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Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Library Hosts Annual Break For Books Event

Victoria Pietrus
Many books are shelved for students to browse through and select one for themselves.

The library’s Break for Books event made its annual occurrence this past week. The event, which was suspended during Covid and returned as of last year, is a multiple day long event where English teachers bring their classes to the library to encourage their students to engage in summer reading over the summer break. Librarians, both of the Niles West Library and from local libraries such as the Skokie Public Library, come together to teach students about books from various genres and levels, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Librarian Victoria Pietrus gave a little bit of insight into how Break for Books came to be, how the event is now different from what it used to be, and her thoughts on the significance of the event.

“Break for Books is where the library distributes a free book to students to read for enjoyment over the summer. They also receive a free bag and bookmark.  Additionally, the local public librarians are invited to present information on their summer resources and they help with book talks to promote the different options on the list. Formerly, students would have to pay for their book but now the cost of books is covered with a grant from the district; it came to be a partnership with the English department. I think Break for Books provides an opportunity to browse a range of options that they’ll hopefully connect to. In the fall, students have a common framework of options to discuss and teachers can use the books with assignments to kick off their school year,” Pietrus said.

English teacher Saima Iqbal shared her thoughts regarding the benefits her students can reap from the Break for Books event and through engaging in summer reading in general.

“The Break for Books sessions are wonderful, and I can’t thank our amazing Niles West librarians enough for hosting this event. Plus, the event just fell at the perfect time, right after PSATs. I feel like selecting a book from a list can be daunting, and the book talks definitely help students find the right book for them. Plus, the variety of books for summer reading is insane in the best ways. There’s a book listed for everyone, no matter their interests. It has Scholastic Book Fair vibes but the books are free. To me, summer reading is super beneficial. It’s a great way to build vocabulary and entertain yourself when school isn’t in session. By reading, you get to create your own cast of characters and live through the events in your head, which is better than any movie, in my opinion. Plus, I feel like reading a physical book is a nice alternative to a phone or computer screen,” Iqbal said.

Freshman Zainab Nathani expressed her interest in the book she chose and her thoughts about engaging in reading over the summer break.

“I’m excited to read it over the summer because I enjoy the genre of the book that I chose. I think summer reading is a good way to stay engaged in school. I think staying up to date with reading, especially when you’re not in school and it’s summer, can help me improve my vocab and reading ability in general. I think the event was a good experience and it was nice to hear book talks from the librarians,” Nathani said.

Iqbal also conveyed her plans for engaging her future students in summer reading, sharing how it all could aid her students in their learning as well.

“I plan on assigning a creative project related to summer reading. Allowing students the freedom to explore the stories in their own way and share with their classmates is important. Plus, I’ve found that it also helps students get to know each others’ interests and connect earlier on in the school year. They might have shared interest and they get to find that out from something as simple as summer reading,” Iqbal said.

Overall, Break for Books is an event that many, teachers and students alike, can benefit from. Be sure to read the book you chose over the summer!

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