SWAP THIS?

Every spring, my littluns’ school holds a book swap, and every spring, I help my children select pre-loved books to trade during said swap. Picture a Zen-filled moment, complete with classical music frolicking in the background, as two avid readers relive their favorite titles with their teacher-mother. Because I’m sure in one of the houses in town, that’s happening. In our house, however, the moment is often a teensy bit stress-filled, as Mommy usually isn’t told about the swap until thirty minutes past bedtime. The night before. And even then, the only background noise is the bickering of two exhausted children.

But I digress.

This year, as we were combing through shelves, on hands and knees (which, as it turns out, is a position from which I can’t as readily rebound as I once could), I started thinking: If our goal is to foster a love of reading in our students, why do book swaps end just because elementary school does? How much more real-world can we get than creating opportunities for our middle and high school students to peruse, interact with, discuss, and get excited about free, new-to-them titles? If students are done with their (Sarah) Dessen, have finished their (F. Scott) Fitzgerald, and/or are contented with their (Tom) Clancy, why can’t they trade them in for something new–and free?

And so there, on my aching hands and throbbing knees, an idea was born: Room 1227’s First-Ever Book Swap! And it’s happening in all of my high school classes next week. The students (and teacher) are pretty excited about it.

Even the ones who are too cool for school.

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