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Lawrence Education Center

101 East Laurel
Springfield, IL 62704

Great Stories CLUB

March 4, 2010

(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 "Breaking Boundaries" as the Round II - 2009 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 200 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.

2010 Theme and Reading List

The Round III theme is "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 discovered new horizons in their lives and in the world.

* The Afterlife by Gary Soto
Book discussion date March 11, 2010
A senior at East Fresno High School lives on as a ghost after his brutal murder in the restroom of a club where he had gone to dance.

* Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
Book discussion date April 15, 2010
Seventeen-year-old Matthew recounts his attempts, starting at a young age, to free himself and his sisters from the grip of their emotionally and physically abusive mother.

* One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones.
Book discussion date February 4, 2010
Fifteen-year-old Ruby Milliken leaves her best friend, her boyfriend, her aunt, and her mother's grave in Boston and reluctantly flies to Los Angeles to live with her father, a famous movie star who divorced her mother before Ruby was born.