A few years ago our local school district went through rounds of school closings, one in our neighborhood a few blocks from us. The few numbers of babies being born after the Great Recession (2008) made many of the schools built to accommodate the Boomer baby bulge obsolete. There just aren't enough kids to fill all the schools that were built in the 50s and 60s, and many features of the older buildings were downright obsolete and expensive to retro-fit. It's unrealistic to expect schools to stay open indefinitely, despite nostalgia, in the face of ever-decreasing resources and taxpayer funding for schools.
Which is one of the reasons why I'm recommending this book. It doesn't romanticize "saving a school." It does depict students being proactive, learning to voice their opinions and getting adults to listen to what they have to say.
But in the end, the school is not saved. A wall is, with a time capsule to be opened in the future, containing all the students' poems about their last year in 5th grade.
This book, which is written in verse from 18 different students' points of view, was a little more difficult to get into. However, by about half-way I'd finally figured out a few key voices, and read for them as benchmarks of the campaign.
The author outdoes any other verse book I've seen with the sheer variety of verse used. There's a guide in the back of the book to the 17 types of verse represented in the book, and suggestions for writing them, which teachers can easily turn into writing prompts for class. There's also an awesome glossary of literary terms.
The publisher offers a free educator's guide, which has pre-reading activities to help cement the 18 voices represented in the book, a readers theater activity (and this book would work great as a read-aloud in class, with poems only occasionally stretching two pages), and graphic organizers for keeping track of the POVs and verse forms used in the text.