book club/book discussion program

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book club poster

Title: The Wicked Years

Reading List:

  •  Maguire, G. (2008). A Lion Among Men. New York: William Morrow.
  • Maguire, G., & Smith, D. (2011). Out of Oz. New York: William Morrow.
  • Maguire, G., & Maguire, G. (2005). Son of a Witch. New York: ReganBooks.
  • Maguire, G. (1995). Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. New York: ReganBooks.

Brief Description: This is a book club to be held at the library, where teenagers 13-18 (in their own “wicked years,” according to popular opinion) can come together to discuss Gregory Maguire’s Wicked Years series and use it for a jumping-off point for conversations about life, friendship, sexuality, politics, identity, and whatever else.

Program Plan: Eight weeks of two-hour sessions. The four books will be read one-half per week in sequential order (Wicked the first and second weeks, Son of a Witch the third and fourth, A Lion Among Men the fifth and sixth, Out of Oz the seventh and eighth). The sessions will be held in a room at the library and will be mostly dictated by the kids who attend: while the librarian will lead discussion, the teens will steer it.

Schedule:

  • 6:00 pm. Greetings, etcetera.
  • 6:10 pm. Discuss the reading specifically, summing up what the group thinks are the most interesting points to discuss. (Librarian can bullet-point these on the whiteboard or projector.)
  • 6:30 pm. (approximately). Allow students to shift the discussion as they see fit, based on the discussion points. Allow the discussion to spin as it will. Don’t try to push the students too much, just prompt them and let them say what they need to.
  • 7:50 pm. Begin winding down the discussion.
  • 8:00 pm. Say goodbye for the week, reminding students what needs to be read next.

Marketing: The focus will be on academic and social youth outreach.

  • Posters in the library and in local high schools.
  • Outreach to English teachers, drama teachers, and staff leaders of theatre, literature, social justice, and LGBTQA clubs.
  • A Facebook event.
  • Marketing on the library website and Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest pages.

Budget:

  • $350 for printing/copying (posters and bookmarks).
  • $350 total for snacks.
  • $700 overall.
  • Books will be bought or borrowed by the individual students.

Other Considerations:

  • One to two librarians/volunteers should be sufficient to run the program
  • Drop-in potential, registration ongoing
  • Plan for about 20 kids, with the option of moving to a bigger room if the crowd grows substantially
  • Parental permission slips not required but parental guidance sheets available
  • The meeting room will need to be equipped with either a board or projector to write on

Program Evaluation: Google surveys will be available and printed surveys will be given.

  • A series of ratings questions (1-5) will be presented.
    • Did the program meet your expectations?
    • Was the instructor helpful?
    • Would you recommend this program to a friend?
    • etcetera
  • Open-ended questions will be presented.
    • What was your favorite part of the program?
    • What was your least favorite part of the program?
    • What would you like to add to the program?
    • etcetera

Goals: To create a safe place for young adults to discuss both issues they may not have another outlet to discuss and books they may not have another reason to be engaged with. The Wicked Years series touches on many “mature” themes (intimacy between unlikely partners, social ostracizing and shunning, political powerplays) and because it is a reinterpretation of The Wizard of Oz, which most people are familiar with, it can also prompt discussions about adaptations and how there are two sides to every story.

book club bookmark

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