Springfield Public Schools - Home

Lawrence Education Center

101 East Laurel
Springfield, IL 62704

Great Stories CLUB

January 14, 2011

(Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens and Books)

The Great Stories CLUB is a reading and discussion program that targets underserved, troubled teen populations. The program reaches teens through books that are relevant to their lives, inviting them to read and keep the books, and encourages them to consider and discuss each title with a group of their peers. It seeks to show that reading can be a source of pleasure, a tool for self-exploration, and a meaningful way to connect to the wider world. Its ultimate goal is to inspire young adults who face difficult situations to take control of their lives by embracing the power of reading. YALSA's Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs Committee selected "Second Chances" as the Round IV - 2011 Great Stories Club theme.

The Great Stories CLUB is organized by the American Library Association Public Programs Office (PPO), in cooperation with the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), and major funding for the Great Stories CLUB has been provided by Oprah's Angel Network.

The Lawrence Memorial Library is one of the 150 libraries chosen from across the nation to receive this award. Students are encouraged to participate in this program, and they will be allowed to keep their book upon successful completion of the program.

Interested students can come to the Lawrence Memorial Library, Room 109, to check out a copy of a book for discussion. The student will then be responsible for participating in a book discussion in order to keep their copy of the book.

Listed below are the titles chosen (by Oprah). The discussion dates are also listed. Students must participate in the discussion in order to be able to retain their copy of the book.

2011 Theme and Reading List

The Round IV theme is "Second Chances".
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 received a second chance in either their lives or in the world.

* Hate List by Jennifer Brown
Book discussion date: February 3, 2011
Valerie, a 16-yr-old whose boyfriend, Nick, committed a school shooting, struggles to cope with integrating herself back into high-school life, unsure whether she was a hero or a villain.

* Dope Sick by Walter Dean Myers
Book discussion date: March 10, 2011
Seeing no way out of his difficult life in Harlem, seventeen-year-old Jeremy "Lil J" Dance flees into a house after a bad drug deal and meets a strange man who tells Lil J that he could have made better choices.

* The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhees
Book discussion date: April 14, 2011
Sophomore Frankie finally asks Rebecca to the Homecoming dance, which leads to a face-off between a tough senior whose family owns most of their small town and Frankie's soccer-star older brother.