Author Laura Ruby with a group of CICS Northtown seniors (left) and with students in the Book Club and Literary Journal (right)

A Culture of Reading at CICS Northtown

Written by Chicago International Charter School
06 December 2016
Posted in News

On Monday, Nov 28, the CICS Northtown campus welcomed award-winning author Laura Ruby to its monthly student book club. Ms. Ruby's most recent novel, Bone Gap, won the 2016 Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, given annually by the American Library Association. The book was also a National Book Award finalist. "The Printz is the equivalent to the Newbery or Caldecott awards, but for older readers," explained CICS Northtown's librarian Jim Klise. "It's the most important award for young adult literature, so having her with us was a truly exciting opportunity for the students. The students were thrilled and honored to meet her."

The event attracted a large audience, including members of the campus's Book Club, Literary Journal, and many aspiring authors. Ms. Ruby read aloud from the novel, answered questions from students, and signed copies for all book club members. Travon, a CICS Northtown freshman, was among the enthusiastic students in attendance. "Laura Ruby is the most significant author I ever seen," he said. Alison, a fellow freshman, added, "What I most enjoyed about meeting her was getting to know why she wrote Bone Gap and what she faced while writing the book." 

The Book Club at CICS Northtown Academy has been meeting for 13 years without ever skipping a month. With 18 members, the club has grown so popular that students must now apply to participate and there is a waiting list. "This is a nice problem to have," said Mr. Klise. "It's great to work in a learning community where reading culture is celebrated and encouraged all throughout the year."

Thank you to Laura Ruby and to Jim Klise for getting students excited about reading!

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