Middle School Book Club
Welcome to the 2020-2021 year of the Middle School Book Club at St. Ignatius! As book club leaders, we would like to share with you a bit about the program’s structure and goals as well as some of the themes we will be exploring this year.
The Middle School Book Club will be meeting on Monday or Friday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 pm via Zoom. The dates for our meetings can be found on the calendar HERE. During each session, students will be invited to a focused discussion on a book that they will have read prior to the meeting. Discussions are led with the help of high school students who are veterans to the book club. Students will be responsible for purchasing books/audiobooks and reading them before coming to their monthly meetings.
The first session will take place on September 28th (Monday) or October 2nd (Friday). At this meeting, a carefully selected list of books and summaries will be presented and the final list of books for the year will be voted on by them that night. The students really enjoy this night as it gives them a sense of ownership. We will also review expectations and goals. There is no assigned book for that session.
Our goals for the program are: to provide opportunities for students in our faith community to get to know one another; to cultivate a space for peer-based reflection, thought-provoking dialogue, and understanding of different perspectives related to important social issues; and to offer structured opportunities for high school and middle school students in our community to connect and to learn from one another. We have designed the program to be framed by the seven Catholic Social Teaching Principles. Following the first session, subsequent sessions will be informed by the principles below.
Life and Dignity of the Human Person
Care for God's Creation
Call to Family, Community and Participation
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
Rights and Responsibilities
Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
Some of the themes we will be exploring together include: friendship, immigration, displacement, gender discrimination, racism, social isolation, labor, poverty, care for the environment, among others. Once the students have decided on the book selections, we will share the full list of titles.
Our research in developing the list of book options involved consulting with members of our Family Mass community, considering previous book club lists, and reading numerous informed reviews. We sought to balance reading levels and age appropriateness with subjects that we hope will encourage students to think deeply while discussing sometimes challenging issues in the context of their peers. If you feel that any content, theme, or issue discussed may be of concern or upsetting to your child, please know that they do not have to read the book or attend book club that particular month. If you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out at any time during the year.
Finally, in the interest of encouraging full presence and participation, we will be asking that students refrain from using cell phones for the duration of each meeting.
Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if we can answer any questions. We look forward to a stimulating and fun year together!
Your Book Club Catechists: Ana, Dalia, Julia, Grace, and Molly
Past Book Club Reading Lists
The reading list for 2018-2019 was:
Refugee by Alan Gratz
The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
Illegal by Eoin Colfer
Lily and Dunkin by D. Gephart
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
Hate List by Jennifer Brown