How to Inspire Your Book Group with the #ScotTeenBookPrize - Kinross High School
The librarian's perspective - background to the book group
Our library is fairly unusual in that we are school and a community library combined into one. When we decided to try to set up a Teen Book group we approached the English department and agreed to join forces and run it together. The reading group is very informal as we are trying to appeal to a wide range of readers and ages. Generally we have focused on everyone reading a particular genre or theme rather than a specific book so the members can choose their own book to discuss.
Last year we decided to use the Scottish Teenage Book Prize to add an additional focus to our book group meetings. Both the library and the English department managed to obtain copies of all of the longlisted books. We encouraged everyone to try to read as many of the six books as possible; however, some only manged to finish a couple of titles before the voting date.
-Claire Crichton-Stuart, librarian, Loch Leven Community Library
The teacher's perspective - using the Scottish Teenage Book Prize within the book group
As a new teacher to Kinross High School, I was asked to take charge of a book club run in the school. The book club as a whole is attractive to BGE (S1-3) students, especially those in S1 and S2. We now have a core body of pupils who meet informally every two weeks to discuss books of all genres, shapes and sizes. Working alongside the library staff has been an indispensable resource for us as their knowledge of books and ability to direct students towards certain books stretches the potential of book club.
The Scottish Teenage Book Prize was a great focus for us last year. I acquired funding from the school and bought each of the nominated books as well as those that were highly recommended. We distributed them amongst the students and with the library’s help in getting further copies, managed to have each student reading a nominated book. The timescale was quite short as we came to it late and this is something we reflected on. The books themselves varied in style and genre and, as they were aimed at teenagers, meant the group remained interested. The resources and the competitions that run alongside allowed us to engage further with the books and it was brilliant to gain recognition for what we had done via a certificate.
-Conor Dolan, English teacher, Kinross High School
The students' perspective - the appeal of the Prize
The school book club inspires me to read and gives me an opportunity to socialise with new people.
In terms of the book prize, I was eager to read and, personally, I find it very hard to find a book I wish to read so the Scottish Teenage Book Prize gave me a focus. I was surprised by the quality of the books on offer and how excited I was to read them at night.
The books covered a variety of genres and were each very unique.
In book club, we met every 2 weeks on a Tuesday to discuss our progress and which texts we were enjoying. Towards the end of the time allocated, we did a secret ballot to vote for our favourite book and our teacher then submitted our votes. It was great to have such power in voting for a competition aimed at us!
Taking part in the Scottish Teenage Book Prize is free and easy, and our competitions and resources provide plenty of opportunities for creative learning - head on over to the homepage to find out more. You can also check out the rest of our Scottish Teenage Book Prize blog posts for ideas and inspiration!