Our club decided to read two books and hold a small version of a book club during our scheduled club time.
The two books we read were: Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell and Shattering Glass by Gail Giles. The kids really liked both books but I've only read Shattering Glass so I joined the discussion for that book. Only one student in the group had finished the book, yet the cards allowed us to talk about the book, open up the plot, wrestle with the characters, and learn more about the book than we would have had we just done book talks or if I led the discussion. Even the kids who hadn't finished the book had insightful comments to make and everyone decided to finish reading the book based on our discussion. Best of all we had fun together. I was just a member of the group not some know-it-all-librarian in charge.
Here are a few sample questions that really were great conversation starters:
- Will this book be relevant 30 years from now?
- What one question would you like to ask the main character?
- What life lessons are found in this book and do you agree with them?
- If you were a teacher what question would you ask on the final essay?
Shattering Glass had a lot to offer teens looking for a good book to discuss. The main themes of the book were popularity and following the leader. Students could identify with the daily issues of negotiating life at a high school while trying to maintain a clear sense of identity. Things don't go so well for the characters in the book. Hopefully things will go much better for my students now that they've had a chance to discuss the mistakes the characters in the book made. I like to think so anyway.