The high school book club was given a great honor for the 2014- 2015 school year; they were given the opportunity to review books written by unknown authors.
The book club has teamed up with the Teens Top Ten, or T.T.T., which is a national teen reader’s choice award to pick the favorite teen book of the year. The high school was one of only 16 schools and libraries picked to participate.
Publishers send the school copies of teen books that have yet to be published before they hit the shelves. Book club members read the books and review them, which are sent to the publishers to read. The students also nominate the books for awards such as the T.T.T.
The program motivates teens to read and to be able to critically evaluate the literature and analyze it. The students are considered book reviewers. The books are not only for members of the club, students are welcome to drop in the library and take a book to read. During the high school orientation, middle schoolers are also showing interest in the program.
The reviews are written and submitted to YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services association. Christina, the stow Public teen librarian nominated the Stow students to review the books by submitting a bio on the students and what they do.
YALSA was founded in 1957, and is a national association of librarians, library workers and advocates whose mission is to expand and strengthen library services for teens aged 12-18. Through its member-driven advocacy, research, and professional development initiatives, YALSA builds the capacity of libraries and librarians to engage, serve and empower teens, which gives teen the power to review and pick their favorite book, as a professional book critic would.
The book club meets one Thursday a month and many times during the summer at the Stow Monroe Falls Public Library. During the school year, students are able to visit book club during lunch periods or study halls. Students are encouraged to take as many books as they want when at meetings but are urged to make reviews.
The program promotes reading, it demonstrates that reading is still big and high school kids are reading more independently than they ever have, checkouts are constant, we have a lot of readers here. The high school has also teamed up with the stow public library and Kent state, along with YALSA and T.T.T.
School Librarian Kelly Lanci said, “ I think that sometimes with the new technology and with the way libraries are changing, for the better, for the twenty first century, a lot of times people are very opinionated about libraries and assume or think that we don’t like books anymore, that we don’t promote reading, we don’t want kids reading the newest titles and that is far from the truth. This honor proves that reading is happening, that we love our books, ebook or not.”