Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Gone Clubbin' -- Jay

Today I want to tell you about the most amazing and personally inspiring thing to happen since the release of Thirteen Reasons Why. And it all started in Alabama!

Last month, Holtville Middle School held the very first (as far as I know) book club discussion using my book...


A little over a month before the discussion, their school librarian contacted me and we began brainstorming ways to make the meeting as special as possible for the students. On my end, I sent the students bookmarks and autographed bookplates. They submitted questions about the book or my writing process to Mrs. Stewart, and then I recorded my answers on an audiocassette (if you don't understand why, read the book!), which they listened to as part of their meeting...


On Mrs. Stewart's end, not only did she supply good food, but she invited Dr. Adams from the Alabama State Department of Safety and Prevention to lead a discussion on the warning signs of suicide.

I was extremely touched to have Mrs. Stewart using my book to positively affect her community. (You can read the HMS blog to get their take on how it went.) But from there, the idea started spreading. Now schools in many states across the country are putting together their own Thirteen Reasons Why book clubs, following Holtville Middle School's format. I'll be sending every school freebies and an audiocassette answering their questions, and they'll provide a professional in the field to discuss the issues raised in the book.

Of course, there will also be a lot of silliness which takes place. For example, look at what happens when there's only one copy of the book left...


- Jay

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oooh, what an awesome idea!

Danette V.

Kelly Fineman said...

Kudos to you and to Holtville Middle School and Mrs. Stewart for developing a model that kids will really respond to, and for taking action to try to help teens find a way out.

tamarak said...

I dig it, baby.

Colorado Writer said...

Cool beans.

Linda D. (sbk) said...

What a great idea!

I'd love for my son's school to do that as well. Good for you for helping to get that information out there in a fun and positive way.

Natalie said...

What a feeling that must be, Jay! Congratulations to you and Mrs. Stewart and all the others who are opening up a dialogue thanks to Hannah and Clay.

Disco Mermaids said...

This is another example of why librarians rock!

- Jay

Brooke Taylor said...

Wow, that's a great idea and librarians do indeed rock!

HMS Book Clubber Lindsey! said...

Hey Jay!!

I love the pics!!! Cuz I am in them!!! The book was AWSOME!! But we are having problems finding one for January!! It is gonna be hard to find a good book after reading yours!! Do yoo have any suggestions??? If yoo do just tell Mrs. Amy!! But anyways I can't wait to possibly get to meet you!

Love,
(a HMS book clubber)
Lindsey

Anonymous said...

Doesn't this make it worth all the work and worry and waiting and writing and writing and writing and writing and writing and rewritingx100, Jay.

Happy dance time
Cynthia

~Mrs. Stu said...

Jay!
I was just informed by a friend that you had posted this...where have I been?!
First of all, thank you so much for everything that you did for our book club. You helped to make it an experience that they will not likely forget. (They are still talking about it!) You know, many authors are unapproachable and simply want you to "buy the book," but you went above and beyond the "face on the book jacket" and became real to them. I'm quite sure that the time you put into this was not included in the cover price! I do wish you could have seen the students' expressions as they heard you speak to them through the recording...that was absolutely PRICELESS!
Also,thank you for all the credit you threw our way regarding the book club using TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY.(blush) As much as we would love to pat ourselves on the back for everything, the truth is we were simply inspired by YOUR novel & YOUR creativity to follow through with our activities.
It was an honor to work with you and the only thanks we need from you is another fabulous novel! We'll be waiting!

And no...YOU ROCK! ;)

~Aimes

sweettart818 said...

HOWDY!!!!!! It is me, katie, a hms book clubber!!!! I loved your book!!! I love the pictures too!!! Did Mrs. Stu tell you, we found a name for our book club!!! It is called iRead!!! Hope to see you soon!!! Have a good day!!!!
katie

skittlesforever said...

Hey Jay!

Me again!! Mrs. Stu is excited that we are on your blog!! It is really cool to have a small town in the middle of nowhere school be so awsome to be on blogs and websites such as razorbill books!! Anyways can't wait til you come to Alabama to meet us. Have a great day!!

Loves th1rteen r3asons why,
Lindsey!

Rita said...

So awesome!!!

Lee Wind said...

Like I always believed, a good book can change (for the better!) a person, a school, and eventually the WORLD.

way to go, Jay!

Lee

lizzy_lyn said...

Wow, that's wonderful.