I can’t think of many things worse than having to settle for a less-than-great class novel because it’s all that’s in your closet and you can’t afford anything better.
This happened to me four years ago when teaching sixth grade reading for the first time. I had no choice but to teach Esperanza Rising.
Earlier this school year, I purchased 75 copies of Freak The Mighty for $75. Can’t beat that deal! If you’re really on a budget, you can get by with only purchasing a class set of 25 or so and reusing them with all of your classes. I prefer for my students to have their own copy while we’re reading whenever possible. I have 68 students, so 75 is a good number for me to always have an extra for a lost book or book left at home.
I’m sorry to tell you that this deal has expired, but you can still buy them for $3 a copy through Scholastic Reading Club. That’s more affordable than usual, at least. Most deals last half a year, so even though they’re only in the book order for a month, you can still buy them either Sept-Dec or Jan-June.
So how do you find the $1 deals?
I go in every few weeks and look for the updated order forms. There is always a $1 book in each grade level brochure, so I make sure to check grades 3 and up, just in case. A few weeks ago I noticed that this little gem of a book was $1 AGAIN!
I’ve taught this novel for years, and I’ve never found a better novel for teaching the value of figurative language. I was so sad that the 7th grade ELA teacher at my school was using this novel, meaning I couldn’t teach it this year. Well, low and behold, she came to my room last week and announced that I “could have it!” because she didn’t like it and wouldn’t teach it again.
Woo to the HOO!! Last time they went on sale for $1, I bought an extra 50 for myself, even though I was taking a new job and didn’t know if I would need them. BUT I’ve decided I still want to buy 75 more copies, because this is an AWESOME novel for annotating, and I still want to maintain my stash. SO I’ll buy each of my students his own copy and we’ll annotate. This will be my book for March.
Book hoarding problem, anyone?
And I was JUST feeling sorry for myself because I couldn’t find a great Civil Rights novel to teach this year. The 8th grade teacher has Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry claimed, and those were the two best ones I’ve read.
I’m still SOOO excited about this one! I’m going to do something different in March with reading novels so I’ll blog about that soon.
For now, here are the novels that you can currently buy for $1 through Scholastic Reading Club and where you can find them. No matter which grade you teach, you can order from any of the flyers. And don’t wait on it for too long. Even though I seem to remember that they usually stay valid from Jan-June, nothing is guaranteed!
These are in order of my preference.
In 5th Grade February, one of my favorites of all time!
In Tab February, I’m ordering this as a new choice for literature circles.
The March flyers will be out soon, and I get excited just THINKING about what deals might be in them!