Book Club unites students passionate about reading


Sisay Shannon-Tamrat

Ms. Laura Sylvester established the BSM Book Club. They read and discuss books in a more laid back format than a typical English class.

Upon her arrival to Benilde-St. Margaret’s in fall of 2013, Ms. Laura Sylvester took on the task of reviving the BSM library. Not only did she create a new system for checking out books, but the new librarian also aspired to create a club for students who want to read outside the classroom. “The Book Club is a chance for students who share the same passion for reading. It allows them to get involved with their peers and discuss books that they find intriguing,” Sylvester said.

The Book Club meets once every four to six weeks to discuss their thoughts about the current novel they are reading. This differs from English classes because there is no curriculum that revolves around deadlines, analysis and essays. “[We] sit down and have a casual discussion about [the book] and eat bagels. It’s different from an English class because there’s no rush or demand to read the book; it’s more laid back,” Book Club member and BSM junior Tyler Metz said.

It’s different from an English class because there’s no rush or demand to read the book; it’s more laid back

— Tyler Metz

This year, the club hopes to gain more members who want to partake in literary discussions and highlight novels that they wouldn’t typically read in English class. Over the past year, the Book Club had picked modern day dystopias and newly released, young adult fiction novels. In English classes, kids rarely have a say in what book they’ll read. The Book Club is an opportunity for students to hold a class-like discussion, but with the ability to choose what they want to read. “I’ll present about four options based off books [the club] has read and enjoyed in the past and we’ll vote together. The books vary in genres, but so far we’ve read a lot of young adult and dystopian novels,” Sylvester said.

So far this year, the Book Club has read the novels Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Tyrant’s Daughter by J. C. Carleson and An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. “The Night Circus was my favorite book that we’ve read in book club. We read it last year, and I really like it because it took place in a world with magic and the chapters shifted between different time periods and different characters,” Metz said.

The club is currently open to all high-schoolers who strive to immerse themselves with literature outside of the typical class curriculum.