Getting Ready for Guys Read

A local administrator, Dr. Jeffrey Carroll, started a book group for boys who were reluctant readers a year ago at Williamsburg, Virginia’s Lafayette High School. Last year’s club read The Boys of Winter, a recounting of the “miracle on ice” 1980 U.S. Hockey team that stunned the world at the Lake Placid Olympics, then culminated their experience by taking the boys to a hockey game. The program was such a success that Dr. Carroll is continuing the program this year, expanding it to include four books instead of one with help from English teacher Phillip Gatling and the Williamsburg Regional Library.

One of our librarians here, Melissa Simpson, developed support materials for Miracle on Ice which we delivered to the high school last week, along with a bag full of copies of the book. My role will be to attend some of the meetings, develop support materials for discussion of three other books, and learn what I can from the group with hopes of expanding it to other area high schools next year. It’s exciting to take on a project outside the bounds of traditional library or adult book groups and work to serve a population that has so much to gain from cultivating the reading habit.

I’ll continue to report on this exciting project in coming months on Book Group Buzz.

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About the Author:

Neil Hollands is an Adult Services Librarian at Williamsburg Regional Library in Virginia, where he specializes in readers’ advisory and collection development. He is the author of Read On . . . Fantasy Fiction (2007) and Fellowship in a Ring: a Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups (2009).

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