As a librarian, I have told my students many times that looking through the bookshelves at school is sometimes like being among old friends. The titles and covers evoke fond memories of characters, stories, and reflections of who I was and what I was doing at the time I read the book. Some of my most successful book talks have been impromptu conversations at the bookshelf, inspired by the sight of these old friends.
Middle schoolers are keenly tuned in to sincerity and they seem to zero in on anything related to a teacher's personal experience. My students will often argue over a book that is "old" over something with a shiny new cover simply because I expressed how important the book was to me at a certain point in time, or how it made me laugh, cry, or long to do something. So while we promote and review all the wonderful new books being published and celebrated, let's not forget to share our old favorites with the next generation of readers.