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Clark creates new book club

Clark book club members show off the novel they are reading now. The Clark Jr. High library is packed on Thursday mornings as nearly 30 students are there engaged in lively conversations while they enjoy a breakfast of muffins and juice. But they aren’t talking about drama with their friends or the latest Vine posted on Twitter.

These kids are there discussing the novel they are reading as part of the school’s newly created book club.

“I got the idea for a book club and ran it by the principals,” librarian Kim Campbell said. “They were very supportive, and we hoped the idea would take off. The first week we had 12 show up, but since then that number has more than doubled. I have been pleasantly surprised.”

According to Mrs. Campbell, the library is already busy in the morning with kids on the computer or playing chess.

“When they see us meeting for book club, sometimes they decide to join us,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s for the muffins or the books, but they keep coming back.”

The students say it’s more than just free breakfast that draws them to book club.

“I’ve always liked reading so I thought doing it in a group would be cool,” Elizabeth Samples said. “I like being able to talk about the book and get different perspectives on it.”

Luis Alejandro agrees.

“I was invited to book club by a friend, and I fell in love with it,” Luis said. “I like how we can interact with other ‘book worms.’”

The enthusiasm for book club is evident as the kids eagerly toss around their observations after each week’s readings. When some students get ahead, the other club members are quick to shout, “No spoilers … I haven’t read that far yet.”

Students discuss what they enjoy most about the novel they are reading. This month, the book is “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”

“I think they picked it because it’s pretty popular right now since a movie is coming out,” Mrs. Campbell said. “They all want to see the movie when we finish the book, so we might watch it when it comes out on DVD.”

The students say choosing this as the club’s first book was a good idea.

“I like the graphics and the details that the book has,” Luisa Bustos said. “And the story plot has a lot of craziness about it.”

Olivia Lanning likes the theme of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”

“These kids are different but accepted by their community,” she said.

According to Mrs. Campbell, this was the first novel by author Ransom Riggs.

“He had collected a lot of weird and unusual pictures,” she said. “Then he decided to write a story about each character he had pictures of. He decided to piece these characters together, and he based his story on that for his first book.”

Mrs. Campbell said Riggs has written several more books, but she’s not sure the students will choose another one to read just yet.

“The kids are already talking about the next book they want to read, but they haven’t made a decision,” she said. “It really is pretty cool watching them get excited about book club, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they will pick next.”