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Bring your books to BratFest


School District 75’s BratFest has always had something for everyone, from food to games to live music. This year the 53rd annual event will include a Book Trade allowing students and adults to swap one of their own books for another one.

The District 75 Book Trade will offer readers to pick out a book and leave one for someone else. The books will be categorized by age, genre, and fiction/non-fiction, making it a family event.

“Bringing your books to BratFest is a great way to get children access to more books at no cost,” said Jill Unger, District 75 Director of Teaching and Learning for Preschool-5.

The theme for District 75 this year is, “Books Bring Us Together,” highlighting a social connection among readers. That’s just one reason that BratFest is a great venue for the Book Trade.

“It starts with the kids, and in realizing that we’re a community of readers and we all share an interest in books,” Unger said. “Kids love to read what their friends are reading. When a book recommendation comes from a peer, that credibility goes a long way.”

Including parents in the event equips them to be reading role models for their children, she added.

“We’ll have books for everyone, and once people start sharing books, whether it’s parents or children, it sparks a desire to read even more,” Unger said.

The District has programs a couple of times a year for staff to swap books and it draws a monthly prize for those staff members who share what book they’re currently reading and why they like it. The prize program is shared on social media under the hashtag #D75Reads.

BratFest will be held from 5-7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8 at Carl Sandburg Middle School, 855 W. Hawley Street. Books can be dropped off between 5-5:45 p.m. Trading will begin at 5:45 p.m.

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