2013 Book Club at the Juvenile Detention Center Print

Here are some highlights from book club this year.  Special thanks to the WCLS Foundation, the Lynden Kiwanis, and the staff at the Juvenile Detention Center and Whatcom Countly Library System who make this possible!

Author Contact:

We started the year with a visit from bestselling author Michael Grant who talked about struggles with authority, school, and finding his path to writing.  Teens at the JDC are still talking about his visit and books almost a year later.

We tweeted with author Michael Northop about his book Trapped and learned important things that we didn't know about him.

On writing:

“I am dyslexic & it took me years to warm up to reading, much less writing. I repeated second grade.”

On bullying:

“I had to deal w/ a lot of name calling b/c I was skinny w/ buckteeth & a horrible haircut.”

Hearing from talented people who struggled to succeed always inspires our book club.

Favorite Feedback from Students:

What would you tell a friend about book club?

"That it is so much fun.  Also everyone is chill." 

"I would say 'book club is fun and there a lots of good books they choose.  Give it a shot!'"

"I enjoyed being part of something."

What would you change about book club?

I read the book too fast. :(

It’s not long enough.

Reflections from WCLS Library Staff:

I loved…having a student-inspired show of hands for those who would vote for Chris McCandless for President had he survived his Alaskan adventure.  They were unanimously in favor of promoting him to the White House.   –Tamar on reading Into the Wild

I loved bringing in dried seaweed for the teens to try since we were reading a story about life underwater. They were willing to try something new. It was a lot of fun. –Kyla on reading Dark Life

I think my favorite part of reading Holes with the JDC group was the enthusiasm that each of them had for wanting to read aloud more and more as the week progressed, and also how they were so open about discussing similarities between their personal lives and those of the characters at the ranch. Such honesty in the discussions! Wow! And another great highlight was definitely how they were pumped to get to their library and read more. One guy was waving the next book by the author and saying, "Look what I got!" Oh, yeah.-Greta on reading Holes


One of my favorite moment’s was talking about the challenges of being a teen dad during The First Part Last.  The students were thoughtful and had a lot of empathy for the main character.

My other favorite moment in book club this year was when students would start talking about who they should give their book to.  The students own their own copy of the book thanks to our Foundation. When they talk about wanting to share their book I think it means they are making a powerful connection with the story and want to help someone else make than connection too.

-Aubri on reading First Part Last