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Using SIBL in Your Book Groups

Prepared by:
Lynne Price
Project Read
San Francisco Library

Advice for new book groups

Background: Every month since our book group began in January 2001, tutors and learners have met in one of the public library's reading rooms to discuss that month's selected book. In June 2002, the group will discuss one of the song-inspiring books from SIBL's Chapter One CD: a novel called Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathon Lethem.

Participants: Book group members are pairs of Project Read learners and tutors, and the group generally numbers between fifteen and twenty-five people.


1) To allow adult learners to become part of the reading community
2) To strengthen reading, writing, thinking and comprehension skills
3) To build confidence and be a support to other adult learners

Materials Used:
Name labels - given to all participants, felt-tip pens, registration sheet Copies of the book and the corresponding audio tape (best to use unabridged versions if available)
Questions to guide the reading, handed out at the previous meeting
A sheet of information about Tourette�s Syndrome (source: the internet) SIBL Chapter One CD � the song TELL YOUR STORY WALKING
CD player
Print-out of the lyrics of TELL YOUR STORY WALKING
Book review sheet


  • Group members sign the registration sheet and write their names on the label.
  • If there is a new member (which is almost always the case!), everyone introduces themselves briefly, around the circle.
  • To begin this particular session, everyone gets a copy of the lyrics to the song TELL YOUR STORY WALKING .
  • The group listens to the song on the CD, and then discusses it.
  • Participants call out new words that they met in the book, which the facilitator writes up on the flip chart.
  • Everyone discusses the book. The list of questions is a useful reference but does not limit the conversation.
  • If people listened to the audio cassette, they compare it with the book.
  • At the end of the session, each member reviews the book on the sheet provided

My Final Thoughts On This Book
Reader: Pretend you are a book critic � would you encourage others to read this book? Was it well written or not? An engaging and well-thought out story? Take a few moments to write your overall thoughts about this book.

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