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Contact: Lainie Castle

For Immediate Release,
December 4, 2007

Application, theme and titles announced for Great Stories Club grant

Book club program funded by Oprah’s Angel Network will target underserved, troubled teen populations

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, in cooperation with the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), is pleased to announce that applications for the Great Stories Club are now available at Applications from all types of libraries will be accepted through Feb. 1. Funding has been provided by a grant from Oprah's Angel Network.

The Great Stories Club is a reading and discussion program designed to reach underserved, troubled teen populations through books that are relevant to their lives. The program is built on partnerships between libraries and a variety of organizations that serve troubled teens: juvenile justice facilities; alternative high schools; drug rehabilitation centers and nonprofits serving teen parents; and other agencies. Teen participants are invited to read and keep three theme-related books and encouraged to consider and discuss each title with a group of their peers. The program's ultimate goal is to inspire young adults who face difficult situations to take control of their lives by embracing the power of reading.

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)


All types of libraries (public, school, academic and special), located within or working in partnership with facilities serving troubled teens in the United States and its territories, are eligible to apply for a Great Stories Club grant. Up to 200 libraries will be selected to develop a book discussion program for teens based on the three theme-related titles and will be given copies of the books to share with each participant. Participating libraries will also receive access to an online toolkit to support the program, including sample discussion questions, recommended titles for further reading, downloadable bookmark art and other resources. Small cash grants ($100-$200) will be awarded to up to 20 sites for the support of program-related expenses.

Guidelines, application instructions and the online application are now available at Applications will be accepted from Dec. 3 through Feb. 1.

For 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audio books 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 at 800-545-2433, ext. 4390 or by e-mail at

Established in 1992, the ALA Public Programs Office has a strong 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(r) and other programs.   Recently, it established the Cultural Communities Fund, an endowment created to help all types of libraries across the country bring communities together through cultural programming (  Each year, more than 3,000 libraries and at least 2 million individuals participate in library programming initiatives supported by the Public Programs Office.  For more information about PPO, please visit