Jordan Sonnenblick, author of Drums, Girls, and Dangerous PieCongratulations to the Winners of the Spring 2007
Middle School National Student Crew Contest!

Grand Prize Winner of a $2000 Shopping Spree at a Scholastic Book Fairs location and a personal appearance by Jordan Sonnenblick:

  • Shepherd Junior High School, Mesa, Arizona
    Highlights: “Come to Crystal City” was the call of Melanie Callahan and her Crew of 17.  The Shepherd Crew chose to execute a winter variation of The Wizard of Oz as their Book Fair theme.  Students, parents, and teachers (oh, my!) were lured to Crystal City via a yellow book road.  There in Crystal City, Crew members dressed as the Wizard of Books,  Dorothy, the wicked witch, and the cowardly white tiger, awaited shoppers.  Numerous posters depicting photos of Crew members in thematic costumes were made and displayed to generate a buzz about Crystal City. Library windows and the Book Fair environment were dressed in winter décor.  Twinkle lights sparkled throughout Crystal City inviting shoppers to linger and shop.

    Contests with titles like “Book Title Scramble,”  “Book Cover Design,” and “First Lines” helped to create excitement as well as expose students to books being offered at the Fair.  A “Penny Wars” challenge, inspired by Jordan Sonnenblick’s book, Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie, generated close to $500 for the benefit of the local Leukemia Society.  The Crew planned their family event to coincide with “Show Off Shepherd,”an annual event showcasing student talents. This year’s showcase also featured an appearance by Jon Lewis and Derek Benz, authors of The Rise of Black Wolf.  Crystal City characters roamed the hallways to bid passersby an invitation to the Fair and to remind everyone “There’s no place like the Book Fair!”  And, there’s no team like the Shepherd Crew.  Their efforts produced a 30% increase in sales over the prior year’s event!

First Place Runners Up each win a $1,000 Shopping Spree at a Scholastic Book Fairs location:

  • North Harrison Middle School, Ramsey, Indiana
    Book Fair Chairperson Jane Smith and her Crew of 32 planned an extraordinary April Book Fair.  The event was also inspired by Mr. Sonnenblick’s book Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie.  After reading the book, the Crew wanted to promote reading but also involve students in a worthwhile community service project.  They decided to conduct a book drive for underprivileged children and to help a local young lady named “Abby,” who is currently battling bone cancer. Hence, a medical theme for their Fair was born … “Emergency: CODE READ”.

    Students researched cancer awareness organizations and developed activities, contests, decorations, and signage to raise awareness of leukemia, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, heart disease, and AIDS. Doors were decorated with awareness messages and reminders.  A play about a boy, whose brain froze up from overexposure to video games, was performed for the benefit of students.  To liven up book sales, the Crew created a “Pie a Teacher” goal chart.  Pie tins displayed photos of faculty members.  With every $200 in sales achieved, another teacher was added to the list of those getting pied. In addition, the Crew created and sold Dangerous Pie concoctions as a fundraiser for Abby.  An extraordinary Book Fair by an extraordinary group of students.  Never doubt that a small group of committed individuals can make a difference.  Indeed, the North Harrison Crew did.

  • Graves County Middle School, Mayfield, Kentucky
    “Peace, Love & Books” was the theme of the Graves County Book Fair.  Kelly Locker and her Crew of 36 took their school back to the 60s by transforming the library into the grooviest 60’s scene imaginable.  To attract attention, Crew members built a Volkswagen van around the entrance to the library.  Inside, giant peace signs, flowers, and smiley faces decorated the Fair.  A 15-foot tall lava lamp dangled from the ceiling and groovy art from a local artist was displayed.  Crew members wore tie-dyed T-shirts and assisted shoppers while music from the time period set the mood.

    Family Night, also known as “Bookstock,” carried a hippie theme and was a huge success.  Students dressed as hippies and the school’s choir performed favorite hits from the 1960s.  A competition among homerooms generated a lot of interest among students.  The homeroom class buying the most books won the opportunity to “makeover” their teacher.  As their community service project, the Crew used the One for Books program to buy books for the Ronald McDonald House of Louisville. Their efforts resulted in raising $225 for books.  All in all, the school experienced their hippest and biggest Book Fair in their 11-year history. Far-out, man.

  • Mt. Solo Middle School, Longview, Washington
    “Lights! Camera! Action!” was the theme of the Mt. Solo Middle School Book Fair held in late February.  Marjie Castle and her Crew of 16 planned their reading event to coincide with Literacy Week.  Invitations were sent out to local politicians and district administrators soliciting support of the Fair by being a guest reader.  In keeping with their theme, Book Fair activities were videotaped, then played back repeatedly throughout the week.

    Activities included movie-related contests and the highly popular “Favorite Movie Character Dress Up Day”, which culminated with Oscars being awarded to the best costumes of the day.  Students also enjoyed a good laugh watching 8 faculty members sing and dance for the chance of being named the “Mt. Solo Idol.”

    The Crew pulled together props, decorations, movie posters, and a popcorn machine to transform the library into a movie theatre lobby.  “Now Playing” signage showcased the names of books available at the Fair that had been made into movies.  Family Night attractions included an invitation to watch movies and enjoy free popcorn.  The Mt. Solo Crew certainly placed a spotlight on the Book Fair for one week, but the reward for Crew members, according to them, was the fun, friendship, and chance to connect fellow students with entertaining books.

  • East Valley Middle School, East Helena, Montana
    Judy Salisbury and her Crew of 25 settled on the theme of “H.E.R.O.: Helping Everyone Read Often”.  The Crew joined forces with others in the school to recognize community heros. Contests like “Who Is This Hero?” and “Draw Your Hero” were conducted by the Crew to engage student interest and participation in the Book Fair. Activities like “Nominate Your Hero” brought recognition in a special way to four students and two faculty members. Together with the student council, the Crew organized a Valentine’s Day Dance to honor and thank veterans.

    In an effort to benefit a local Head Start program, the Crew organized a Little Buddies/Big Buddies activity. Titled “Bucks for Books for Our Buddies,” their campaign goal was to raise $300 to buy hardcover books from the Fair for Head Start little buddies.  The Crew promised a visit by Batman, Robin, and Batgirl if the $300 goal was achieved.  The goal was reached, resulting in the highest grossing January Book Fair ever at East Valley Middle School and a visit by the Bat Trio (who, by the way, suspiciously resembled the principal, a faculty member, and a certain Book Fair Chairperson … all in masks and tights).  “Holy Bat Babes, Batman!”

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

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