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Contact: Angela Thullen
Program Officer, Communications
(312) 280-5286
For Immediate Release,
March 18, 2008

Winners selected for Great Stories CLUB grants

Troubled teens targeted through reading and discussion program

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office (PPO) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) are pleased to announce that 173 libraries were selected to receive Great Stories CLUB grants, which will support book discussion programs targeting troubled teens. Among those selected to receive the grant, 26 libraries will receive multiple copies of the Great Stories CLUB collection to expand their programs, and 28 sites will receive small cash grants to support program-related expenses. Funding was provided for this program by Oprah's Angel Network.

Launched in 2005, the Great Stories CLUB (Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens and Books) is a reading and discussion program designed to reach underserved, troubled teen populations through books that are relevant to their lives. Participating libraries will receive 11 sets of three theme-related books to provide to members of a book club. They will also have access to a variety of online resources, designed to help plan and implement programming. All types of libraries located within or working in partnership with facilities serving troubled teens (such as juvenile detention centers or alternative high schools) in the United States and its territories were eligible to apply.

YALSA's Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs Committee selected "Choices" as the 2008 Great Stories Club theme, along with the following titles: 

  • “Tyrell” by Coe Booth (Scholastic, Inc., 2007) 
  • “Hole in My Life” by Jack Gantos (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002) 
  • “Sold” by Patricia McCormick (Hyperion, 2006)
“This is a great program and a wonderful fit for the juvenile center,” said one applicant. “We were recipients of this grant in 2006, and it was a huge success. I would like to continue to do book discussions at the juvenile center because I feel it is so important for the teens to know that there are fun, interesting activities they can be involved in without getting into trouble.”

For more information, or to view the full list of selected libraries and partner organizations, visit ALA will begin accepting applications for the next round of Great Stories CLUB grants in September.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audiobooks for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail,

Established in 1992, the ALA Public Programs Office has an exemplary track record of developing library programming initiatives, including the acclaimed reading and discussion series "Let's Talk About It," film discussion programs on humanities themes, traveling exhibitions, LIVE! @ your library® and other programs. Recently, it has established the Cultural Communities Fund, an endowment created to help all types of libraries across the country bring communities together through cultural programming ( More than 10,000 libraries and at least 10 million individuals have participated in library programming initiatives supported by the Public Programs Office. For more information about the ALA Public Programs Office, visit