Great Stories CLUB

Second Chances Theme

We all wish we had a second chance to redo certain events or moments in our lives. While we cannot change our past, when we use our past as an opportunity to challenge ourselves to learn and grow in new ways, second chances often arise. These stories are about teens who find second chances in unlikely places and make the most of them.

Join the Next Great Stories CLUB

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) announced the theme and book titles for the fourth round of Great Stories CLUB grants. YALSA’s Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs Interest Group selected “Second Chances” as the Great Stories CLUB theme, along with the following titles: Hate List by Jennifer Brown (Little, Brown Books, 2009); Dope Sick by Walter Dean Myers (Amistad, 2009); and The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhees (Hyperion, 2009).

Facing Challenges Theme

As stated in a familiar quote by Joshua J. Marine, “challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” Each of the three books selected for the Great Stories Club focuses on a character that struggles with a serious challenge. These stories illustrate that challenges can come in many different forms. Some characters are better than others at tackling life’s problems.

Ideas from Peers You Can Use in Your Book Discussion Groups

Recently, Nancy Opalko, a children’s librarian at a public library who has paired with a local alternative school for the Great Stories CLUB, asked the program’s electronic discussion list two good questions: “How can I promote more interest in the book and get a discussion going?” and “How do the rest of you handle disruptive behavior?” Her questions immediately got a number of responses, many of which can be adapted and expanded beyond the Great Stories CLUB to work in your library.

More Great Stories about the Great Stories CLUB!

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published on the YALSA blog. Thanks to YALSA and Angie Manfredi for letting us share this with you!

There’s still time for you to apply for a Great Stories CLUB Grant! The Great Stories CLUB is a unique opportunity for you to reach out to underserved teens in your community and connect them with stories that can matter in their lives and open up their eyes to new horizons.

New Horizons Theme

When we challenge ourselves to go beyond our familiar surroundings, we can often discover new horizons and strengths within ourselves. New horizons also present themselves when we are willing to explore a larger universe. These stories are about teens who discover new horizons in their lives and in the world.

Breaking Boundaries Theme

Boundaries can take many forms in life. They often make life difficult by dividing us and preventing us from seeing the essence of one another. These stories are about teens who overcame the boundaries in their lives.

The chosen titles are:

Luna by Julie Anne Peters. 2006
Fifteen-year-old Liam is a transsexual who is able to live as a girl named Luna with the help of his sister Regan. When Liam announces his plans to live as Luna full-time, Regan dreads what will happen.

Choices Theme

Life is full of choices. One choice can lead to another. Some can take us down the wrong path, and others can lead us to glory. Our background leads us down a road that is chosen for us, but eventually we choose our own path.

Each of the three books selected for the Great Stories CLUB focuses on a character that struggles with a choice that will determine the course of his or her life:

New Great Stories CLUB Theme, Titles Announced

The Public Programs Office is pleased to announce that the theme for the newest round of Great Stories CLUB (Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens and Books) reading and discussion grants will be “New Horizons.”

When we challenge ourselves to go beyond our familiar surroundings, we can often discover new horizons and strengths within ourselves. New horizons also present themselves when we are willing to explore a larger universe. These stories are about teens who discover new horizons in their lives and in the world.

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