DeKalb County Library receives grant to fund book club for at-risk teens

Posted by Mary Margaret Stewart March 20, 2017

The Decatur – DeKalb Library. Photo obtained via

In January, the DeKalb County Public Library received a grant from the American Library Association to start a book club for “at-risk young people.”

According to a press release, DeKalb was one of the 75 libraries in the nation to receive the grant for the program, which is called “Great Stories Club.” The curriculum is focused on on teen violence and suicide.

The DeKalb County Office of Youth Services, which works with “at-risk children in DeKalb,” will choose 25 teenage girls to be a part of the book club.

“Great Stories Club” encompasses reading and discussing “three books in which protagonists deal with teen violence, bullying and suicide.” The books are:

– “Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher

– “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini

– “Romeo and Juliet” a graphic novel illustrated by Matt Weigle

“So many teens in our community struggle with issues of violence and suicide; and much of the time, adults are painfully unaware of what they’re going through,” the Library’s Youth Services Coordinator, Gina Jenkins said in the press release. “We think this program is a wonderful opportunity to use literature to begin important conversations with our young people about these problems and how to deal with them.”

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