Great Stories CLUB

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).

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 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.

Crossroads Juvenile Center's Great Stories CLUB Experience

Passages Academy Libraries and Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) have collaborated to bring Rounds I and II of the Great Stories CLUB to the students at Crossroads Juvenile Center. During both rounds we sought to provide library services to the female students, a minority population at Crossroads. Initially, Lisa Goldstein and Vani Natarajan of BPL and I faced a number of challenges in implementing this program. First, the population is extremely transient.

Visiting the NYC Great Stories CLUB

On June 8, 2009, the ALA’s Great Stories CLUB sent me to Crossroads juvenile detention center in East New York, Brooklyn. ALA’s Lainie Castle put out a call to Penguin, my publisher, looking for the wonderful YA author Paul Volponi, to whom I am sometimes compared—a great compliment to me but maybe not so great for Mr. Volponi. Alas, Penguin’s author appearance coordinator, Emily Heddleson, said, “We don’t have Paul Volponi, but I can get you Paul Griffin. He will be more than happy to go.” And I was.

Author Paul Volponi Talks to Great Stories CLUB Teens

When author Paul Volponi learned that his book Black and White (Penguin, 2005) was included in the ALA Great Stories CLUB (GSC) grant program, he headed online right away to see how he could get involved. After finding the list of participating libraries, he contacted a few personally, offering to conduct conference calls with teens.

Two libraries have already taken advantage of his offer:

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