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South Valley Journal

Librarians provide smorgasbord of books to whet students’ reading appetites

Nov 25, 2019 03:15PM ● By Jet Burnham

Librarians offer students a smorgasbord of books to whet their appetites. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]

There are 5,000 books in the newly stocked library at Bluffdale’s new Mountain Point Elementary. School librarians Ashlee Frisbey and Salwa Bernier invited students to a book tasting to whet their appetites for trying new flavors of books.

“We wanted to help children to get better acquainted with books that they might not normally think to look at or to check out,” Frisbey said.

When classes visit the school library each week, they have a limited time to chose a book to check out for the week. The book tasting, as part of Children’s Book week, provided time for students to sample books from selections of various genres. 

“We pulled books that might not normally be checked out along with popular books and unusual ones that maybe they wouldn't think to check out,” Frisbey said. “They could try the different genres and see what they like.”

Clad in chef hats and aprons, Frisbey and Salwa encouraged students to try new flavors of books and to make note of interesting titles on a paper menu they provided. Students can refer to the menus to decide what books to check out in the following weeks.

Fifth grade teacher Sarah Sterling said students often resort to books and authors they are already familiar with. She said the book tasting provided books of assorted genres by a wide range of authors for them to explore.

“This really helps them understand that there are other books out there, too, that they can be interested in,” she said. “This is a really good way to expose them to that instead of just setting them free into the library.” 

Frisbey said popular books among elementary students include the historical fiction “I Survived” series, graphic novels such as the “Amulet” series by Kazu Kibuishi, W. Bruce Cameron’s books about dogs, and the “Captain Underpants” series by Dav Pilke. She said the “Dork Diaries” series by Rachel Renee Russell and the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series by Jeff Kinney have been a hit with kids for years.

“With this book tasting, hopefully they'll be able to find something else that they also like,” Frisbey said. “We all have different tastes, and just like food, there are some things that we like and don't like, and we don't always love everything that we try.”

Fifth grader Teigan Black said the book tasting gave him the chance to look through some picture books that he would have normally passed over because they are below his reading level. But he made note of the book “Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth” by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Harry Bliss, to check out at a later time.

“I didn't get to read all of it, but it was interesting, the first pages of it,” he said.

Austen Everett, another fifth grader, sampled “Peanut Butter Aliens” by Joe McGee.

“It was not what I thought it was, but it still had a really, really intriguing cover,” he said.

Austen loves to read a variety of genres of books. He is also likes a lot of different kinds of foods. His favorite food is sushi. When asked if he would choose one over the other, he said he would choose books “because they last a lot longer.”