Starting officially in the 2018-2019 school year, Shawano Community High School gained a student book club run by English teacher and Newspaper Adviser Mrs. Brittany Lamers. Each month, students meet in the morning to discuss their monthly read over donuts and friendly banter.
Inspiration struck for Mrs. Lamers while discussing books and reading with some of her newspaper students last spring. They also desired a designated place and time to really share their opinions about books and the idea of a book club was enticing to all.
“I said that I would love to start a book club, so the idea really came from them encouraging it,” Mrs. Lamers explained.
In order to get the ball rolling, or the pages turning, Mrs. Lamers talked to both the English department and the librarians about getting her hands on materials and forming the club itself.
“We have to get a notice to the library in order to get books on time, which can take up to two weeks, and we can’t be a book club without books,” Mrs. Lamers said.
Junior Autumn Vanderlinden, a Newspaper editor and one of the brains behind Book Club’s origins, really wanted to have a place where she could discuss books with people.
“I love to read, but not many of my friends like to read, so I just wanted to interact with other people that have that same passion for books,” Vanderlinden shared.
One of her favorites to discuss was, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, but she is really excited for one of February’s reads, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.
“It was a really impactful book, and when it came to be a movie it was really for everyone to know that these things happen in society and to shine a light on real world problems,” Vanderlinden said.
Junior Caitlin Daniel has just recently joined for the last meeting, and so far she has enjoyed exploring new genres and hearing the views of other people.
“I like to read, but sometimes I get really busy and don’t have time to read, but in Book Club I have a motivation and date set. I also get more ideas and theories or reasons why things could have happened in a book, aside from my own,” Daniel explained.
One of Book Club’s January options was, The Princess Saves Herself in This One, a free verse poetry book by Amanda Lovelace. Daniel had never read any book similar to it before, and she explained that it was different than she expected, but that is what she wants.
“Trying different genres and book styles make the books more fun to discuss,” Daniel said.
In the creation of this club, Mrs. Lamers, Vanderlinden and Daniel really found the community of passionate readers they were craving. So far, the meetings have been successful as far as their mission to share feelings, and the donuts are a wonderful bonus.
“It’s very low pressure. Since it is only twenty minutes a month, we just read and eat and talk. Students don’t have to feel like I am going to quiz them. They can just come by and talk with us,” Mrs. Lamers said.
She urged students to give it a chance even though it has already started because there is really no stress or need to prepare whether they read the books two weeks or two days ago. Any avid reader is welcome!