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Saturday, September 11, 2010

High School Book Clubs: What would YOU want in them?

Okay, let me rant a little: ever since school started, it has been such a pain. It's barely the second week of school and I've already had about 9 tests. I'm so sick of it. Only 171 days of school to go. I'm already counting down...

But anyway, the most exciting thing that happened since then was that my friend came up to me, and asked me if I wanted to start a book club with her! We actually had this idea last year, but the school year was already ending x) Plus, I don't think freshmen could have started clubs...

So, we're actually copresidents of the book club! (Once we're approved that is...) It is called Friends of the ABC (props to those who know what book this name refers to. Hint: the title is French...) ABC, for us, will actually stand for Awesome Book Club. My friend (she came up with the name! :D) is actually huge on classics and historical fiction while I'm big on anything yup, our club will have a lot of variety~

Maybe it's not a big deal to you, but our high school doesn't even have a LIBRARY. It's called the "Media Center," but all it has are textbooks and school books. The only books in there that we don't use are ANCIENT. I'm talking yellow-paged, dog-eared, and smelly books. :(

\rant over.../

What I'm asking is: What would YOU want in your high school book club, if you were part of it? Please, please leave suggestions in the comments! We've already thought of going to book related events like signings and book festivals, reading to children, and doing book fundraisers, but then...we ran out. SO PLEASE SUGGEST ANYTHING. NOTHING WOULD BE STUPID TO US. I KNOW NOT MANY PEOPLE WILL COMMENT SO LET'S "BRIBEEEE!"ANYONE WHO COMMENTS WILL BE ENTERED IN A RANDOM DRAWING TO WIN A HUNGER GAMES T-SHIRT! (YOU WILL CHOOSE WHICH ONE) JUST COMMENT WITH A SUGGESTION. IF YOU FIND OUT WHERE FRIENDS OF THE ABC COMES FROM, THEN YOU GET ANOTHER ENTRY. Okay, I'll stop yelling in caps now....contest will end Sept 31. US only.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I'm working on reviews so my blog won't be dead anymore...doing homework on Fridays have become a habit so I'm freeeeee. :)


Emma said...


I'm Canadian, so I'm not entering into the contest, but since I'm starting by own YA book club at my library, I thought I could give suggestions! If you ever want to swap ideas, you can always email me.

I think things related to the book of choice are always cool. For instance, you could bring snacks related to the book or play a game that's in the book. Something that won't seem too kiddy but that's amusing and fun.

Try to grab some book club discussion questions you can get from publisher sites and if there's ever a lull in conversation, paraphrase them.

Also making it as relaxed as possible. My librarians always said that the most difficult thing about a book club is not making it seem like school.

Get them involved! If they have any book suggestions, make them one of the book club novels. Incorporate their ideas and make it a comfortable environment and I'm sure everyone will love it.

PLUS, if you ever do YA and you have some extra swag, give them some! If you ever do Hunger Games, I have a whole bunch of Mockingjay bookmarks and temporary tattoos that I'm willing to send.

I'll email you more ideas when I start my book club, if you'd like. I hope your book club goes swimmingly!

Kelsey said...

Ohh I LOVE that idea, Kim! I especially like the ideas of going to signings and reading to kids.

Maybe have a swap once in awhile or something? Like members/other students bring in extra books and everyone can trade or something...


Sandy said...

EWW TESTS!!! *hides*

Wait, your school doesn't even have a LIBRARY? THAT IS HORRIBLE. FRIENDS OF THE ABC (I don't know what that's referencing to...) MUST CHANGE THIS TRAGEDY.

*calms down*

Hmm. I was in a book club in my junior year and I thought it'd be great because I was hoping to connect to fellow bookworms and such! Unfortunately, it was just crappily organized and a lot of people just never came back. SO with that experience in mind, I can give you a few tips on what not to do.

Try to meet at least once a week. (my club met only once a month and uh, no one ever read the books!) You can talk about if you're liking it so far, see where everyone's at, etc.

Do fun contests/giveaways! (People love free stuff! Woo!!)

Talk about your BLOGGGG. I'm sure people will be intrigued. <3

For raising money, you can do bake sales and the like but one thing that I think could really work? Breakfast sales (seriously! How many people go to high school without eating breakfast? DO BAGEL SALES. People will buy them.) And you can do holiday sales like halloween and christmas (just make sure that no one's allergic to peanuts or something. THAT can cause issues.)

CGLnyc said...

Speak, Feed are good YA books. I should really read more in that category (I'm listening to The Adoration of Jenna Fox now...).

For classics, any number of things! Huck Finn is good and less tedious than, say, Great Expectations (though I do love it, you really have to like Dickens and the descriptions he's known for!). Does Brave New World count as a classic? Mrs. Dalloway, maybe.

Other books that are more recent(ish): Watership Down (it's about rabbits!), The Hours, The Bluest Eye, To Kill A Mockingbird, Wicked. I don't know. It's hard because a lot of what I'd suggest is what everyone reads in school at some point!

Lily said...

You should have fundraisers for reading glasses or something :)

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carpet cleaning in Reno said...

You actually make it appear so easy with your presentation but I to find this topic to be really one thing that I think I might never understand. It sort of feels too complex and extremely wide for me.

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It is really exciting when you and your friend start a book club.

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Book clubs should give away free books for their members.

LeeAnn Morrill said...

What about reading to kids in a nearby elementary school to show that reading is cool?

Or surveying kids at the first meeting to find out their expectations of the club?

I am planning on starting a book club in my high school this fall too. You gave me some great ideas. Thank you. My concern is having money to purchase the first round of books. Good luck! I think it's awesome you are undertaking this project! You rock!

Anonymous said...

Well I've been in a book club for three years, for one I was the VP and for two I was/am the president. What you could do is a Dr. Suess day where you read to the elementry school kids. Or you could do events at Barnes and Nobles or Reading Olympics(I'm, not sure if they'll have it by you, but where i live all book clubs do it). Try different contests each month to raise awareness, and just be active. Hoped this helped!

Unknown said...

Some books give you information for activities you could do to understand the characters or what they do in the book better. Two of my favorite books include these. Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult includes recipes that you could make. In a book called House Rules, the main character tests objects around his house for finger prints using Krazy Glue and an overturned fish tank. I think it would be fun to do things that are described in some of your favorite books.

Also, when you go to pick a new book for the club, you could host a Book Store Congress. Go to your local book store and give everybody some browsing time to select a book they would like to read in the club. Then hold a mock congress where each member takes the floor and argues why their book should be the next to be chosen for the club. Have a vote at the end of it.

And of course, that spectacular moment when your favorite book is made into a movie. Attend the midnight premiere. Go all out and dress up as something from the book. For the Hunger Games premiere, my friends and I dressed up as capitol citizens, and for Catching Fire, we're each choosing a district and making an opening ceremonies costume. I'm gearing up for the premiere of Carrie, am going to see Alex Cross as soon as I can, and the Hobbit is getting close to its release. I also once went to a premiere where they handed out a free book to each person. If the same thing happens in your town, it would be a great opportunity to get your hands on some new reading material for the club.

Funny that I came across this today, because a friend of mine and I are about to start a book club. We have several people interested, and to get it approved we just have to find a teacher who will sponsor us (attend meetings us let us use his/her room on club days). Wish you luck!

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