Jodie D’Alexander doesn’t run the Woodland book club the typical way. The way D’Alexander decides the books that will be read is truly unique. During COVID-19, she has found new ways to make the club more interesting for the students involved. The book club members have many exciting events coming up as well.
Currently, the book club has a special treat coming to them April 26th, 2021. Sam Taylor, an author of many books, will be joining the students virtually to discuss her latest fantasy novel: We are the Fire.
“Students can be at home and still meet. It is a great opportunity and a great way to talk to an author. The students and I are curious about her writing process and what inspired her,” D’Alexander said. “What’s really great is that the students that are involved love fantasy, so Sam Taylor’s book will be something that really interests them.”
The book club hosts fun activities like this all the time. During the summer of 2020, they were supposed to go see Dear Evan Hansen the film after they read the book. Currently, they have their tickets rescheduled for July, so as long as everything goes well in regards to COVID-19, they will be seeing it then. Before the end of the year, the students will all read Dear Evan Hansen together, but this isn’t the usual protocol.
D’Alexander favors letting the students decide which book they’d like to read rather than always choosing to read the same books. Not only was it difficult for the students to try and find enough copies, but it also limited creativity and interest levels.
“I like to give the students a genre so that they can pick the book, rather than just choosing their book. It helps give them more choices and variety in what they read,” said D’Alexander. “And when they come together, it sparks interest in new books.”
The book club typically meets every other month because they need time in between each meeting to read. The environment is really fun and enjoyable. There never is any pressure or deadlines to when they need a book finished by.
“We are very relaxed. If you can not read a book, you can still join the discussion and listen,” said D’Alexander.
Their next meeting will be March 15th. The meetings are hybrid, meaning that the students in school that day will meet in person, and any students who can’t be in person can join on the Google Meet to talk with the rest of the club. The last time they met was during December when they were given the option to read any book that was 400 pages or more. The club was going to meet during January, but with midterms, the club decided to postpone their meeting so that they had enough time to read.
The book club is always looking for more members, and anyone is welcome to contact book club advisor, D’Alexander, to join.
“It really is a no-pressure type of environment. Everyone there is very welcoming. I encourage students to join,” D’Alexander stated. “We love new members and the ideas they bring.”