Every year there is a huge fundraiser for the local education foundation.  Included is a silent auction featuring art work done by a classroom.  I’ve seen chess sets, board games, lemonade stands, a whole motley of items that the children participate in creating.

This year I helped out with both of my boys’ classrooms.  The fourth grade project was going to be a bookshelf, but we didn’t want it to be empty.  We thought we would give the class options – they could help decorate the bookshelf or they could author books to be included.

Well, the bookshelf idea went flying out the window.  Each of the students in that classroom wanted to be an author.  Creativity was everywhere!  We had non-fiction football books, sequels to books or shows they loved, mysteries, love stories, and comic books being written.  The project became less about the auction and more about the kids.  How could you not encourage the excitement they had for writing a book!

24 kids created 16 books.  The books ranged from 3 pages to almost 20 pages long.  Once they were done being written it was my turn to work on them.  First I had to shrink the covers, contents, and about the author pages.  Then it was time to bind them up.

bookmaking supplies

Here is my set up.  I used the boxes from old games as the covers, the books were wire bound using a Bind-it-All.  All 16 books were sold as a set at the auction.  I was told they went for $70.

But that’s not all.  I couldn’t let the kids not have copies of their own books.  I couldn’t let them go without celebrating their accomplishments.  So, I spent the following two months binding 24 more books, one for each of them, and then 16 more to create a set for their amazing teacher.

Here are the final 40 books;


The set for the teacher will be signed by the author.  The personal copies have an additional 10 blank pages so that people who enjoy reading the story can leave a message for the author.  We are going to have a big publishing party before school ends to distribute and celebrate their achievement.

I am so incredibly proud of this class.