By Andrea Farenga
School is almost out, summer is on the way, and…..it looks like we might still be in semi-quarantine for a while. Now is the time for some no assignments, no reports, no pressure book reading just for fun! Whether you already enjoy reading or are looking get more into it, an online book group could be just the thing. Virtual book groups have many benefits, including getting introduced to books you might not otherwise be aware of and meeting new people who share your interests.
Here are a few virtual book groups that might interest you:
1. Goodreads—the largest online community of readers available. There are scads of options; you can join a discussion about a book you're currently reading, search a genre and find suggestions, or even search by award winners. The Prinz Award for Young Adult Literature, and The Nebula Award for fantasy and science fiction are a couple popular ones. Goodreads is on Twitter and Instagram, too.
2. The YA (Young Adult) Room on Twitter has book-of-the-month recommendations and chats, plus regularly scheduled Netflix watch parties.
3. Facebook has a group called YA Book Club, where you can socialize with members over a mutual love of books specifically geared to young adults.
4. While not a club per se, following favorite authors on social media allows readers a way to interact with their favorite authors and fellow fans.
5. Theteenbookclub is a blog based out of New Zealand with featured books familiar to American audiences, such as Dear Evan Hansen, Looking for Alaska, and Cemetery Boys.
Follow The Teen Book Club on Instagram.
Finally, most students have had the, um, pleasure, of getting to know Zoom this Spring. If you can’t find an option out there that you like, why not pull together a few quarantined friends and start your own?
As a professional reading teacher, I always say, “Show me a kid who doesn't like to read, and I'll show you a kid who never had the opportunity or time to choose reading material based on their personal interests.” This summer you will have both! Whether it's the NBA, celebrity gossip, politics, nature, or—well, anything—there is a virtual book group waiting for you.
Andrea Farenga, Ed.D., has been preparing teachers to empower young readers for nearly two decades.