The students and particularly the faculty of Sandy Hook Elementary School had a well-documented love of reading, from school-wide events celebrating children’s classics such as “Stuart Little”to being the very first school in the district to offer Kindles to their students through the library; to having local figures, such as politicians and newscasters, come in and read to students; to hosting a number of children’s authors, such as Jacquiline Davies, Barbara McClintock, Patricia Polacco, and Tomie DePaola. And Dawn Hochsprung, who took over as school principal in 2010, surely only deepened that appreciation by doing things such as dressing up as the Book Fairy, as shown here in the November 23, 2012 print edition of the Newtown Bee:

So it’s certainly safe to assume that in early November of 2012, everyone at the school was looking forward to the upcoming Scholastic book fair, which is something that not only helps to gets children passionate about reading, but financially benefits the school as well. The event started the day after Sandy Hook’s 2012 Veterans Day Breakfast and continued on for the remainder of the week, as confirmed by the November 8, 2012 edition of the school’s newsletter, “The Sandy Hook School Connection”:

Much like she had done with a number of other events that had taken place at the school that year, Hochsprung took the following photo of the book fair on Tuesday, November 13th, 2012, and posted it to her Twitter timeline:

While a single photo of a book fair is sure to strike most people as unremarkable, it actually goes a long way in further proving that the school was open, functioning, and quite busy as late as November, 2012.

Firstly – and because you just know some doofus is going to bring it up – how do we know that this photo was actually taken inside of Sandy Hook Elementary School, and not elsewhere? Well, according to “The Sandy Hook School Connection”, the book fair was scheduled to take place in the school’s cafeteria, and based on a number of other photos – as well as the crime scene video taken by police – it’s clear that this is the location seen above. Compare the placement of the clock as well as the hanging strip just above the clock to the following photo, taken on December 17th, 2009, which shows Newtown Middle School’s choir practicing alongside Sandy Hook School’s 4th grade choir:


As well as this photo from the Sandy Hook School 2011-2012 scrapbook, taken at the 2011 Veterans Day Breakfast:

And this still frame, taken from the indoor scene processing video filmed by Connecticut State Police:

And how do we know that it was taken in November of 2012? What if it was actually taken way back in 2008, which is when most deniers, without the aid of actual evidence, believe that the school was permanently closed? Even if you are intellectually dishonest enough to perform the mental gymnastics necessary to believe that the timestamp on Twitter is incorrect (or even faked), there are still a number of other reasons that this would be totally impossible. Looking at the items available at this particular book fair, we can see the following:

  1. An “Angry Birds” poster. The first “Angry Birds” game was released by Rovio Entertainment in December of 2009, which means that merchandise couldn’t have been available when the school allegedly closed in 2008.
  2. This Justin Bieber poster, released in 2010 (again, making it impossible for it to have been available for purchase in 2008, though I’m sure you all understand how the passage of time works by this point, so I’ll let you do the math from here on out).
  3. Another Justin Bieber poster, which is simply a much larger version of the cover art for his single “Boyfriend”, released in March of 2012. I know I just said I’d let you do the math, but that’s a long ways away from 2008.
  4. A “Pete the Cat” display. “Pete the Cat” was self-published in 2008 and wasn’t picked up by a major publisher (HarperCollins) until 2010. This display features artwork from “Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes”, which was released in 2011.

I’m sure there are even more that I’m missing (such as what I believe is a display for “Skippyjon Jones, Class Action”, which was released in July of 2011). Not that it would matter much, as we wouldn’t need additional items to established that on November 13th, 2012 – one of the four days a Scholastic book fair was scheduled to take place in the Sandy Hook Elementary School’s cafeteria – principal Dawn Hochsprung posted a photo of a busy book fair, taking place in what has been confirmed as the school’s cafeteria, containing a number of items which did not exist prior to March of 2012 (I don’t think I need to tell you that a photo from 2012 can contain items from 2008, but a photo from 2008 cannot contain items from 2012). And while it has never been backed by any level of actual, empirical evidence, the idea that they’re holding book fairs in what deniers would like you to believe is a filthy, abandoned school only grows more absurd the more you review the available materials.

And, as usual, I’m not even done yet.

For further confirmation that this is in fact a Scholastic book fair from the fall of 2012, all one needs to do is look at photos other schools have posted from their fall 2012 Scholastic book fairs. Here are two taken from the Bradley School’s “Scholastic Book Fair – November 2012” online photo album, showing a nearly identical lineup of available posters:

Furthermore, and rather surprisingly, this information can be used to date and corroborate this now infamous photo of Noah Pozner, taken in the Sandy Hook School lobby:

Based on what we’ve already seen, and when combined with a number of other indisputable, timestamped elements, we can be absolutely certain that this photo was taken at some point between November 13th and November 16th, 2012 – during the school’s November 2012 book fair – or only one month before the shooting. Noah was clearly only six years-old at the time, which is relevant because deniers have long claimed that he – along with at least some of the other victims – were actually much older than that in December, 2012. That is of course total nonsense.

Because we can use it as a reference point to be sure we’re looking at a series of photos all taken on the same day, let’s start with what Noah is wearing: a dark brown, corduroy jacket with a black Spiderman t-shirt underneath. As CW Wade of Sandy Hook Facts has previously pointed out, the shirt is an “Amazing Spiderman Wall Crawler” youth t-shirt, and it depicts the live action Spider-Man played by Andrew Garfield in the 2012 movie of the same name. As this movie was released that July, it is not enough to nail down such a specific set of dates. But look behind Noah and you’ll see more.

