New book club flourishes through distance learning

Students+in+the+new+junior+high+and+high+school+book+clubs+have+read+an+assortment+of+different+books.+%0A

Zoe Schnadower

Students in the new junior high and high school book clubs have read an assortment of different books.

While many clubs and activities have been canceled this year due to Covid-19, some teachers, like librarian Acacia Moraes, have been able to start some clubs due to online learning. 

“I’ve wanted to create [book club] for a long time, but normally we just didn’t have the time and the space to really organize it and get this going.” Moraes-Diniz said.

Because of the pandemic, students have had more freetime to do activities like book club.

“This was a good opportunity to get it started with all [the students] being at home and able to schedule a regular time. It’s worked out great – it’s one of the few positive things of this year.” Moraes-Diniz said.

Many of the members of book club enjoy having something to do on Wednesdays when they don’t have classes. The Junior High book club meets on Wednesdays from 12 to 1. There is a separate high school book club as well.  

“Every time on Wednesday, since we don’t have any classes, I always look forward to coming to book club – like it’s something to do because I usually don’t go to classes on Wednesdays.” Jeannie Ngansop, ‘26, said.

The club allows students to connect with each other through an interest they all have in common. 

“[I joined book club] because I really like to read – I read a lot – and it’s kind of just a space where I can talk with other readers who are as obsessed with reading as I am – it’s just really nice,” Evelyn Denen, ‘26, said.

[I joined book club] because I really like to read – I read a lot – and it’s kind of just a space where I can talk with other readers who are as obsessed with reading as I am – it’s just really nice”

— Evelyn Denen, '26

Helena Joo, ‘26, agreed. “I joined book club because I really enjoy reading books. I really love book club because everyone here is really nice and they all enjoy the essential theme of books,” 

While Ngansop has never been in a book club before, she joined book club to try something new. “I joined the book club because I love reading books and I wanted to share that passion with other people,” 

Covid-19 has been difficult in terms of communication and connection as well. 

“This year I don’t really get to see as many students every day as I’m used to seeing.,” Diniz said, “It’s a lot more on [the students] to come to us than the other way around, which is what we are used to; so having that contact has been really great and really rewarding to be able to talk to them.”

Members of book club have read books in a variety of genres so far, including And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, Scythe by Neal Shusterman and Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Currently, they are reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

“I want to make sure that everyone reads a little bit of everything,” Moraes-Diniz said, “I think we have a very solid group of readers – both junior high and high school. They have their own preferences but I want to make sure that everyone gets to experience something that maybe they wouldn’t have picked on their own. I don’t have any specific genre that I want everyone to read but I want to make sure that if you’re a fantasy fan maybe I can get you to read a historical fiction book and you’re going to like it. I want to give different perspectives.”

Some students prefer nonfiction or realistic fiction, while others prefer sci-fi or fantasy. 

“I like reading nonfiction books because I like reading about realistic things- stuff that happened in people’s lives. I like reading diaries especially – books in the first person.” Ngansop said, “My favorite book we have read so far is The Hate U Give. It’s different- I’ve never read a book like this but I like how it’s very timely and recent – it has to do with the stuff going on right now,” 

“My favorite types of books to read are sci-fi/fantasy,” Denen said, “Twilight was my favorite book we have read so far in book club because it was already my favorite book and I got to reread it and relive the happiness.” She continued, “I really liked And Then There Were None too. It was really pulling to see how all the people were going to get killed – and the way the book was written – like the little soldier boys and the poem. It was really cool.”

Join the junior high book club at any time with the code whhsbookclub on Wednesdays at 12. Join the high school book club on Wednesdays at 2 with the same code. 

“Book club makes me happy – it’s a nice place to be able to talk to people,” Joo said, “It brings some joy to my Wednesdays and gives me something exciting to do.”