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Book Fair…or Wax Museum?

Book Fair…or Wax Museum?

By Communications Fellow Isabella Ventura ‘23

Along with Book Fair comes a certain ambience. The murmurs of conversation, the shuffling of children’s footsteps, and the fresh smell of new books transcending across the sixth floor. Since my days of preschool to my senior year, the warm comfort of Book Fair has remained the same. Yet this time around, a new element set this year apart.

Positioned next to decorative globes and carefully scattered across the library stood countless mysterious individuals. Layered in flashy suits, modeling vintage dresses, wearing funky hats or buttoned up in white blouses–junior and senior upper school students in AP English courses dressed up as distinct characters or authors from novels read over the summer. Standing utterly still, each individual represented a wax statue and awaited the audience of younger students to “come to life” by delivering a unique and interactive oration. 

Bundled in a winter coat and peeking out through a red hunting hat, I personally dressed up as Holden Caulfield, a troubled teenage boy from The Catcher in the Rye. Nearby, Reagan Redick ‘23, wore black slacks and a suit, representing A Thousand Splendid Suns author Khaled Hosseini. Both of our novels covered heavy and mature topics, so it was challenging yet extremely interesting to cater our speeches to the ears of a younger audience. 

During our orations, each lower school student listened patiently, intrigued by what we had to say. Seeing students’ eyes widen with obvious excitement brought me back to my early days of running around Book Fair, begging my mother to buy me a new comic book. 

Having the opportunity to invest in our younger students’ Book Fair experience perfectly captures our school’s commitment to community, as upper school students often pour into the lives of SBS’s fledglings. By putting on a costume and preparing a speech, we not only unveiled the magic of literature to lower school students, but we also got to experience our own magical moment, too.