This month on the Librarian's Corner I'm featuring my favorite choices for Teen Book Clubs! I've chosen 4 books that all kinds of teens will enjoy, and that are ripe with discussion and activity opportunities. If you've run a teen book club, tell us what your book choices are in the comments!
A retelling of history in an alternate world where steampunk and genetically modified creatures are real, LEVIATHAN hit the world by storm with its original release. The series is till quite popular, and has a lot of opportunities for pairing with history or social studies class content. There is a lot of extra content to supplement a book discussion, including the Manual of Aeronautics, bonus illustrations, videos from the author, etc on the author's website HERE!
**Also useful is a comprehensive reading group guide from the publisher HERE!
Soon to be a major motion picture, the debut novel from Ransom Riggs is a fantastic book club choice. This book won't be anything like what teens have read before, and they'll love talking about the photographs and the strange powers that the characters have.
A book trailer and more of the author's photography and short films can be found on the author's website HERE, which make for great extra content to supplement a discussion. The photographs themselves contained within the book are fantastic conversation starters, especially once students discover that they're real photos found by the author.
WINGER is my favorite book club choice, simply because it's never what the teens expect. I tell them it's funny, but they don't expect to be laughing out loud while reading it in class. I say it has great comics, but they don't expect to be sharing those pages with their friends in the lunch room. Girls love reading from a teenage boy's perspective, and the boys find Ryan Dean's antics absolutely relatable. The comics interspersed throughout the novel are not only hysterical, they are great discussion starters and activity boosters. Participants can even try to create their own comics based off Ryan Dean's drawings.
A classic that's been on many banned books lists throughout the years, The Chocolate War provides many opportunities for discussions of what makes a book appropriate or inappropriate, what exactly gets a book banned, and how schools deal with the situation. Teens will probably find the situations the main character faces relatable enough that they can discuss their own lives and school experiences along with the book.
Eden Grey is the Young Adult Programming Librarian at the Erlanger branch of the Kenton County Public Library system, the busiest branch library in the state of Kentucky. Eden is a contributor to Teen Services Underground, and reviews books for YABC and School Library Journal. When she is not herding cats -ahem, teens- at the library, Eden can be found reading, knitting, sewing, cosplaying, and playing Pokemon. You can always find her on Twitter (@edyngrey), and Blogging Between the Lines.