Lawrence Public Library’s teen book club lets members write reviews to earn free new releases

For teens who like to read and write (and also like free books), the Lawrence Public Library has a book club that combines all of the above.

This is the second and final year for the Teens’ Top Ten Book Club at the library, which allows participants to read (and keep) new releases and advance copies of books as long as they write a book review.

The club is open to students in sixth through 12th grades, and optional meetings are held for teens to get together and discuss the books. For those who are interested, there is still time to pick up a book and get some reading done ahead of the next meeting on Feb. 24.

“We have a cart full of books that are constantly rotating with new options in the Teen Zone — they can grab a book anytime,” said Molly Wetta, the coordinator for the club. Wetta said she also visits the high schools once per month for those students who can’t make it to the library.

Teens’ Top Ten is a program of the Young Adult Library Services Association, and the library’s club is one of 15 from schools and public libraries across the country selected to participate. The clubs receive advance copies of forthcoming young adult literature releases to review and nominate for a Teens’ Choice book award, and Wetta said the club has received hundreds of books through the program.

“At our meetings, teens get the chance to check out the latest shipment of new titles, and everyone has a chance to talk about what they’ve been reading,” she said.

If a student doesn’t like one of the books he or she picks, the student can come in and exchange it for a different one, Wetta said. The program will run through this year, after which the library will return to a traditional teen book club format where members all check out and read the same book.

No registration is required, and books can be picked up from the Teen Zone at the library, 707 Vermont St. The club generally meets the last Wednesday of the month, and the next meeting will be from 4 to 5 p.m. in the library’s Readers’ Theater.

More information is available on the club’s website, which also has a place for participants to download and submit book review forms.

In other news and notes:

– Choirs from both Lawrence high
schools will perform a free
community concert on Thursday. The
concert will feature the Free State
Chamber Choir and the Lawrence High A
Cappella Choir, and is being held to
commemorate both choirs’ [selection
for a statewide competition][2]. The
performance will be at 7 p.m.
Thursday at Liberty Memorial Central
Middle School, 1400 Massachusetts St.

West Middle School will give a presentation for parents on
responsible use of social media by
teens. The meeting focuses on the
[prevalence and legal consequences of
sexually explicit messages][3] among
teens in Lawrence, and offers tips on
how parents can better monitor their
teens. The meeting is open to any
parent in the school district and
will be at 6 p.m. at West, 2700
Harvard Road.

– The Cordley Elementary School PTA
will hold its potluck dinner on
Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

– The first and fourth grades at
Hillcrest Elementary School will have their music concerts on
Thursday. First-grades perform at
6:30 p.m. and fourth-graders at 7:30

– Fifth-graders at New York
Elementary will take a field trip
to the Brown v. Board of Education
historic site in Topeka.