Thursday, November 3, 2011

Breakfast Book Club

Breakfast Book Club is 11 years old and running strong--over 100 students participate each quarter. These teachers don't underestimate the power of giving a student a book and a bagel...and the chance to read and talk about books for the sheer joy of it.
--Ric Dressen @EdinaSuper

At Edina High School, there is a club for everyone: math team, language clubs, Images, robotics, hip-hop dance team and even a Harry Potter club (for all who didn’t get accepted into Hogwarts this year)!   

However, my favorite club is the Breakfast Book Club. We meet every 4-6 weeks at 7:45am, a time when most other students are still fast asleep. The books we read are different from those we are assigned to read for class. We choose contemporary books that high schoolers can make a connection to—books that are fun to read. Our goals are to laugh, share ideas and have fun!  (Those 600+ page classic literature books? Analyzing nano-details? Figuring out what the main character’s abandonment issues are a result of? Not usually my cup of tea.) As tempting as it is after a long day of school and homework to go home and play videogames or spend the night and the wee hours of the morning on Facebook, when I find a book that I really love, I can’t put it down. This has been the case with all the books we’ve read in book club.

I remember the first meeting I went to, in late October of my sophomore year. I walked into room 276 a little anxious, because I hadn’t finished reading the book, Zeitoun! But once I was there, I was surprised by how fun and welcoming everyone was, and even though I hadn’t finished the book yet, I had a great time. (That was also the meeting where I discovered how amazing blueberry bagels with strawberry cream cheese are!) All the conversation piqued my interest and, that afternoon when I got home from school, I finished Zeitoun and started on our next book.    

Two other books that really struck me last year were The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein—a hilarious, yet tear jerking story of deep and true love narrated by Enzo the dog—and The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly—a story of David, a young boy whose love of books takes him on a journey to a land where real fairy tales live. Both were funny but were also very touching books that made me think about love, life and hope. You can see more books we’ve read here.

I feel very fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful group of people who enjoy reading as much as I do. I am very thankful to our book club leaders, Ms. Cosgrove and Ms. Swenson, for everything they have done for us.  I find that reading opens new doors and brings in imagination and creativity, and I believe it’s important in this age of technology and mass media.

“Without a human voice to read them aloud, or a pair of wide eyes following them by flashlight beneath a blanket, books [have] no real existence in our world. Like seeds in the beak of a bird waiting to fall to earth or the notes of a song laid out on a sheet, yearning for an instrument to bring their music into being. They lie dormant hoping for the chance to emerge… They want us to give them life.” ―John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

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