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Tuesday, October 19, 2010 10:00 am
Where future book group members will come from
Posted by: Kaite Stover

They’re raising them up right at North Kansas City Public Library. This library is unique in the Kansas City metro-area for being the only combination high school-public library and it serves a diverse community of adults and young adults.

For the past four years, library media specialists Abby Yellman and Kristie Carney have been pulling together more than 100 students from more than four schools into an online book group that tackles classics, nonfiction, fiction and all of it is discussable. Some of the titles will be familiar to book group members: The Kite Runner, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Columbine, Stiff.

Yellman and Carney have been able to provide every participating student with a copy of the book to keep. They created a blog where the students respond to posted questions as time allows. Yellman and Carney also work hard to get funding from local businesses and this year earned a grant for their project.

The most telling aspect of this book club? Yellman and Carney didn’t wait for the kids to come to them, they went looking for students. It’s paid off. The group has grown over the past four years and shows no signs of stopping.

I can’t wait to welcome these thoughtful readers into one of my book groups. But I’ll have to wait until after graduation.

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