Lower School News

Nueva Book Fairs Delight Diverse Community of Readers
Louise Schultze

Since 1985, the Hillsborough Book Fair has been an annual weeklong celebration of books and the rich literary environment here at Nueva. With a variety of fiction and nonfiction books hand-selected with Nueva readers in mind, the Hillsborough Book Fair is one of the most carefully curated book fairs in the country.

“We are the only school in the Scholastic system nationwide that’s allowed to sell some of the books with this rich, mature content,” said book fair co-chair Donna Wingate. “The depth, richness, and complexity of our selection at the fair is different from others since we have such a supportive, open-minded community of readers here at Nueva.”

Donna and her co-chair, Helen Na, have been working with book vendors since last January to select the best books for the community. From the unique, limited-release pop-up book This Book is a Planetarium to popular graphic novels and historical, empowering stories for children like She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton, Helen said they searched for “beautiful books with substance beyond normal picture books” to sell at the fair.

“We mine for gems that may not sell much, but are perfect for this community,” said Helen.

In addition to books, the fair also featured strategic math games selected by lower school math specialist Lora Saarnio, delicate jewelry designed by admissions associate Lupe Ruiz, and a work of historical fiction by middle school humanities teacher Gary Kaplan. Proceeds from the Hillsborough Book Fair allow the library to purchase new books and support the authors invited to speak to students during Literacy Week.

New and gently used books were also collected during the book fair to support the nationwide African Library Project, an organization that changes lives by building libraries for eager readers in rural Africa. This year's book donations will go to Ghana for the thirteenth library that Nueva has helped create. "There are countries in Africa with no electricity, no running water, and definitely no books," said African Library Project founder and president Chris Bradshaw, who came to speak to the Community Service Club. "A library is a lot more than books — it's a sign of support from the community."

In the spirit of “two campuses, one school,” the Bay Meadows Book Fair also took place last week. Now in its third year, the Bay Meadows Book Fair, located just outside the Writing and Research Center (WRC), doubled its earnings from the first to second year. Fifteen percent of all proceeds earned during the Book Fair will go to the WRC to provide more books and resources for students.

“We had a lot of student traffic outside the WRC, and it was fun to overhear the students recommending books to each other and looking at the book bundles their teachers put together,” said Bay Meadows Book Fair chair Tracy Yosten. Twenty Nueva upper school teachers put together bundles of their favorite literature, from fiction to memoirs, which sold very well at the book fair.

To learn more about the book fairs, visit their individual websites: Hillsborough Book FairBay Meadows Book Fair.





 By Louise Schultze, Editor/Writer
December 6, 2017

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