I didn't know schools still did this. I should connect with my local school to donate money for kids who cannot afford the books.
I remember being embarrassed when I was a kid, pretending to shop for books and not seeing anything I liked.
Oh god I did same thing, I circled all the books I wanted, wished so bad I could get some books. I remember the teacher having all the kids pass forward their orders, I never had one. Same for school pictures, yearbooks. Now my son is in 1st grade, I may be bad father because I cannot take him to Disneyland but i sure as fuck make sure he gets all the books he wants when the Scholastic flyer comes out. Last order went in just a few days ago, best $50 ever spent in my opinion. Looking forward to Duck on a Tractor
I may be bad father because I cannot take him to Disneyland
Prioritizing books over Disneyland isn't such a bad choice IMO. Especially since tickets are over $100 a person.
Sometimes my mom would very carefully, after checking and double checking her check book and expenses, write me out a check for one book and it was always such a happy thing for me.
Dude fuck disneyland, it is an orchestrated money grab and the worst thing you spend all the money for travel, fees and other accomodations and you will still have a bad time because you can't splurge at the sovenir shops or get the food you want or whatever.
Duck on a Tractor is a fantastic read
Hey man in my honest opinion. I had so much more fun with my dad camping than I did driving 20 hours to Florida to go to the parks. Also as a father of two I absolutely can't wait until I can buy scholastic books for my boys. I too was never able to get anything like that at school.
Dude, eBay! You can get used children’s books used for a couple bucks including shipping! I’ve filled my 5 year old’s book shelf for practically nothing
I never went to Disneyland, and I think I'm glad for that. I never wanted my dad to be worse off for me and I was happy to just spend time with him.
Cherish every moment with your son. I would gladly trade everything I have for another day with him.
This is a great idea. Do schools accept donations for this purpose?
Absolutely. In my kids' school, the parents group raises money and gives the principal an allowance to spend on activities like this so every kid who wants a book can have one. Scholastic also donates some books to the school that can either go to the library or be given out to needy kids. Some teachers will even add books to their personal "wish list" for this purpose.
Yes. Most are organized by the parent organizations (PTA, PTO, etc.) - and you can make earmarked donations to go towards a specific initiative such as Book Fair.
The whole thing is a fundraiser anyway, they'd better.
At my daughter's school kids leave their wish lists and random people can go in and fill them. (Filled 3 at the last book fair)
When our kids were little, we were doing pretty well. I would go to the school the morning that book fair started and pay the cashier enough for each child in my kids' classes to get $10 worth of merchandise. It cost about $500 for both classes, but it was the most awesome experience to watch these kids wander around and decide how to spend their money. Some kids bought all pencils, others bought a book. A few gave their $10 coupon to one of the other kids in the class because their parents were ordering their books. It was pretty much the best money I spent every year to know that not a single kid in those classes had to walk around and go back to class with nothing.
that's super amazing of you. I want to be like you when I grow up
That's actually a really cool idea. My son's class this coming year will likely be under 10 students, so it should be easy enough to do even with our limited budget
I too remember the shame of not having money for the book fairs, snack time, etc. Sometimes for lack of $$ & sometimes because my mom forgot (she worked 12 hour nights for over 20 years & for 2 years only had 1-2 nights off a month-so a lot of things were missed/forgotten)
Jesus I swear I'm not crying I just have something in both eyes.
Fuck Scholastic Books right in the ear. I teach at an inner city charter school and every year it breaks my heart to see all this prettily packaged overpriced CRAP, along with the overpriced books, stand just out of reach of kids whose parents either work 2 and 3 jobs just to survive, or are drug addicts who couldn't care less if their kid owned a book or not.
And a big THANK YOU to Half Price books, who will donate boxes and boxes of FREE books to schools like mine, so we can have a REAL bookfair, laying out all the books on table after table in the cafeteria, sorted by grade, and the kids can each have FIVE books. Their little faces are so happy, like they've won the lottery. We do this in May so they have books over the summer.
Can you donate to Half Price books?
Agreed. I'm a librarian at an elementary school and refuse to run these any more.
Yes. It's a money making scheme for the school with middle man scholastic pocketing the majority.
Instead of buying from them, I would have the kids circle what they wanted and then help them find the books in the school or public library online catalog. Majority of the books can be checked out and don't have to be purchased. It still sucks for the kids though because of the allure and feelings it causes.
I was embarrassed that my family didn't have the money for me to purchase anything. I remember getting the sheet as to what there is and maybe getting one thing from it if I was lucky.
Same. I remember one year I was able to buy an eraser on the table by the cashier for like 25 cents
Yup. Growing up poor made book fair day a pretty gloomy event for me because I loved books. Good thing the libraries were free.
