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Student made book marks offer recommendations for your next read

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 4:20 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The Maine Teacher of the Year is partnering with a local book shop to get more kids reading.

“One of the things that I try to teach my students all year long is just the power of their voice to influence and impact others,” said Kelsey Stoyanova, who teaches 8th grade language arts in Hampden. Wednesday, the Maine Teacher of the Year was delivering these student made bookmarks to The Briar Patch. She says they represent the wide array of books they’ve read.

“No matter what happens, you can always come back stronger than before,” she read from one of them. “A theme from ‘One of the Good Ones.’”

Gibran Graham owns the store and knows his clientele.

“Always have kids come in and the last thing a kid sometimes wants to hear is a book that an adult thinks that they should read, so this is a way for kids to hear about other books from other kids,” he said.

In a Wonka-esque Golden Ticket fashion, the bookmarks will be placed in books around the store for their new owners to discover and get a recommendation.

“It’s really great to see, you know, kids kind of gravitate to a book because other kids like it, too,” said Graham. “And you know, whether it’s because they’re seeing themselves in it or they’re seeing their friends in that book on the cover, that type of thing, again, is just, it’s doubled by the idea of somebody else in the community who’s their age saying, hey, this book is great. You should read this.”

Perhaps you’ll find a twisty whodunnit from Agatha Christie, a story about the butterfly effect of kindness...or a sequel to a popular original tale.

You might not like any of those.

You could find something that speaks to you.

The point is you don’t know until you give it a read.

All with a goal of broadening horizons one page at a time.

“We are preparing our youth to be global citizens that can be empathetic, can be, you know, productive members of society and be accepting of the people that live around them, live far away from them, the people they interact with day to day, and you know, books, give the experience to be able to do that,” said Stoyanova. “Teach them about things that, you know, may be right here in our next door neighbor, you know, in our next door neighbors, the culture that they experienced or could be across the world where they end up in life, and so, to be able to help them prepare to be globally responsive citizens is important, too.”

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