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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of April 24 - 30, 2002

  Arts & Entertainment

Used-book Sale supports budding authors

Express Staff Writer

Books for books. It seems a fair trade and, in fact, while benefiting the children of Hemingway Elementary School, it’s a great opportunity for those lovers of the old-fashioned pleasures—readers.

The annual Hemingway Used Book Sale, today through Friday at the school in Ketchum, benefits the Hemingway Publishing House.

Managed by parent volunteers, the Publishing House types up stories written by students and binds them to produce hundreds of original books each year.

Students come into the Publishing House office, a closet-sized utility room just off the lobby at Hemingway, and dictate what jacket design and colors they want for their masterpieces and whether they will be bound stitched or accordion style. On the author’s page—with photo—there is a small blurb about each one. The youths even make dedications to siblings, parents, friends and animals.

Begun in 1990 by elementary teachers Elaine Redman, Leslie Wilde, Janet Cantor and Jana Fitzpatrick, they worked out the system and then trained parents, in-service, who’d been recruited from their home rooms.

"Jana had seen one in California in action. She brought back the idea and we changed it the way we wanted it," said second-grade teacher Redman. "The reason we started it was to validate kid’s writing, to feel like real authors. It’s the carrot. It gets kids to write."

In fact, she said, some kids learn to read through their own writing. For someone struggling to read, it’s a life saver. "Reading and writing go hand-in-hand," Redman said.

But the wallpaper and cloth covers, glue, and binding materials cost money. So, to facilitate the publishing house, the book sale took form.

At the sale this week, one can find all sorts of books, said Pamela Collins. A parent volunteer, she has been storing donated tomes in her garage for much of the winter.

"Much to my husband’s dismay," she said. "He’s been looking forward to this week."

Many of the books are brand new, she said. There are "Log Home Books," signed by the author, Wood River resident Cindy Theide, self-help books and books in the Tom Clancy vein. The children’s books are great for summer reading and many are the same as in the school library, which means they’re part of the Accelerated Reader program. They are all good quality, and the ones that "aren’t on such good quality, we’ll bring out on Friday and give away or donate the leftovers."

Also available are CDs, children’s videos, and "cookbooks galore," Collins said.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.