Boys in library programs have always been the holy grail of YA librarianship but, that doesn’t mean the ladies have to be left out. The Plainfield (IL) Public Library started a teen book discussion this summer. The Alex Rider Series was chosen because of it’s popularity and fast pace and appeal to boys. When the book club finally took place the club was split between boys and girls.
My own stereotypes led me think that a series about a teenage spy appealed only to boys. I was pleasantly surprised that we had girls at our discussion and I thought it would change the dynamic of the group and create different conversations. Again, my stereotypes were dead wrong. The girls were talking about how cool the explosions were or how tense a fight scene was as much if not more than the boys.
Some of the success of the program was that it was billed as a “Teen Book Club” and didn’t have a gender associations. Also signing up for the discussion in conjunction with our summer reading program helped. We will finish what is published of the Alex Rider series in the second week in September and will move on to the Percy Jackson series.