"Keep comin' in. Everybody gets one," said Mike Cerneckiy, Meadowview Intermediate/Middle School principal.
Every sixth through eighth grade student at Meadowview Middle School in Sparta is getting a free hard-cover copy of the book "Blue Fish."
"What we're doing is an activity we're calling One School, One Book," said Cerneckiy.
The school-wide event was kicked-off at an assembly.
"Over the course of the month we hope that you read along with us," said Cerneckiy.
The idea is to encourage all students to start reading for enjoyment. Sixth grader Taylor Winterton thinks the event could be a real page-turner for everyone.
"I like it because then you can talk about it to everybody," said Winterton. "Like if you're reading a book on your own you can't talk about it to somebody else unless they already read it."
The school's reading specialist Lucy Bennett is also hoping the event will inspire some students.
"I'm hoping it will interest some of the reluctant readers to want to read more; get interested in reading," said Bennett.
And because the main character in the book is also a reluctant reader, the teaching staff is hoping students will be able to relate to the character and possibly even the many different topics covered in the book... like bullying.
"We, unfortunately, have some people right here in this gym that don't always behave nicely and don't always really go out of their way to be nice, but go out of their way to be mean," said Cerneckiy. "And hopefully in this book we learn some strategies both ways; to be a nicer person and to deal with it and support each other when things like that happen."
"If you know bullies and if they're reading this book then maybe they'll learn not to bully," said sixth grader Brandon Ruvalcaba.
"I think some kids really have a lot of these problems and they don't really feel comfortable talking about it with someone else," said sixth grader Wyatt Baker. "So, I guess the book could kind of comfort them."
Comfort, relatability, and an increased interest in reading are all goals for this one-school, one-book event.
"I'm obviously hoping that the kids become life-long readers," said Cerneckiy. "That we take some of the reluctant readers that maybe have never read a book. I mean it's a hard cover book. For some people, this could be the first hard cover book that's ever theirs."