|Casper Journal Articles
From the Natrona County Public Library
One Community One Book: High School
By Jenn Beckstead, Teen Librarian
February 22, 2012
What would happen if everyone read the same book? Seattle’s Nancy Pearl asked that question back in 1998 and launched the first One Book program.
Your Natrona County Public Library (NCPL) has hosted several One Book events in the past, encouraging our community to read and share one great book. These events were primarily aimed at an adult audience. Our most recent book, featured in 2007, was “Pay It Forward” by Catherine Ryan Hyde.
Since then, I have wondered what would happen if we did a similar program geared to teenagers. What would happen if the public library and schools worked together to achieve a goal? Getting teens to read for the fun of it!
While at a library conference luncheon last fall, I shared the idea of a community wide teen reading program with two of our high school librarians. They were just as excited about the prospects as I was, so we began sharing ideas and planning for the event.
After reading and discussing several potential books, we chose “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner. The book has wide appeal, both with teens (especially boys) and adults. The book also happened to be nominated for this year’s Soaring Eagle Book Award, chosen by teens in Wyoming. Finally, because of the futuristic/dystopian theme, it is a perfect book to recommend to fans of “The Hunger Games,” who are eagerly awaiting the March movie release.
The inaugural One Community, One Book: High School program will kick off on Leap Day, February 29. High school students (grades 9-12) are invited to “Take the Leap! Read the Book.”
All your teen has to do to receive a free copy of “The Maze Runner” is stop by their school library on February 29. Copies will also be available to pick up in the Teen Zone at the public library.
Participating schools include Kelly Walsh High School, Midwest High School, Natrona County High School, Roosevelt High School, and Transitions. Students at the Juvenile Detention Center and the Safe Schools Suspension Lab (SSSL) will also receive books.
Your library will host several events to augment the book. Teen Book Club will meet the evening of Tuesday, March 29 at Metro Coffee Company, where teens can discuss the book with fellow readers. Several book discussions will also take place in each school.
Casper College professor and local “Maze Runner” expert, Joseph Campbell, Ph.D., will lead a “Glader Chat” about the book on Tuesday, April 10 and a creative writing workshop, “Write Like That!,” on Saturday, April 14.
“The Maze Runner” is primarily a survival story set in a futuristic world, where sun flares have destroyed large parts of our planet. Each month a teenage boy is sent to the Glade, surrounded by a huge maze. The boys have no memories from their previous life and must work together to survive and find a way out. “The Maze Runner” is the first book in a trilogy, followed by “The Scorch Trials” and “The Death Cure.” A prequel, “The Kill Order,” will be released in August 2012.
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