By the Book: Sara Justet, Carl Sandburg Elementary

Sara has been a media clerk at Sandburg Elementary for 18 years. She does great read alouds in the library, and her enthusiasm for books is contagious.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

Sadie by Rebecca Belliston for my neighborhood book club, several books from the Battle of the Books list for this year, and my scriptures.

What was the last great book you read?

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is probably the last great book I read. It opened my eyes to more of how poorly specific groups of people were being treated in the 1950s by the medical community and how that poor treatment still occurs today.

The last book that made you cry?

I think the last book to make me cry was also The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

The last book that made you laugh?


The first one that comes to mind is Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons by Zandra Vranes and Tamil Smith.

What kind of reader were you as a child? What childhood books and authors stick with you the most?

I loved to read. My mom often told me to turn out the light and go to sleep several times a night. I loved Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner, books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Sounder by William H. Armstrong, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare.

What is the best book you were required to read as a student?


Because I work in an elementary library, I am going to share the first one that came to mind from elementary, which was Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren. I loved reading her stories and wondering what it would be like to have her adventures.

What book did you hate reading as a student?

This is horrible, but I can’t remember most of the books I read in secondary school and don’t remember hating any of them.

What is your favorite book to recommend to children?

Not sure if I can say just one book to recommend to kids. I like to recommend somewhere around their level and their preferred genre. If they just ask for anything, it’s the last book I read. I often go back to The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. Newer favorites are Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea, The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen, books by Jessica Day George, the I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis, The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner, and books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

If you could only bring three books to a desert island, which would you pack?

Only three books to a desert island… tough question! Being who I am, I would take my scriptures, after that is a good question. Probably the book I was in the middle of when we left because I would have to know the ending.

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5 thoughts on “By the Book: Sara Justet, Carl Sandburg Elementary”

  1. I agree Sara. If I was stranded on a desert island I better have the book I was in the middle of! I thought The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was amazing as well.

  2. Hi Sara! I haven’t thought about Pippi Longstocking in a really long time. That was one of my favorite books in the third grade — so thanks for bringing back a great memory for me! Books from the Battle of the Books list are what have been on my nightstand too this school year. Already looking forward to getting started on next year’s list. Thanks for sharing, and it’s always fun to see you at our district meetings!

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