how to replace a classroom library

I may be the book blogger in my family, but all of my siblings love to read, and my sister (and best friend!) Ginny is a huge fan of YA lit – and not only does she love reading it, she teaches it!  She’s a 9th grade English teacher in Washington State.  Ginny is an amazing teacher and inspiration, and this was her first week back teaching after an intense summer of volunteering.  Last night severe storms caused parts of the roof of her school to collapse, and classrooms flooded.  When she went in to work this morning, there was standing water 2" deep in her classroom, and part of the ceiling had fallen.

The good news is that she and her kids are safe – all of the major damage happened overnight.  They closed down the whole school, as around twelve classrooms were affected (here's the video news segment).  The bad news is that there’s a ton of work to do to make it safe for classes again, and part of that work means ripping out walls she’s spent hours decorating. 

The flooding also destroyed Ginny’s classroom library, which she has collected over the past 7 years (with my help!).  Her 300+ books were sitting at ground level and soaked up the water and debris.  Visualizing all of that hard work and those lost books made me cry, and I know I’m not even close to feeling what she feels, and I can’t imagine what her students will lose out on.

My heart is aching for her, and I need to do something to help. 

I can’t do anything about the walls of her room, but I can do something about the books.  I’m going to donate from my own shelves and fill a couple of boxes to send to her.  I’d also like to solicit your help, dear readers.  In the comments, please tell me what books you’d put in a 9th grade classroom library.  I’ll search for used copies of those titles on Amazon and other sites and put together a big order for Ginny and her kids.

Do you know other ways to help?  Please mention them!  Thank you!

(If by some miracle you’d also like to donate appropriate books, you can send them to Ferrucci Junior High in Puyallup, Washington, care of Miss Larsen.  The mailing address should be easily searchable on the interwebs.)

*All photos (before and after) by Ginny


Ginny Larsen said...

thanks for posting this! i love you tons... you're the best sister ever.

Tina said...

That's awful! The important thing, as you said, is no one was hurt but the loss of books is so sad!
I will see if I have any in our closets my son left after he loved out.

Tales of Whimsy said...

Oh nooo!

This breaks my heart. I was just telling her on Twitter how pretty her classroom is.


I'm a minimalist so I don't have any books really to donate but does she have a PayPal account we can send donations too maybe? I can't give much but I would love to give something.

Liviania said...

Books to get:
Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth
Mexican White Boy by Matt de la Pena
Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher
Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
My Life as a Rhombus by Varian Johnson
Nothing Can Possibly go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Faith Erin Hicks
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Salvation by Anne Osterlund
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
In Darkness by Nick Lake
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
Pinned by Sharon G. Flake
Sorta Like a Rock Star by Matthew Quick
The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress
Rapture Practice by Aaron Hartzler
White Cat by Holly Black
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Dark Dude by Oscar Hijuelos
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
Flygirl by Sherri Smith
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

Lauren said...

I hate that happened to her classroom, she had it decorated so beautifully! But as you said the important thing is no one was hurt. Some of the books I remember reading in the 9th grade are:
A Midsummer's Night's Dream - William Shakespeare
Romeo & Juliet - William Shakespeare
To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Flame Trees of Thika - Elspeth Huxley
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
An American Childhood - Annie Dillard
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
I know I read so many more books then that in the 9th grade but that's all I can remember right now.


vvb32 reads said...

So sad to hear. Perhaps you can create a wish list somewhere of books that we can contribute. On Amazon or a blog post with the list would do.

Col (Col Reads) said...

As a teacher, I can't tell you how I feel your sister's pain. Our AAUP manages an enormous used book sales every year. If your sister has a wish list, I would be happy to raid it for books! Also, if she has a local indie book store that might give her books at cost, donations would go farther there than at a chain!

Newer Posts Older Posts Home