Sounds of chit-chatter, laughter and munching filled the on a recent afternoon as 12 girls discussed books over cookies.
The girls, students at and were taking part in the first meeting of the .
“I really like to read and I wanted to hear what others like to read,” said Emily Geary a seventh grader at Mystic Middle School. “It’s really fun.”
The girls under the guidance of children and teen librarian Maris Frey discussed books they liked and didn’t like, offered up book suggestions and enjoyed baked goods provided by the .
“You have to have the food,” Frey said with a laugh. “They’re hungry after school.”
The club isn’t limited to girls those are just the people who came to the first session, but the boys shouldn’t be worried about fitting in. For the most part the girls decided they didn’t like ‘chick books.’
The club is the chance for them share the things they like such as fairy-tale endings and books with a conclusion, but also the chance to politely disagree. Some liked the Hunger Games series while some didn’t, but they overall agreed books are almost always better than movies.
“I love reading, and I also stress out a lot,” said Miranda Nazzaro a sixth grader at Pawcatuck Middle School. “This is something I don’t have to stress out about.”
Every time the conversation started to get a little off topic, which wasn’t often Frey gently, steered it back to books.
“I think it went pretty good,” Frey said at the end. “It’s good for them to hear ideas from other kids. At this age the person they listen to the most is their peers.”
The Yellow House and the Stonington Free Library decided to partner up for the club as each organization was looking to create a book club for students.
Shanna Geary, who’s daughter Emily attended the club said she hoped it would encourage reading and that she wanted to get more boys involved.
“It’s a nice way for them to branch out and meet new friends,” Geary said.
One thing that seemed to surprise both Geary and Frey was that this group of kids who grew up with computers still prefers print books. About half of the girls said they had an e-reader but even those that had one said that with the exception of traveling they would rather hold a book than read it on a screen.
“You’d like that book,” one student to another as they were leaving. By the end there was a line at the library circulation desk with them eagerly waiting to check out books..
The No Stress Middle School Book Club meets again on March 27 and April 24 from 3 to 4 p.m. Visit http://stoningtonfreelibrary.org or call 860-535-0658 for more information. The club is free and open to all middle age students but the library requests people call to sign-up ahead of time.