Middle School Book Club Makes a Splash

Middle School Book Club Makes a Splash photo

On March 13, Long Beach Middle School culminated its six-week-long book club with an event that brought students, parents, teachers, administrators and Board of Education members together to build community through literature. As a special highlight, the evening featured a visit from author Ann Braden.

Ms. Braden, who wrote the book club’s spotlighted selection, “The Benefits of Being an Octopus,” discussed how her life impacted the story. Her strongest message was to be part of #TeamOctopus, which represents a promise to always try to recognize the superpowers in oneself and others. Attendees also split into small groups throughout the library for book talks. 

The book club was introduced on Feb. 1 for World Read Aloud Day, when all third-period teachers read the first chapter of “The Benefits of Being an Octopus” to their classes. The middle school loaned out 250 autographed copies and a calendar of suggested reading. Each week, a book chat went live on the BAND App, during which Vice Principal Lorie Beard posed questions that sparked dialogue among students, teachers and parents. Approximately 110 members joined, including the author.

Part of the middle school’s “No Place for Hate” initiative, the book club was a collaborative effort, organized by Ms. Beard and made possible by a staff Book Club Team and PTA members. Special thanks go to Tutti Frutti, East End Café, Starbucks, Coffee Nut Café and Country Boy Bakery for providing treats for participants.