The American Library Association (ALA) has announced that Whiting High School in Laramie and Guernsey-Sunrise Schools in Guernsey are two of the100 libraries nationwide selected by the to take part in the Great Stories Club, a national grant program that supports reading and discussion programs for underserved teens.
Created in 2006, the Great Stories Club engages young adults with accessible, thought-provoking literature, facilitates humanities-based discussion with peers, and encourages library outreach partnerships with alternative schools, juvenile detention facilities and a variety of other youth-focused community organizations.
The 2018-19 themes for the Great Stories Club are “Empathy: The Cost of Switching Sides” and “What Makes a Hero? Self, Society and Rising to the Occasion.” Working with small groups of approximately 10 teens, participating library professionals will discuss stories from one or both themes.
“Empathy: The Cost of Switching Sides” will feature:
- Flight by Sherman Alexie Read ALA’s statement about the use of Flight for this project.)
- Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Octavia Butler, Damian Duffy and John Jennings
- All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
- Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman
- March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
“What Makes a Hero? Self, Society and Rising to the Occasion” will feature:
- Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze
- Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman
- Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
- Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac
- What Can(t) Wait by Ashley Hope Pérez
- Buck: A Memoir by M.K. Asante
The titles were selected in consultation with humanities scholars and librarians to inspire teens — especially those facing difficult circumstances or challenges — to consider “big questions” about the world around them and their place in it, ultimately affecting how they view themselves as thinkers and creators.
Grantees will receive 11 paperback copies of each of the three book selections (10 to gift to participants; one for discussion leader/library collection); programming materials such as discussion guides, reading lists and program activities; and training opportunities, including travel and accommodations for an orientation workshop in Chicago.
The grant will be administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office. The Great Stories Club has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.