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Lawrence Education Center

101 East Laurel
Springfield, IL 62704

Great Stories CLUB

January 5, 2009

(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.

2009 Theme and Reading List

The Round II theme is Breaking Boundaries. 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 Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
February 26, 2009
Thirteen-year-old Junior is a budding cartoonist who leaves his school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend a "mainstream" school where he is the only Native American, other than the school mascot.

* Black and White by Paul Volponi
April 23, 2009
Marcus is black, Eddie is white. The two high school seniors are close friends everyone refers to as "Black and White." When they get involved in an armed robbery with tragic consequences, the wrong one is charged. Will his friend come clean?

* Luna by Julie Ann Peters
May 14, 2009
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.