The Hesperia Unified School District's annual Scholastic book sale has quietly become a phenomenon.


The sale, now in its eighth year is the "most successful off-site warehouse book sale in the country, according to Scholastic," according Deb Baker, the assistant to Superintendent Mark McKinney and the coordinator of sale. The HUSD's sale, which attracts up to 1,500 customers each year, has been featured in the publisher's newsletter to school districts.


The sale, featuring books from the publisher of the Harry Potter series, will feature half-off books and Baker and the district's Parents Coordinating Council have reached out to other school districts suffering the effects of the ongoing California budget deficit. Representatives of school sites, including home schools, charter schools or private schools, can enter their school's name into a raffle for $50 in free books at the Jan. 30 sale.


"This year, with all the budget cuts ... we hope to help schools get the most bang for their buck using categorical funds," which can only spent on specific educational expenses, said Baker.


In addition to being a good deal for parents, educators and students, 10 percent of Scholastic Books' proceeds from the sale are given to the PCC as scholarship funds. In previous years, the sale has brought in up to $30,000 in revenue.


The PCC is also promoting the book sale with visits by Clifford the Big Red Dog to the Hesperia Community Library's children's programs, including the weekly Thurs. at 4 p.m. elementary reading program, and the Tues., Jan. 26 pre-school story time at 11 a.m. and the Thurs., Jan. 28 baby bounce at 11 a.m. On each visit, names will be drawn from the children attending, and winners will receive a coupon good for $5 in free books at the book sale.


Clifford, along with other characters from children's books, will also appear at the book sale itself.


The Hesperia Unified School District's Scholastic book sale will take place on Sat., Jan. 30, in the Hesperia High School cafeteria, at 9898 Maple Avenue, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 760-244-4411 x7215.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/HesperiaStar.