I've tried this before. It never worked. But this year, apart from the usual suspects, we have a strongly-bookloving bunch of Year 7 girls. They consider it cool to hang out in the library and talk to the library teacher about books and reading. One of them even agreed with me that Twilight wasn't particularly scary as vampire books went and asked for Dracula. I couldn't give it to her right away, because it was already out. Her friend had it! :-)
So as they were coming anyway, I revived the Book Club idea. I have around ten enthusiastic young readers who turn up on Wednesday to do book things. Mostly, so far, it's been browsing through new books and choosing from book displays, but this week we actually sat around and talked about books they - and I - had read and I let them know that Edwina Harvey, author of The Whale's Tale, was coming to town and would be speaking to them. Young Willis, who has already written me a superb essay for English - a Year 8 kid! - had read it and spoke enthusiastically about the book. Selena, his classmate, borrowed it. Willis was borrrowing the four-novel volume of Hitch-hiker's Guide To The Galaxy and I told the others about that. I promised Willis I would buy Volumes 5 and 6 if he wanted me to, though I personally hate the fifth novel and the sixth is by the author of Artemis Fowl (they had heard of him!).Thando of 8B wanted to tell the others about a fabulous book she had read called Ten Things I Hate About Me (someone else borrowed that on her recommendation). Her friend Paige wanted to know about Jane Eyre, which she had picked up from the display area. I felt able to explain the concept of Gothic romance - the young woman who goes as a governess (live-in schoolteacher, I explained)to a country home and falls in love with the boss, who has a Deep Dark Secret. I told them I had bought it because I wanted somewhere for Twilight readers to go when they had finished the series. Paige borrowed it. When I saw her yesterday she was quite enthusiastic so far.
I considered it a huge achievement last year when I got Jacinta to read and enjoy two books after she had refused to read even one, and it was - but we do have to look after the good readers too. They're the ones who actually turn up in the library, willingly.
Current plans are to take them to Teen Booktalkers next term, if I can get permission.