Literature Circle

Tuesdays

8:15 pm - 9:00 pm ET

Website Icons.png

Ages 11-13

Expanding Horizons

Welcome to the Literature Circle! At our weekly meetings, students are encouraged to stretch their minds and ponder new ideas as we read eye-opening books. Without assigned homework beyond reading, students can bring questions and ideas to the Literature Circle. This allows them to learn not only from the novel, but also from their peers, as student-led discussions are the leading component to the course. This type of unique student interaction in the Literature Circle often leads to better defined and articulated opinions, increased self-confidence, and friendships that go beyond the classroom. This is a club you don’t want to miss!

Out of the Dust

Once a Week Club

Acclaimed author Karen Hesse's Newbery Medal-winning novel-in-verse explores the life of fourteen-year-old Billie Jo growing up in the dust bowls of Oklahoma. Out of the Dust joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. "Dust piles up like snow across the prairie. . . ." A terrible accident has transformed Billie Jo's life, scarring her inside and out. Her mother is gone. Her father can't talk about it. And the one thing that might make her feel better—playing the piano—is impossible with her wounded hands. To make matters worse, dust storms are devastating the family farm and all the farms nearby. While others flee from the dust bowl, Billie Jo is left to find peace in the bleak landscape of Oklahoma—and in the surprising landscape of her own heart.

Materials Needed:

Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse

  • Instructor: Ms. Eve Babb

  • Dates: Tuesdays, September 13 - October 4 (4 weeks)

  • Time: 8:15-9:00 PM ET

  • Price: $32

  • Ages: 11 and above

744186.jpg
7788379.jpg

Shooting Kabul

Once a Week Club

In the summer of 2001, twelve-year-old Fadi’s parents make the difficult decision to illegally leave Afghanistan and move the family to the United States. When their underground transport arrives at the rendezvous point, chaos ensues, and Fadi is left dragging his younger sister Mariam through the crush of people. But Mariam accidentally lets go of his hand and becomes lost in the crowd, just as Fadi is snatched up into the truck. With Taliban soldiers closing in, the truck speeds away, leaving Mariam behind.

Adjusting to life in the United States isn’t easy for Fadi’s family and as the events of September 11th unfold the prospects of locating Mariam in war-torn Afghanistan seem slim. When a photography competition with a grand prize trip to India is announced, Fadi sees his chance to return to Afghanistan and find his sister. But can one photo really bring Mariam home? Based in part on Ms. Senzai’s husband’s own experience fleeing his home in Soviet-controlled Afghanistan in the 1970s, Shooting Kabul is a powerful story of hope, love, and perseverance.

Materials Needed:

Shooting Kabul, by N.H. Senzai

  • Instructor: Ms. Eve Babb

  • Dates: Tuesdays, October 11 - November 1 (4 weeks)

  • Time: 8:15-9:00 PM ET

  • Price: $32

  • Ages: 11 and above

Fiction Series: Part One

Once a Week Club

The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal—a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.

 

The Importance of Being Earnest is Oscar Wilde's most brilliant tour de force, a witty and buoyant comedy of manners that has delighted millions in countless productions since its first performance in London's St. James' Theatre on February 14, 1895. Rich in humor, and memorable characters, Wilde offers a captivating satire of Victorian society and its repressive values and traditions, particularly in the pursuit of love and marriage. To recapture their freedom, the characters liberate themselves by leading double lives.

The Little Prince: A pilot crashes in the Sahara Desert and encounters a strange young boy who calls himself the Little Prince. The Little Prince has traveled there from his home on a lonely, distant asteroid with a single rose. The story that follows is a beautiful and at times heartbreaking meditation on human nature. The Little Prince is one of the best-selling and most translated books of all time, universally cherished by children and adults alike.
 