Money was always tight in my family, but my parents would always find a way to afford a few books. I was always told to write down the names of the books I wanted and bring the list home. We'd go to the local book store, pick one or two from the list, and buy it for 60%-ish of what it cost via Scholastic, or try to find a used copy.
And then sadly walking up to the purchasing area, only being able to afford this 5 cent Garfield pencil topper :/
Same here,walked around looking for the cheapest book possible to buy with my $1 I had for lunch just so people wouldnt ask questions about my home life I didnt want to answer. Found one of those books a few years ago,was a book about Bo Jackson.
Very similar story from my childhood. I loved the whole event, but would often leave empty-handed as my parents simply didn't have any money to spare for it. I will look into donating for this purpose.
I'm fairly certain these trucks were the sole source of Goosebumps novels.
Authors trapped in those trucks forced to write goosebumps forever
Black mirror episode?
The best books ever
I remember the newer editions having that choices options... turn to page 23 if you will rather meet stacy than go into woods alone... man memories
I was always uncomfortable the day that the Scholastic book orders came in and me and all the poor kids got to watch the other kids open the packages of shiny new books and pencils and bookmarks.
One time I managed to save enough money to order these little tiny woodpeckers that attached to your pencil and "pecked" at it while you were writing. I was so excited to finally have something delivered! When the delivery day came, my order wasn't there. They just stiffed me. It's like they knew that I wasn't a good customer. I never ordered anything from them again, so I guess they were right.
I've never wanted to buy a stranger on the internet something as frivolous as woodpecker pencil toppers. But now I do. I just imagined your sad 6-10 year old face not getting this and it made me sad. If you want, PM me, and I'll buy and send you some.
I am already past the age of wonder, but I'm sure there is a kid in a school near you that isn't.
My teacher wouldn't let us poor kids go to the book fair because "there is no way you have enough money to buy a book" that shit hurt. We would pool are money together and have one of the "rich" kids buy us a book or game.
your teacher was a dick.
what an ass!
Wow. These seem to be completely diffrent from how they are in the UK.
In the UK they set up in the school hall for the week, each class goes one day in the week and anyone can go after school. They only sold books, nothing else (actually, that might have changed towards the end) and rarely would anyone but more than 1-2 things. There was no "ordering system", you brought it whilst you were there and got it there too, as if it were a normal shop.
Our school did both the order form & the small market like what you describe
I came here to write this exact same thing. His was probably one of the most disappointing days at school for me.
It's basically a giant scam. The school board gets a tiny % of the proceeds and the school pressures kids & parents to buy.
You're literally overpaying for books you can find cheaper from Amazon - and much of that overage isn't even going to the school.
My dad tried to convince me of that when I was a kid - still a sad day though.
Its truly sad i spent $50 on 4 books a week ago at the scholastic book fair a my childs school.
60% of the profits go back to the organizers (school or PTA) which helps pay for various things provided at the school.
Never bought books from the book fair - just bitchin' lambo posters.
"HE BOUGHT A GOD DAMN COUNTACH!"
More like Poontach, AMIRITE!?
There's a Lotus
Elise Esprit somewhere in my house from one of them.
Holy hell I had that poster. Little glass inserts on the doors. Wow fucking throwback thanks for that man.
This is hilarious. Just the other night, my daughter was like, "why are they sold out of Lamborghini posters?"
Ironically, the nerds who got the books instead are the ones who ended up with the actual lambos.
I don't think reading Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus in 2nd grade exactly correlates with exotic car ownership.
Yeah, but they just shoot all their cool cars into space ಠ_ಠ
I got my mom to buy me a Spiderman 3 poster and I walked out with everyone staring at it. Felt great back then
This was the day at school when I was reminded of how poor I was.. not an awesome day.
same. I always get bummed out seeing book fair posts. teacher still made me go and walk around awkwardly.
"Wow this is cool!"
I went straight to the 15,000 Cheatcodes book and started copying down as many damn codes as I could for my old games because I couldn't buy anything but dreams at the book fair.
Ugh. That was the worst.
Yeah for me it was the school carnival. My parents were always working and money was tight so i would legit just walk around trying none of the activities while all the other kids would have a blast while their parents paid. Was always embarrassing when other parents would ask why i wasn't in the bouncy castle with my friends.
I work in a school and every time they have this I realize how poor I still am.
I used to be poor, I mean, I still am, but I used to be too.
Same here. I was so excited to browse the ads they gave out in class prior to the day of the book fair. I would always circle the items I wanted and begged my mom to let me get something, but I was always given a "maybe." She just hoped she would have the extra cash to spare by the time the fair rolled around, but that was never a possibility.
Anyone else still able to remember the smell of the book fair?
