The DeKalb Middle School Book Club is open to anyone in grades 6-8 who is interested in joining. The group meets every Monday after school from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Media Center. Students either get a ride home from a parent or take the 4:30 p.m. activity bus home following the program. The book club is also considered as an outreach program facilitated by a librarian (Mariah Miller) from Eckhart Public Library. Outreach programs are used to bring services to students and community members outside the library. There is no cost and no registration required.
Each month students read a new title. During the 2018-2019 school year, the book club has read the following titles: "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley, "Heartless" by Marissa Meyer, "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak, "The Sight" by David Clement-Davies, "Incarceron" by Catherine Fisher, and "Sapphique" by Catherine Fisher. For the month of April, group members will be reading and discussing "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" by Betty Smith. Students read a certain amount of pages each week, and then they are encouraged to participate in a discussion. Following the discussion, students participate in a planned activity related to the book. Participants can also share stories they have written, play games such as Story Cubes, etc.
The students gain critical thinking skills while engaging in thought-provoking discussions. Even though the students are big, passionate readers already, it still encourages students to read more and to explore titles they may not choose or explore otherwise. The book club also provides an avenue for creativity and imagination since students have started to share their personal writing. It allows students to share their ideas, thoughts, and opinions with their peers in a safe environment.