Materials Needed:

The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway

The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde

The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  • Instructor: Ms. Eve Babb

  • Dates: Tuesdays, November 8 - December 6 (4 weeks)

  • Time: 8:15-9:00 PM ET

  • Price: $40

  • Ages: 11 and above

Colorful Abstract Shape Blank Page Border A5 (1).png
literature-circle.png

Fiction Series: Part Two

Once a Week Club

The Cay: Phillip is excited when the Germans invade the small island of Curaçao. War has always been a game to him, and he’s eager to glimpse it firsthanduntil the freighter he and his mother are traveling to the United States on is torpedoed. When Phillip comes to, he is on a small raft in the middle of the sea. Besides Stew Cat, his only companion is an old West Indian, Timothy. By the time the castaways arrive on a small island, Phillip’s head injury has made him blind and dependent on Timothy.

 

Walk the World’s Rim: In 1527, a fleet of Spanish ships sails from Cuba to explore Florida. Of the 600 passengers, only four survive. They are Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Alonso del Castillo Maldonado, Andrés Dorantes and Dorantes’ slave, Esteban. They stay alive by taking on the roles of medicine men for the Native Americans of the Gulf Coast. The story follows a 14-year-old Native American boy that follows three Spaniards and their slave through Indian territory to Mexico.
 

Materials Needed:

The Cay, by Theodore Taylor

Walk the World's Rim, by Betty Lou Baker

  • Instructor: Ms. Eve Babb

  • Dates: Tuesdays, January 3 - 24 (4 weeks)

  • Time: 8:15-9:00 PM ET

  • Price: $32

  • Ages: 11 and above

The Endless Steppe

Once a Week Club

This is the remarkable true story of a family during one of the bleakest periods in history, a story that "radiates optimism and the resilience of the human spirit" (Washington Post).

In June 1941, the Rudomin family is arrested by the Russians. They are accused of being capitalists, “enemies of the people.” Forced from their home and friends in Vilna, Poland, they are herded into crowded cattle cars. Their destination: the endless steppe of Siberia.

For five years, Esther and her family live in exile, weeding potato fields, working in the mines, and struggling to stay alive. But in the middle of hardship and oppression, the strength of their small family sustains them and gives them hope for the future.
 

Materials Needed:

The Endless Steppe, by Esther Hautzig

  • Instructor: Ms. Eve Babb

  • Dates: Tuesdays, January 31 - March 21 (4 weeks)

  • Time: 8:15-9:00 PM ET

  • Price: $32

  • Ages: 11 and above

51UZEnl2D4L.jpg
1254436772.0.x.jpg

Walden

Once a Week Club

In 1845, Thoreau moved to a cabin that he built with his own hands along the shores of Walden Pond in Massachusetts. Shedding the trivial ties that he felt bound much of humanity, Thoreau reaped from the land both physically and mentally and pursued truth in the quiet of nature. In Walden, he explains how separating oneself from the world of men can truly awaken the sleeping self. Thoreau holds fast to the notion that you have not truly existed until you adopt such a lifestyle—and only then can you reenter society, as an enlightened being.

 

Materials Needed:

Walden, by Henry David Thoreau

  • Instructor: Ms. Eve Babb

  • Dates: Tuesdays, February 28 - March 21 (4 weeks)

  • Time: 8:15-9:00 PM ET

  • Price: $32

  • Ages: 11 and above

The Mysterious Benedict Society

Once a Week Club

"Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children—two boys and two girls—succeed. Their challenge: go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. But what they'll find in the hidden underground tunnels of the school is more than your average school supplies. So, if you're gifted, creative, or happen to know Morse Code, they could probably use your help.

Materials Needed:

The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart

  • Instructor: Ms. Eve Babb

  • Dates: Tuesdays, March 28 - April 25 (4 weeks)

  • Time: 8:15-9:00 PM ET

  • Price: $40

  • Ages: 11 and above

003957_1_ftc_dp.jpg
51NRkX2bPbL.jpg

The Alchemist

Once a Week Club

Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom, and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations.

Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, recognizing opportunity, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, following our dreams.
 

Materials Needed:

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

  • Instructor: Ms. Eve Babb

  • Dates: Tuesdays, May 2 - 23 (4 weeks)

  • Time: 8:15-9:00 PM ET

  • Price: $32

  • Ages: 11 and above