Student Launches Book Club

24 Jan 2018
ByJeremy K '19

As a fifth grader applying to middle schools, I remember being overwhelmingly excited by Fieldston's Tate Library. The possibility of being able to read so many books in my academic career was what made me so excited to attend this school. Over the course of my six years here, that excitement has not dimmed. Nevertheless, I always felt that something was missing in the curriculum.

As I grew older, I realized that this missing part was that certain voices were not being highlighted. I started to yearn for a place where I could read narratives by these under-represented voices. As I could never find that place which I desired, I decided that I needed to make that place for myself and came up with the idea of the Fieldston Book of the Month Club.

The Fieldston Book of the Month Club will meet once a month in the Student-Faculty Center, during the upper school activities period. The sole purpose of the club is to read books that highlight a narrative we think is under-represented in the ECFS curriculum. The monthly meetings will consist of discussions about the themes in the book and how they relate to both the Fieldston community and our society as a whole. Reading these books is extremely important. When we read from a diverse array of voices, we gain powerful knowledge and insight into all walks of life. This enables students and teachers to be increasingly aware and tolerant of those around us.

The first book that the Book of the Month Club has chosen to read is We the Animals, by Justin Torres. It is a powerful narrative of a queer, mixed-race boy growing up in upstate New York. The book is centered on an unnamed narrator and his two brothers. Their race distinguishes them from the other children in their town and causes the brothers to form an intense bond. Mainly a chronological tale, it tracks the narrator's entry into adolescence and the growing divide between him and his brothers. It is an exceptional work of literature and will be a dynamic first book for the club.