The only downfall was these books only come in paperback since they're new so our library doesn't have the durable Turtle binding. Needless to say, some of them came back looking really doggedy. I mean, this was the first year they were ever used and the bottom pages of one came back magenta for crying out loud! "What happened?" "Oh, my crayons fell out in the bottom of my backpack!" "Good grief!"
Hence the reason for my implementation of gallon-sized Ziploc book bags for students to tote their novels to and fro. Especially since this time around they will be my brand new lit set of One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia! This is such a great read and I can't believe I've never read this author before, she has such a captivating way with words that makes you want to keep reading. Literally, I read this book from cover to cover in one sitting! Pick it up using Scholastic Book orders while they're $1 per copy when placing a TAB February order. That's what I did; bought half with points and the other half with dollars! This morning, it was even the #1 bestseller of Children's African American books on Amazon.com
Using the gallon-sized Ziploc bags, any brand will do. I'm actually a fan of the Dollar Tree kind because they're plain with no lettering to compete with. You can even fit worksheets or the lit unit packet inside and still be able to zip it shut (as long as the novel isn't too fat)! However, they're not as durable as Ziploc bags are, so you do lose some quality points if you go the dollar store route. If you'd like to create a set of book bags for your class, just pick up the freebie below and have the following materials on hand:
*fluorescent copy paper (I prefer lime green)
*gallon-sized clear Ziploc bags