Get to Know the Danvers High-School Book Group

bookgroupbuzziconWe’re happy to have heard from all kinds of book groups for our Get to Know a Book Group series. This student book group from Danvers, Massachusetts, is both student and administrator directed, incorporating students’ reading goals while utilizing librarian recommendations and programming.

Danvers High Book Club

Leader: Ms. Ann Distasio

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When, where, and how often do you meet?

Our high-school book group meets monthly. We might also see a book-based film or an author at a local book shop.

BelzharHow does your group make its reading selections?

The reading teacher and I choose current young-adult selections or the book-club members request a classic work of literature.

Which book did your group collectively like the most this past year?

They really liked Siddhartha, Belzhar, by Meg Wolitzer, and Feed, by M. T. Anderson. We’ve also really liked some books by Matthew Quick and Patrick Ness.

Which is the most divisive book your group has read?

The most divisive book we read was probably Feed. Some students really liked the inventive vocabulary and understood how it added to the genre while other students found it annoying.

How do your group discussions work?

We do have one leader but the group tends to prefer an organic style, taking the discussion wherever it goes without relying on any prompts.

FeedWhat is your group most looking forward to reading this next year?

The group has created a list of classics they want to read before they graduate, like Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and books by authors H. P. Lovecraft, Mary Shelley, and Ernest Hemingway.

What is the best piece of advice you’d give a group that is just getting started?

Give it time to grow. Know that kids who aren’t in a book group will often pick up the title if it gets good “buzz.” Field trips may be sparsely attended but those who go really appreciate it and might otherwise not participate in such an activity. Provide food.

Thanks for paying attention to student book clubs!

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About the Author:

Sarah Grant is the Marketing Associate for Booklist. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Grant.

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