news show. A goal chart marked the Book Fair goal, and when sales reached $2,500, the assistant principal dressed like Uncle Sam and led the students in singing patriotic songs. And, when the sales reached $3,500, it was pie time! The student who bought the most books got to throw a pie at the Book Fair chairperson/media specialist. What is more American than taking an apple pie in the face to promote reading!

Lone Oak Middle School
Paducah, Kentucky
Student Crew Count: 16
Book Fair Theme: It’s a Green Thing!

What do 320 two-liter bottles, 10 lbs. or broken glass, 20 lbs. of old newspapers, 50 old T-shirts, five crates of books, and a school-wide writing and reading event have in common? It’s a Green Thing!, Lone Oak Middle School’s fall 2008 Book Fair. Crew members created a theme that not only got kids to visit the Book Fair, but also learn about recycling. Students created decorations out of recycled materials that said things like, “Read, Return, Repeat” and “Read-Refresh.” The “Read-Refresh” message was placed on an 8-ft. tall two-liter bottle made out recycled soda bottles.

To advertise the Fair, students wrote promotional videos that aired on the closed-circuit TV network and on the school’s Web site. The Crew hosted Donuts for Dads and Granddads and Muffins for Moms and Grandmothers events, which they say attributed to $1,000 in extra Book Fair sales. Another event to increase student excitement was a Twilight evening filled with a trivia game, contests, and book discussion. The students also created a Starbooks Café reading area, and a “Going Green” newspaper with articles about the importance of recycling.

Congratulations to all contest entrants for participating and especially to our national winners!


Connect Kids With Books They Want to
Read – Schedule a Book Fair Today!
Announcing our featured theme for Fall 2014!