Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Slice of Life: The Time Has Come

When I retired six years ago, I knew the time was right to leave the classroom. But as fall rolled around I found myself subbing a bit, doing the Poetry Box and arranging a visit from Janet Wong, and continuing my several year tradition of the KCLS Mock Newbery with students. It soon became clear that my connections with students and poetry and books were far from over. And so began an after school book club at the middle school where I had taught for nine years. I've been involved there for six years - long enough to see two groups of sixth graders rotate through three years of middle school and head to high school. 

I've decided that it's time for me to bring this chapter to a close. Our book club will not disband. I'm passing the baton to Carrie Bowman, a librarian from KCLS, who has helped me with this group throughout the six years that we've been meeting. I've even told Carrie that I might pop in occasionally for meetings in the future. I just won't be the person in charge.

And so today, I'm looking at past blog posts that span six years of sharing book love with middle school students. There's no need for you to look at these posts, but I've enjoyed strolling/scrolling through the posts that document some of the time I spent with wonderful groups of middle school students in our book club.

A post about our group in January of 2015:
Tuesday Afternoons Rock 
A slice of life book club post in the fall of 2015:
Books, Brownies, and Beyond
End of year book club field trip - May 2016:
Visits to elementary schools ending with a book store visit 
A favorite celebration during National Poetry Month
Poem in Your Pocket Day 2017!
Last book club meeting for 2017 school year
Elsa and Katie head to high school
I sort of passed the baton for our book club in the fall of 2017
You Still Do That?
Last book club meeting for school year 17-18 (we tried alternating  meetings between the school & the public library)
Where Two or Three Were Gathered for Book Love  
Our 18-19 book club morphed to a once a month lunchtime gathering
Summery Middle Grade Titles
A padlet connects our Tween readers during the summer of 2019 and we have two summer book club gatherings
Book Sharing 
Our book club meeting (Nov. 2019) examines why parents die and other hard things happen so frequently in kids' books
Tough Topics in Kids' Books 

And who knew that we would end up meeting virtually on Zoom for the last three months (April, May, & June) of the 2020 school year (and meeting twice monthly instead of our usual once a month meet up)? 

It's hard for me to leave this chapter behind. Don't be surprised if I share more of my middle grade book love here on the blog! While I was collecting posts, I rediscovered this padlet for our book club that I created last summer. I'm in the process of updating it. I guess the upshot is that you haven't heard the last from me about middle grade books. I just won't be the person in charge and the time is right for this new step.


  1. Ramona, What beautiful memories you have created through the years with this after school book club for you and the many students who have joined in for the love of books. These memories, these book blessings, are sure to last a lifetime for you and students. The end of something is sure to open new opportunities for what comes next. I hope your “next” continues to fill you with joy.

  2. What incredible book love you've shared through this book club! And what a legacy to leave as you hand the baton to a new leader!

  3. You've done a lot of good for a lot of kids in those six years (+ all of the years you were in the classroom!) of leading the after school book club. How wonderful that it will live on through someone else.
    Looking forward to seeing what you share next!

  4. You amaze me! I know how much you enjoy book clubs! I believe it was in a book club session where I met you for the first time! :)

  5. I do hope you'll keep sharing the book club love - what a powerful connection for kids and words and lifelong love of reading. I am also glad to know the club will go on ... what a priceless piece of life's work, Ramona!

  6. Celebrate the end of this chapter. I wish you some sweet surprises as you move on.

  7. I missed this post... I have enjoyed reading about the book club many times. I imagine we might still hear about it every now and then, but it is good to know when it is time to close a chapter. And how good to know someone else will “continue the story.”