Mainely Girls is now signing up schools across Maine that want to offer A Girl’s Point of View Book Club for their girls during the current school year. If there’s not a club in your community, now is the perfect time to start one. It’s not difficult, it’s not expensive, and it can make a huge difference in the lives of the girls involved.

A Girl’s Point of View Book Club offers girls of all reading levels and intellectual abilities a chance to delve into contemporary fiction that focuses on issues they face today. With their courageous female characters and age-appropriate story lines, the books provide role models of strength and a starting point for discussing the challenges inherent in growing up female in the 21st century. The all-girl environment, frequent meetings, and focus on contemporary, relevant literature help create a space in which girls can feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and insights, asking their questions, speaking their minds, and developing their voices while creating important connections with club facilitators and each other.

Participants report that Book Club is incredibly meaningful for them. Positive feedback has included: “Book Club has influenced the way I see myself and my life. I realized I am important in this world, and I affect everyone,” and “I would recommend this Club to a friend because I think that everyone could have fun in the Book Club!”

How does A Girl’s Point of View work? Clubs are offered as an extracurricular activity in high schools, middle schools, and fourth and fifth grades at schools and libraries throughout the state. Ranging in size from six to 15 girls, clubs are typically run by two adults-often librarians, teachers, counselors, or active community members. The logistics of each club, where to meet, how often, which books to read, etc., are up to the facilitators and club members, but clubs usually meet after school and read and discuss one to three books a month, each determining its own reading schedule. Mainely Girls maintains a lending library of 120 empowering novels, and sets of books are mailed directly to the facilitator. In addition, a 45 page Facilitator’s Handbook provides useful information about club start-up, recruiting girls, guiding discussions and club development.

The Mainely Girls Web site has more information about establishing a Club at your local school or public library, including annotated book lists. Please contact Mainely Girls at 230-0170 or megirls@midcoast.com for more information or to begin a club in your area. A Girl’s Point of View Book Club is made possible by the generous support of the Maine Humanities Council, the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, United MidCoast Charities, and many state and national authors.