The Circle Book Club for not only readers, but dreamers as well.
Ms. Ignelzi, BHS teacher, is the amazing head of the Circle Book Club. The reason that she started the club in 2002 was “because Bremen didn’t have a club to provide a form for students who like to read and wanted to share the passion and celebrate reading together.”
“I wanted to be more involved with students just apart from being a teacher and since I love to read…why not start a club doing what I enjoy myself!” Ignelzi said.
At Book Club meetings, it is amazing for students to connect with other students about their passion for reading.
The message and inspiration of Bremen’s Circle Book Club is simple. “There is a book out there for everyone; if you enjoy stories, I guarantee there is a book written about your interests!” said Ignelzi.
“Reading is solitary and communal so it’s perfect for shy kids, outgoing kids, leaders, followers, and everyone in between. Reading is addictive in a good way- once you start you can’t stop!” exclaimed Ignelzi.
As far as managing traditional book club meetings with the Covid19 pandemic, most clubs are holding virtual meetings. BHS Book Club holds virtual meetings and they use electronic devices when it comes to reading the books too! However, the Circle switched to Kindle books instead of using 2 years ago, so reading electronically is not new for veterans in this club.
The club members still read novels, hold our meetings in our Google classroom, and have guest speakers. In addition, the Circle helps to provide opportunities for members to support other Bremen students and the community.”
The advisor of the club does admit that she sees people in person at the Circle meetings. “Seeing each other’s faces… the animation some of us have when we discuss books in the same room is perhaps more spontaneous and provides a more energetic interaction” said Ignelzi. “We feed off of each other‘s energy when we meet in person.”
Even virtually, students are able to benefit from the book club. The club is a beautiful way to put what one feels when being together and discussing books and or other interests.
Currently, the Club members are reading our second book of this year and it’s called The Cemetery Boys. The book’s protagonist is a 16-year-old Latino trans-boy, Yadriel, living in East LA who is a part of a secret community at Brujx – people whose heritage give them healing powers and the ability to see spirits and help them cross into the afterlife. Yadriel isn’t accepted for who he is and he was denied his right to become a brujo. Behind his family members backs, and with the help of his cousin Maritza, he gains power anyway and accidentally raises the spirit of a classmate Julian who suddenly goes missing.
The Cemetery boys really have a thrilling plot as Julian has a reputation of being wild and possibly a gang member at the same time. Yadriel’s older cousin mysteriously dies and his body can’t be found Yadriel, Maritza and their new spirit companion Julian set out to find the missing bodies and to prove to Yadriel’s family that he is worthy of being a brujo, and prepare the cemetery to protect for Dia de los Muertos when their spirit ancestors appear for the once per year visit.
The way they choose books is very connecting as well. “I try to find books that fit most members’ style. We talk about our summer reading, about our favorite genre/authors. Other times we go out of our comfort zone’s to read what we would normally pick up on our own we try to include novels that are not as highly market in the mainstream like graphic novels novels, written by POC, and novels written by self published authors didn’t start reading a book and decide they can’t get into it it’s no problem if you don’t finish,” explained Ignelzi.
The BHS Circle Club members are responsible for buying e-books and downloading them. However, members never have to pay for a book. Buying e-books is a less expensive method to acquire multiple copies than purchasing 15 to 20 hardcopies of one novel and doing it this way club members do not have to worry about storing sets of novels either.
As far as what the club will read next, they are not sure what the next book choice will be. “We might choose from the authors members have suggested; we choose novels as we go along discovering new books by happenstance is a part of the fun,” Ignelzi said.