It’s a mix of Barnes and Noble and musty old library smell mixed with whatever the librarians lunch was. Usually it was meatloaf or stir fry in a microwave.
This incredibly random memory that we all share makes me love the internet
Can't remember the smell of that, but I sure do love me a whiff of library books.
I see my boy Geronimo Stilton on there. I hope they still sell his books, loved that shit when I was a kid
I work in a Barnes and Noble. The Stilton books still sell pretty decently.
It's always pretty amazing how characters can transcend into different generations.
How about Clifford? I'm also wondering if they just never repaint the truck from scratch.
How can we make it so that every child in every classroom gets to order at least one book? No kid should have to feel that sadness and shame of not being able to order/receive books as the rest of the class does.
Schools have a library. Seems like the right answer is to really push using the library. I mean it’s like Netflix except it’s free and for books.
schools have a library
That’s not the point. OP was talking about the sadness and shame of not being able to order/receive books. As someone who never got to buy books from the book fair because my parents were divorced and my mom couldn’t afford to buy books for all of us kids, your comment comes off as super condescending. Like “get over it, there’s thousands of books in the library you have nothing to complain about”
Yeah, I love and hate Scholastic. Very fondly remember getting books. That part was awesome.
But I also remember my friend who wasn't as well off as we were, and he sent in an envelope with change in it, and they ended up sending it back to him because he was three pennies short.
I mean, that's a fuck you to a first/second grader. How old is that? 6? 7? Fuck you, Scholastic.
I ended up giving him one of the Garfield books I ordered.
But seriously, fuck you and all of your penny pinching, Scholastic.
Wouldn't it cost more to return it?
Step 1, vote in politicians that give a shit about children's educations
The poor should taste the satisfaction of what it is like to want and need, so they do not make the same mistake as their loser parents
-The GOP, probably
Love that these provide the opportunity for kids to purchase books they love, hate that the word purchase is part of the former part of this sentence. These were only fun for kids whose parents had the ability for them to participate. For everyone else it's salt in an open wound.
What's shitty is that since I started working in the publishing industry in Canada I've heard of so many dickish industry moves that Scholastics has pulled, ranging from threatening to abandon entire school districts if even one of them hosts a competing book fair, to intentionally creating lower quality books designed to fall apart quickly so kids buy more. They're a huge issue in the Canadian market because, being American, they have no desire to put out Canadian content and instead flood schools with American material.
Over the years they essentially made themselves invaluable to Canadian public schoolls, but any time someone in Canada tries to call them out on shitty bully tactics they bully the person/group into silence. Canada is like 6% of their profit margin, and the Canadian school board knows that if they piss off Scholastics they'll happily leave and barely notice a change in revenue.
The average Canadian public school library has roughly 15% Canadian books, and it's in large part due to Scholastics and other big multinationals.
TL;DR So on one hand, yay books for kids! On the other hand, boo Scholastics for intentionally selling kids books designed to fall apart and holding the desperate and underfunded Canadian school library system hostage, while flooding the market with American books.
My kids school takes book donations. They put those books on a separate table and sell them for 25 cents to help the kids who can't afford it. I know parents and teachers also chip in to help out.
Dolly Parton has a great service where you can register your kid to get free books. Books are screened for educational value. www.imaginationlibrary.com. You can make donations there to help. The more I read about that lady, the more I'm impressed.
Yep, and done Dollies way, the poor kids don't get left out.
This is a much, much better program than the commercial, for-profit scholastic book fairs, which are more about chronically underfunded schools trying to find a way to make a little cash, which they have to share with the event organizer (which pockets a tidy profit) by emotionally blackmailing parents into participating in the shakedown, and is designed to ensure parents have the least possible control over what value their child gets from that money.
We do this. Our daughter's room is getting packed with books now. Several of these books have a bigass crease down the middle because, while having "PLEASE DO NOT BEND BOOKS" printed on their shipping label, they come in via non-FirstClass mail and so the mailman folds them in half to fit them in our mailbox.
When I went into the post office, early on a Saturday morning, to complain that is what the woman at the counter told me. "We get hundreds of these books every month. They aren't First-Class mail, so we bend them all.". After picking my jaw up off of the counter, I had her make a note to hold ours and we'll pick them up.
Just a friendly FYI for others that may want to start this thing. The books have all been pretty good so far too. And they'll make an easy donation when our kids get bigger, and we need to make room for more advanced books.
I was a rich little shit in school, my parents were investors. When the book fair came into town, it was like second Christmas. The year after the GFC, we had hit rock bottom (unbeknownst to little me). I got upset at my parents for not buying me some dumb books, and instead stole them. My parents found out (like obviously your kid comes home with books you didn't pay for) and told the librarian. She had seen me do it, and payed for the books on my parents behalf. I didn't deserve that kindness.
