Mrs. Sara Parets, Middle School English and Writing teacher, has a deep love of reading and she adeptly shares her passion with students. To encourage and inspire that interest, she has hosted an informal book club for students this summer. Every two weeks, a group of 9-12 students meet on Zoom to discuss a new book.
“I select books that are middle grades appropriate and high interest,” said Mrs. Parets. “The overall theme is self-exploration and empathy for others. Each book features middle school aged protagonists dealing with struggles including bullying, divorce, identity, racial injustice, and death. Science tells us that reading fiction can make us more empathetic
and that is what our world needs right now.”
They have already read “Restart,” by Gordon Korman and enjoyed exploring the idea that a person could evolve and not forever be defined by their mistakes. The journey continued with “Clean Getaway,” by Nic Stone, with readers traveling with Scoob and his G’ma on an epic road trip of family, guilt, identity, and forgiveness. “A Good Kind of Trouble,” by Lisa Moore Ramée followed Shay through her experience of facing her fears, and breaking some rules, to support something she believes in; and “Blended,” by Sharon Draper, which is a story about divorce and racial identity.
For interested students, the next book is “Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story,”
by Nora Baskin. All Middle School students are welcome to participate. For more information, check the Canvas pages for the Class of 2026, Class of 2025 and Class of 2024.
The 2020 Middle School Summer Book Club is open to all middle school students. It is not an academic course, but an optional book club to promote reading. We meet on every other week at noon on Wednesday to discuss the books we have read. For information on reading fiction and empathy, check out this BBC article, “Does reading fiction make us better people