The Book Club worked hard last week and the week before to prepare for our pilot project for Grade 9: the highly anticipated A Blind Date With A Book.
The idea was to give books (by popular authors, from best-selling lists – anywhere, really) to Grade 9 English classrooms with the covers wrapped so as to hide the title and author. They were then given one month to read their book, with a possibility to randomly swap books at the beginning. This would permit students to enjoy a book they may never have picked up if they had read the back or looked at the cover picture; it also adds an air of mystery to an enjoyable (we hope) read as the students would be instructed to never take the covers off while they finished their book.
Zeyn Sen and I had a great time telling everyone about it in Monday announcements in a way that was funny and engaging, and the idea was met with enthusiasm from students and teachers alike. We like to plan activities that are fun and promote reading of any kind, and this was a great idea to get the ninth graders on our side and reading books.
It was nice to have new activity to plan for; especially something smaller and more concrete than our big reading competitions. We had “wrap parties” at book club meetings — Mondays at lunch — where all TBC members wrapped books for each English class. It wasn’t always easy going: we had lots of books to wrap and little time to do it. Everyone had a different style of wrapping and some were more effective than others. Our most successful method was to wrap the brown paper around the front and back cover and tape it to the jacket. In total, we wrapped over 100 books for Mr. Common, Mr. Dewar, Mrs. Hart, Mr. Taylor, Mrs. McCachen and Mrs. Fraser’s classes. It was a lot of work (wrapping each individual book properly took time!) and we had a group of dedicated members who came in during recess, lunch breaks and spares to make sure we met our quota on time. Disaster struck when a few of us came in to wrap the last books and we ran out of wrapping paper. So, to anyone who received a book wrapped in a cut-up envelope, the Book Club is truly sorry.
All in all, it was a fun experience. The Grade 9 students now have about a month to read their “Blind Date” novel and we hope they have a lot of fun — and learn to never judge a book by its cover!