Kaylee Johnson and Ruby Bischoff

Salida Middle School students Kaylee Johnson, left, and Ruby Bischoff share a hug Tuesday at the school’s annual Book Feast. For the event, Bischoff made a lemon-flavored cake, on the table in front of them, based on the book “Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper.

The barbaric nature of the children in “Lord of the Flies” when they’re stuck on the island inspired Salida Middle School eighth-grader Clara Streeter to make a special dish Tuesday for the school’s annual Book Feast, which combines reading with food.

Since one of the characters gets his head cut off and put on a stake in the book, Streeter used skewers for her brown sugar bacon with raisins dish. Raisins, she said, represented the flies.

Fifth-grader Seth Sutton read “Where the Red Fern Grows” and made “bone biscuits,” which he described as “bones that taste like biscuits.”

“Two of the main characters are dogs, so I thought I could make something for them,” Sutton said. “It just came to me.” He described the book as “the best.”

Fifth-grader Mayleigh Duran read “The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise.” In the book, she said the main character is camping on the bus with some friends and only has root beer and a powdered doughnut for lunch.

Duran brought root beer and a different dessert inspired by the book to the feast.

“I decided to make cupcakes because the sunshine gleamed through the windows in the bus,” Duran said.

SMS teacher Harmony Hart said the sixth-graders had to make three connections, either literal or metaphorical, between their food and the books they read. “I think they found the metaphorical connections silly, but they had fun with it,” Hart said. “They really got creative.”

The school’s first Book Feast, which is its literacy night, took place in 2008 and has grown into a popular event for fifth- through eighth-graders.

“This is a great turnout,” Hart said at the event. “I’m excited to see this many people.”

“It gets kids creatively reading and thinking about their books in a new way,” SMS teacher Amy Tressler said. “Food is a good way to do that.”

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