Mesita Elementary fifth grader Adam Romero can’t wait to meet and introduce one of his favorite authors at the annual Texas Library Association Conference April 21 in Houston.
Adam was picked to represent Mesita after an interview process that included a multimedia Animoto presentation on his favorite book “When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop” by Laban Carrick Hill.
The school was one of 10 randomly selected campuses statewide asked to choose a student to attend the conference and meet the 2016 Texas Bluebonnet Award-winning author.
The inspirational message in the book earned Adam’s vote.
“It’s a book about a boy who wanted to be a DJ really bad. He was born in Jamaica and started DJing in New York and his dream came true,” Adam said. “I want to ask the author what inspired him to write the book.”
Coincidentally, Adam’s favorite of the 20 different Bluebonnet books titles is the winner – something he didn’t know at the time of his presentation. Adam is thinking about possibly doing some kind of rap to tie in the book with his introduction but he is still working on his remarks.
This is the first year Mesita Elementary participated in the Texas Bluebonnet Program. Each year, a committee selects 20 books with a variety of interests, relevant content, reputable reviews and literary quality to compete for the Texas Bluebonnet Award. Students must read five of the 20 to qualify to vote for their favorite book.
“The biggest benefit was inspiring and motivating and encouraging to read,” Rhoades said. “I could hear students talking about the books, and kids who I had not really connected with wanted to talk to me about the books. It was awesome.”
Third through fifth grade teachers at Mesita helped promote the Bluebonnet books by reading at least two of them in class. “Instead of doing traditional book reports, I had them do Animotos and show the other kids and they would want to read it,” said Lisa Gailey, Adam’s teacher. “It helped bring home the program more.”
Like Rhoades, Gailey could see how the Bluebonnet program was turning more students into bookworms.
“As soon as they came in the library, they were swarming like bees going to get the books,” Gailey said. “It brought a sheer excitement about reading that I hadn’t seen in a while.”
On voting day, the students gathered to share their thoughts on their favorite books. After voting, they walked out proudly wearing “I voted” stickers.
Even though Adam voted for Hills book, he enjoyed reading other books in the collection.
“All of the books were pretty great,” he smiled.