HISD students share their recommendations for National Book Month

October marks National Book Month, a celebration centered on the importance of reading, writing, and literature. National Book Foundation launched the initiative in 2003 to encourage reading and show appreciation to the writers who brought our favorite stories into the world.

At Pin Oak Middle School, librarian Brooke Corso does her best to make every day a celebration of books and reading. We sat down with Corso and some of Pin Oak’s voracious readers to ask them about their favorite books and how they think National Book Month should be celebrated.

Iseoluwa Freeman, 8th grade

Q: What is your favorite book?
Iseoluwa: My favorite book is Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi.
Q: Why is it your favorite book?
Iseoluwa: It’s my favorite book because it has a strong female main character, and there’s a lot of character progression.
Q: Why would you recommend this book to others?
Iseoluwa: I would recommend it to someone else because it’s so captivating, and once you start reading it, you can’t put it down.
Q: Why do you think it’s important to celebrate National Book Month?
Iseoluwa: It’s important for us to celebrate National Book Month because there are so many wonderful books out there, and I think they should be appreciated.
Q: How do you think people should celebrate National Book Month?
Iseoluwa: A good way to celebrate national book Month is to reread your favorite books or books that you might have forgotten.

Liba Siegel, 7th grade

Q: What is your favorite book?
Liba: My favorite book is The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim. It’s a trilogy.
Q: Why is it your favorite?
Liba: It has a lot of action and strong emotions, and I like that. It shows a lot of challenges that the characters go through and how they work together to solve them.
Q: Why would you recommend this book to others?
Liba: Because it’s inspiring and it’s really entertaining.
Q: Why is reading important?
Liba: It’s important for people to read because it distracts your mind from real life and gives you an idea of what other people go through, depending on the genre.

Brooke Corso, Pin Oak Middle School Librarian

Corso: My favorite book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronté.
Q: Why is it your favorite?
Corso: I didn’t discover it until I was in college, and I was roaming through the student bookstore at Texas A&M University and happened upon it, and I have read it every year since I was 21. I think I love it because it’s about a young woman’s self-actualization. She becomes more independent, and she really learns to understand who she is, and if that means she has to be alone, she will.
Q: How do you think people should celebrate National Book Month?
Corso: Our library is genrefied. We have 15 genres, and that is for a reason. We want students to have choice, voice, and agency when they come in to know what they want and where they can go to get it. National Book Month should be about celebrating any interests you have with whatever book you want to check out. There is something for everyone here, and the library is for everyone.
Q: Why do you think National Book Month is important?
Corso: Especially post-pandemic, I saw a huge explosion in the desire for print books. One of my favorite educators, Regie Routman, wrote about reader response theory, and she really believed in the power of the reader. Every time they read a story, something in that story will pop out at them either reflecting their life, mirroring their aspirations, or having them see the world in a new way. She believed that students needed to choose what they are reading, and I believe that, too.

To learn more about HISD’s campus libraries, utilize the district’s many online library resources, and find your next favorite book, visit the Library Services website.