Selecting a Title for the Middle School Book Group, BRiMS

BRiMS, Books Rule in Middle School, met for the third time this year on October 30th. It was an easy decision to decide that horror would be our genre of choice for that particular meeting. Each student selected their own book. We went around the room sharing the titles of the books that we read and explaining why we liked or didn't like the book. Some of the shared books included: Mabury's Rot and Ruin about zombies; dystopian story, Monument 14, by Laybourne; Pit and the Pendulum by Poe, a classic; Croak by Damico which is not too scary but the characters are grim reapers; and the Harry Potter series, which the students thought the movies were scarier than the books. One student shared a story that he read online from creepypasta. He visits that site often to read stories that members can post. Since anyone who joins can post a story, not all the stories are quality, but he enjoys them nonetheless.

The next meeting is going to be in December. For the next scheduled meeting, everyone will read the same title. I hadn't picked anything when we met in October, so I decided to send out a survey to see what the kids would like to read. They really wanted an action/adventure story. 

You can see those results here:

I thought that it was interesting that neither romance nor realistic fiction had any interest at all. I had two write -ins for manga. There is no denying that manga is loved by the middle school students. Will I sound like a curmudgeon if I say that we won't read manga for book group?

Since I was creating a survey anyway, I decided to find out what made book group fun. I was happy to see that talking about books topped the list, and you can see their answers pictured below. I also asked the students to tell me what needed to be improved, and several students thought we needed more time for our meetings. We have 40 minutes for lunch, but by the time that the students get their lunch and bring it into the library, we only have about 30 minutes to talk. I think that since so many of them want more time, I am going to ask if we can meet during the study hall/lunch period. I agree with the students; we just don't have enough time for everyone to have a chance to talk and share. 

Our next meeting is December 11, and we are going to read Cornelia Funke's Dragon Rider. I thought that I had the book on the shelves of my library. Actually, I don't have it in the library, and I am going to see if I can find a local bookstore this week that carries the book. 


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