A recent Friday night was our 11th annual Upper School Library Sleepover. Originally started by students, I was ready to let this tradition retire with the previous librarian, who retired last year and chaperoned and organized this event for a decade. The students who thought of it as a Brentwood School tradition, however, demanded we do it again, and I am so glad we did! As soon as I advertised the event one time at assembly, it was full, with over 20 students wanting to attend. Members of the Student Library Advisory Council (SLAC-ers) decided we would read Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet and watch the BBC Sherlock version of the Sherlock Holmes novella. One senior created a role-play mystery game for us to solve, which we did at 1:00 AM. She creatively invented characters related to the novella, and gave us each clues on paper made to look old, complete with wax seals. A tenth grader shared that the “library overnight was a great way to bond and meet new people ... My favorite part was when some people summarized the first half of the book by performing an interpretive dance version. Overall, I had a ton of fun, and I'm definitely excited for next year.” We set up our sleeping bags in front of the TV at around 1:30 AM and most of us were asleep by 3:00. It was a night of laughter, acting, books, mystery, and new friends, and we are glad to keep the tradition going for another decade.
So many of our kids excel at sports or drama, where they get to have parties - end of season parties or cast parties - with their peers who have similar interests. I was honored to have a party for the students who love to celebrate stories, and I was happy to bring them together. Our foreign exchange student from China came too, and it was so fun for her to enjoy the craziness of the teens being up most of the night. Next year I think we are going to read excerpts from Pride and Prejudice and watch the Lizzie Bennet Diaries - we supported the Kickstarter project and bought the DVD already!