This is some ridiculous privilege. You steal, someone feels bad for you, and she secretly pays for the books. People without privilege steal, get suspended, and sent to juvie.
I’m glad you appreciate all the good fortune you’ve had. Pass it on! You don’t have to feel bad about privilege but people should recognize that it’s real and try to help those without it.
I wouldn't say his "privilege" had anything to do with it. If a super under privileged poor kid had stole the same books the librarian would have paid for them all the same. She probably felt like doing someone a kindness. Sure op was privileged, but not in these circumstances. I doubt you are trying to virtue signal, but I figured I'd warn you before you egged your face my fellow redditor!
How could the librarian know the kid was privileged just from seeing him steal some books once? I bet that person would have paid for the stolen books regardless of where the kid doing the stealing came from.
If I have a nephew or niece that has this going on at school, I make sure to give them some money. These were the best days of school for me, unfortunately, I was too poor to afford to buy anything. Looking was still fun tho!
I never actually bought books. I bought some of the zany toys and school supplies like a giant pen or a bendy pencil
Oh shit i got to buy a bendy pencil once, used to love that thing
Yoooo bendy pencils were the shit
Our elementary school used to have pencil vending machines in the office in case you needed one. They were like a quarter or something and had professional sports teams logos on them (this was during the Starter Jacket years). I used to go in whenever I had a quarter just to collect them all. They looked so badass in the 5star zip-up football texture binder that my friend gave me when his dad bought him a new one.
Oh boy oh boy Only good memories from these days
We weren't super poor, but my mom was always thrifty. Hell, she volunteered at my school's book fair and I wouldn't get anything. "You can get that at the library for free."
When I was in school these were awkward days for me. We didn’t have money for this kind of stuff, so just kinda hung out in the library while other kids got cool stuff. Hope they figured out how to make this inclusive.
I can smell those flyers they used to hand out before the book fair came. Always got hyped.
Pro Tip for parents looking to help: go to the book fair with your kid and bring extra money. Once there ask your child to find friends who have no money to buy books, then buy them a book or two. I have done this the last few years with my daughter and the lucky kids are so happy it's great (of course it helps a bit if you know the kids or families that need help ahead of time).
So why does scholastic cost so much more than anywhere else? You can even find the same books at barnes and nobles for better prices? (not trolling i seriously don't know why)
We didn't have a lot of extra cash when our kids were little so we told them if they found something they wanted at the book fair we'd buy it from amazon, or go to half-price books. I just couldn't justify the prices they charge.
We frequently still make family trips to half-price books. Picked up some Dresden files for myself good series.
Part of the price mark up is raising money for the school.
could be just me but i'd rather just buy what the school needs or donate money for a specific resource than go through these third party shell games. To me scholastic and the chocolates and most of the other "fundraisers" seem kind of like scams.
If the third grade class needs kleenex and more construction paper, let me know i'll go buy some, maybe even in bulk.
I run two of these book fairs a year. I both love them and hate them.
Unless you were one of the kids who didn't get anything. I'm seeing a lot of that in here, so I know people share my despair. When my kids bring home a book order form, I try (sometimes I just can't) to order them a book so they don't have to know that feeling of being the kid who couldn't afford to feel awesome like the rest.
Of course, The first time I ordered for my son, when the order came in, he got a voucher and was told his book was out of stock....so that backfired.
Man I loved those fairs.
Fuck that. Does no one else think it's atrocious that we allow a private publishing company to have exclusive access to public schools?
These book fairs are run as fundraisers and school participation is voluntary. In my school district, Scholastic ends up donating a bunch of materials for the library and classrooms above and beyond what the school earns from book sales.
I'm on the PTA at my kids' school so I get to help organize these. We get 60% of the funds back in books for the library. We definitely get our time's worth. We also have a draw where the kids can win books. Most of the sales actually don't happen during the day though. The kids come through and check out the books but 95% aren't sent to school with money. The parents buy them in the evening so it makes it less obvious who doesn't have money for anything.
Do they still have those scary stories books? I remember being terrified of the art but unable to put it down.
Unless they’re poor. I hated book fairs as kid because my family was dirt poor and I could never get anything
Edit: didn’t see that a lot of the people in the comments shared my sentiment. Good to know I wasn’t the only one.
Damn, I remember books days. They would send out the flyers with all the books and other things which were on sale and my sister and I would spend days circling them and deciding which ones we wanted.
Then when the actual day came around, we would HATE it... because we didn't have enough money to buy books while other kids bought stuff.
Unless their parents are poor. Then it's just a huge disappointment.