It seems so obvious now, but I had not really considered having a faculty book club. I have two book clubs for students yet did not consider a faculty version until this Spring. I've read research that teachers are notorious for not reading. Jim Trelease quotes a study that found 75% of teachers read only one or two books a year! To combat this I invite our staff to participate in reading programs like our summer reading challenge, I led a summer read of a professional book with the ELA staff last year and I send suggested reading lists all year. Now I can add our faculty book club to my outreach for staff.
One day while chatting about books with fellow obsessive reader and PMD special education teacher, Candace, we talked about our desire to be in a YA book club for adults. We both read lots of teen/tween books and had no interest in "adult" book clubs. So we decided to create a YA book club ourselves.
I sent out an email invite to the entire faculty and staff. I had 15 interested. I requested ideas for a book club name and suggested titles, compiled the suggestions onto a Survey Monkey survey and sent it out. There were lots of cute name suggestions including No Page Left Unturned, Forever Young and Book Bunch. The winning name (by one vote) was YA Forever.
The suggested titles were Leverage by Joshua Cohen, Fame Game by Lauren Conrad, Matched by Ally Condie, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, Wonder by RJ Palacio, I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, Wither by Lauren DeStefano, How To Save a Life by Sara Zarr and the winner, The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler. Check out the book trailer.
I was happy about the choice because I thought it would bridge our own young adult experiences with current teen literature. The book is set in 1996, the year I graduated and a year that all members of our book club could remember regardless of their age at that time.
After a few weeks time to read the book we had our first meeting. We played music from the book like Pearl Jam, Oasis, Alanis Morissette, and Green Day, snacked on chocolate covered strawberries and shared our high school pictures. Can you tell which one is me?
We talked about the book, the characters, benefits and drawbacks of Facebook, and advice we would give our younger selves. We had a great time talking and spending time with faculty from other grades and departments.
Our first read went well so we choose our next read, Wonder by RJ Palacio. I'm especially excited about this one. It has become one of my favorite books ever! And I think this will be a good summer read and our discussion when we return will get us in the mood to welcome ALL students to our school and start on an uplifting note. If you haven't read Wonder yet, definitely add it to your summer reading list.
What do you do to promote reading with your faculty and staff?