Great Stories CLUB

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( Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens and Books)

The Great Stories CLUB is organized by the American Library Association Public Programs Office (PPO), in cooperation with the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Major funding for the Great Stories CLUB has been provided by Oprah’s Angel Network.

The Great Stories CLUB is a reading and discussion program that targets underserved, troubled teen populations. The program reaches teens through books that are relevant to their lives, inviting them to read and keep the books, and encourages them to consider and discuss each title with a group of their peers. It seeks to show that reading can be a source of pleasure, a tool for self-exploration, and a meaningful way to connect to the wider world. Its ultimate goal is to inspire young adults who face difficult situations to take control of their lives by embracing the power of reading.

Round IV

Round IV, "Second Chances," was completed in 2010.  You can view a list of the Round IV recipients here.

The theme for Round IV of the Great Stories CLUB is "Second Chances." We all wish we had a second chance to redo certain events or moments in our lives.  While we cannot change our past, when we use our past as an opportunity to challenge ourselves to learn and grow in new ways, second chances often arise. These stories are about teens who find second chances in unlikely places and make the most of them.  Applications were accepted online from September 13, 2010 through November 19, 2010. 

Titles for Round IV include:

  • Hate List by Jennifer Brown (2010 Best Books for Young Adults) 
    Valerie thought the list she and her boyfriend Nick kept of all the people who tormented and bullied at school them was just a way to deal with the stress of high school, but Nick had other ideas.  Valerie survived his murderous rampage, but others did not.  Now she has to find a way to try to understand what happened and make peace with what's left behind in her life.
  • Dope Sick by Walter Dean Myers (2010 Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers)
    Lil J is hiding from the police after a drug bust gone bad when he meets a mysterious stranger who offers him a chance to revisit some moments in his past while also giving him possible glimpses at his future.  It all leads up to Lil J facing one pivotal question: "If you could do it all over again and change something, what would it be?"
  • The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhees (2009 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults)
    Frankie has always respected his older brother Steve and he can't quite understand why Steve craves the respect of the local tough-guy cholos.  Once Steve takes Frankie under his wing, Frankie gets a first-hand look at how being loyal and trying to earn respect can have dangerous consequences.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to read reviews of these titles before applying.

In advance of submitting an application, please review the Guidelines, Application Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions. You may also wish to review the  Project Director Resource Guide for Round III (PDF) for tips on establishing an appropriate outreach partnership, a bibliography for librarians working with at-risk teens, and more. Questions may be directed to Lainie Castle at lcastle@ala.org or 312-280-5055.

Round III

Round III, "New Horizons," was completed in 2009.  You can view a list of the Round III winners here.


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