First, in the very top-left of the photo, we’ll see the part of an American flag display created by the school for its annual Veterans Day breakfasts. This display includes photos of some of the veterans in attendance as well as short biographies, and can be seen in much greater detail in this photo (which I’ve rotated, hence the wonky watermark) from the 2011 breakfast, published by the Newtown Bee on November 18th, 2011:

This display would not be up at any other point during the school year.

Going back to the photo of Noah, the door just to the right of the flag display also features two stars that feature prominently in the school’s Veterans Day breakfast decorations, as seen here:

Again, these decorations would not be up at any other point during the school year.

On the lower half of the same door, you can just make out a sign advertising the on-going book fair. This sign matches the “All Star” themed marketing material used by other schools for their fall 2012 Scholastic Book Fairs. Here’s an example from Sinton Elementary in Sinton, TX:

The “All Star” theme can be confirmed by this document sent to parents by the PTA of H.B. Milnes school in Fair Lawn, NJ:

The Scholastic Book Fair will be at our school Monday, November 12, 2012 through Wednesday, November 14, 2012 and a special Family Event is scheduled for Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 3pm. The exciting theme for our fall 2012 Book Fair is All-Star Book Fair: Every Reader is a Star!

These themes and marketing materials change from fair to fair, so you would not see this sign in use before or after the fall of 2012.

Additional photos of Noah taken that same day that reveal further details. Here he is wearing the exact same outfit and sitting in the same exact location in the lobby (notice the empty library cart just behind his right shoulder in both photos), only now he’s holding the book “Anakin to the Rescue!: Episode II (LEGO Star Wars)”:

As CW Wade has pointed out in the past (and the book’s Amazon listing confirms), “Anakin to the Rescue” was released by September 1st, 2012, which dramatically narrows the timeframe in which this photo could have been taken. But what’s the significance of Noah posing with this book, if any? As it turns out, there’s a third photo from that day – and we know that it’s the same day based on his clothing – that answers that question:

Still in the school’s lobby, Noah is now joined by his sisters, both of which appear to be excited about the books they’re holding onto: “Ponyella”, released in January, 2011, and the paperback version of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever”, released in November, 2011. Two of these three books – “Ponyella” and “Anakin to the Rescue!: Episode II (LEGO Star Wars)” – can be seen as items available for purchase at the fall 2012 book fair, as seen in this blog entry from the Fairview Community School Library:

So it’s quite obvious that all three photos of six year-old Noah were taken at some point during Sandy Hook’s fall book fair, which again absolutely took place in the open school’s functioning cafeteria between November 13th and November 16th, 2012. The evidence is voluminous and undeniable, and there simply is no other explanation that makes even a lick of sense in any known reality.

For more in the “Sandy Hook Elementary Was Open” series, please read:
Part One: The Lobby
Part Two: The Obstinate Pen
Part Three: Holiday Decorations And Calendars
Part Four: SMART Technologies
Part Five: Dawn Hochsprung’s Twitter Feed
Part Six: The 2011-2012 Scrapbook
Part Seven: Children’s Authors Visit Sandy Hook
Part Eight: Charitable Causes
Part Nine: The Library
Part Ten: 92 More Photos From Sandy Hook School
Part Eleven: Over 195 Articles Referencing Sandy Hook School, Written Between 2008-2012
Part Twelve: The Glass Display Cases
Part Thirteen: Google Earth
Part Fourteen: The November 2012 Scholastic Book Fair
Part Fifteen: Sandy Hook School Enrollment For 2008-2017
Part Sixteen: School Documents From 2008-2012

4 Thoughts on “Sandy Hook Elementary Was Open, Part Fourteen: The November 2012 Scholastic Book Fair

  1. brian on July 10, 2017 at 8:17 pm said:

    the CULTIVATING CHARACTER TREE poster behind Noah seems to be new also , the earliest i can find a photo of it is also in NOV. 2012 with Vicki Soto

    • Shill Murray on July 11, 2017 at 2:11 am said:

      Another good catch, Brian. I actually considered looking into the history of the sign as I wrote this post, but I think I ended up getting a bit wrapped up in trying to date individual books, etc, and ultimately found it superfluous.

      But, since you brought it up…

      It looks like the very first mention of the tree is in the September 6, 2012 “Sandy Hook Connection”:

      Newtown’s Character Tree

      You may have noticed this tree on display in our schools and community. One of Newtown Public School’s Strategic Plans is Character Development. An action team was formed to work with families and the community to
      identify and model character attributes. With input from the schools and community, this Character Tree was developed to represent Newtown’s Core Character Attributes: Perseverance, Citizenship, Caring, Trustworthiness, Respect, and Responsibility. Each school will be embedding these character attributes in their programs. We hope that you will enjoy discussing these important character attributes with your children. For additional information, please contact Judy Blanchard at or (203) 426-2798.

      So it making its first appearance in the November 2012 photo makes sense. The most clear photo of the lobby – or at least the majority of it – that I could find pre-2012 is from Depot Day, 2011, and the tree is nowhere to be found:

  2. brian on July 11, 2017 at 6:53 pm said:

    thanks for the information

  3. Nothing_33 on August 10, 2018 at 9:36 pm said:

    Have you written anything about the pre-school classes that were in rooms 53 and 56? Or do you know of anyone that has? Unfortunately I have been very unsuccessful finding anything about them. Did they have different hours and weren’t in session yet that day?

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