Imagine all the kids and teachers in a school reading the same book. Eli Whitney Elementary School in Ohio chose Edgar Allan’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook for their “One Book, One School” celebration.
Even before the book title was announced, the program involved a creative twist. To play with the mystery format, the media specialist Rebecca Gilhuly and staff gave students seven clues and the students had to solve them to figure out what book the school would be reading.
After the reveal, the students were given copies of the book as well as a Crime Investigation Notebook and instructions on how to use it like Edgar to figure out not only the mystery in my story, but also a new mystery that Ms. Gilhuly created.
Every week for four weeks the school had trivia questions and students who completed all questions correct they were put into a raffle to win another book written by me. The students had a blast investigating, interviewing, and trying to solve the mysteries. At the conclusion of the book students were encouraged to hand in their notebooks for a score and the opportunity to have a Skype session with me.
For a culminating activity, the High School Honors Forensics students will be coming to the school for a day. They will have six stations set up that students will cycle through. Some of the stations are fingerprinting, hair samples, deductive reasoning, DNA analysis.
Thanks so much to Ms. Gilhuly and the staff and students of Eli Whitney ES for celebrating books and for creating such a community of readers.