New YA Book Club club aims to connect students and staff over literature


It’s time for you to start reading.

While students have always had opportunities to read and discuss literature, staff are getting involved with the new ETHS Young Adult Book Club.

“The ETHS YA Book Club is for all staff including administrators, substitutes, coaches, teachers, aids, security, etc.,” explained Miriam Rosen, librarian and creator of the club. “ It’s designed for them to read what students are reading or really good literature that’s current that students might want to read but don’t know.”

ETHS YA Book Club is unique because of  its “book it forward” philosophy. After a staff member reads a book, they pass it on to a student who will read and discuss it with them and then pass it on to someone else.

“ It seemed like there was a disconnect between staff reading and talking to students,” added Rosen. “I wanted to connect students with staff.”

Currently, 35 staff members are involved in the club, meeting every six weeks and reading “How it Went Down” by Kekla Magoon, a story told through multiple perspectives after a white boy shoots a black boy and their community is thrown into an uproar.

For senior Cherese Wraight, books like “How it Went Down” are important. “That book could be crucially important to current events,” said Wraight. “This is a great way to start discussions outside of what we’re learning in class and understand our teacher’s views on things we’re interested in,” she added.

In an age where technology seems to be the go to, junior Andy Soglin also appreciates the new club. “Literature is the foundation of our common language. Shakespeare made up thousands of words that we use everyday,” explained Soglin. “Learning about the new authors that are creating our language right now is a good way to broaden your mind and be active in our world,” Soglin commented.

After spring break, staff members will begin “Booking it Forward” to students. Freshman Triana Callam is hoping to get a book from her history teacher Mr. Walsh or Safety Staff member James George. “I’d be interested in receiving books and giving books and in seeing what they think of them and getting recommendations,” Callam said.

By March next year, Rosen hopes to have over seventy staff members discussing YA literature with students all over the school. What’s most important to her, she said, is that “books break down barriers. Even if your opinions don’t match, you have a conversation, and that leads to more conversations.”