Good Hope Middle School debuts “Book Tasting” in new library

From left to right: Good Hope Middle School Principal Lesley Hembree, 8th-grader Madison Hicks, librarian Stephanie Hood, and 8th-grader Bailey Cooper.

GOOD HOPE, Ala. — Good Hope Middle School’s freshly inaugurated library came alive with an innovative “Book Tasting” event, conceived to promote diverse reading habits among students.

Crafted by the school’s librarian, Stephanie Hood, the event encourages students to “sample” titles from a plethora of genres, mirroring a food tasting. Each themed table showcases a specific genre, complemented by apt decorations and ambient music, to fully immerse students in the book’s universe.

In this engaging setup, students briefly delve into a book, followed by rating their reading experience. This structure enables students to traverse varying genres, often uncovering titles they might otherwise overlook. It also nudges students to diverge from their reading norms.

“This initiative targets students less familiar with reading, granting them the chance to explore an array of books and genres,” explained Hood. “It’s an attempt to kindle their reading passion by identifying books that truly captivate them.”

She emphasized that the event’s design aims to diminish any reading choice peer pressure. By granting autonomy to students during their exploration, it cultivates confidence in their reading selections, undeterred by peers’ preferences.

The “Book Tasting” concept has garnered commendation from students and faculty alike, lauding its novelty. Feedback reflected students’ newfound appreciation for genres and titles previously unknown to them.

Eighth-grader Madison Hicks remarked, “I uncovered books I truly enjoyed, which I wouldn’t have considered before this event.”

Given the event’s triumph, Hood is inundated with requests for a sequel and anticipates making “Book Tasting” a recurrent fixture.