Beyond the Pages

A look into our school’s book club


Photo by Q

Sitting at her desk on Oct. 28, English teacher Emily Holmes helps one of her AP literature students in 5th hour.


Lila Hardy (10) joined the school book club in 2021 because she wanted exposure to a wider variety of books she thought she might not enjoy. 

The books are chosen by students and librarian Katie Smith, who asks the book club members what genre they would be interested in and looks for books that she thinks would appeal to the students. They try to read diverse books, and make an effort to have the books be relevant to when they’re read, like reading a book by an Indigenous author during November, Native American Heritage Month.

“We definitely look at making sure that the books themselves reflect all sorts of different voices, whether they be racial or any kind of identities, by the characters and by the authors as well,”  co-leader Emily Holmes said.  

Holmes and other co-leader, fellow English teacher Steven Neal, agreed to run the book club when Smith asked if any teachers could. Neal described himself as a “gigantic book lover.”

“I love books and I’m an English teacher,” Neal said. “So I doubly love books.”

Smith does planning while Holmes and Neal lead discussion.  

“We have some really great conversations about real world things while we’re reading the book, and we get to learn a lot from each other,.” Neal said.

Although they came for the books, all agree that community building is what keeps them going. 

“You might be interacting with people that you’ve never met that you don’t normally cross paths with during the day.” Neal said.

And even if books and community aren’t enough of a draw, Holmes makes sure to remind them about the most important perk.

“We always have snacks.”

While the next book club for November is already full, students can visit the library after Nov. 10 to sign up for January’s book club.