Join Durham Book Club

Durham Book Club has been growing a lot this year, thanks to the suggestions of past participants and to the hard work and dedication of our Student Leadership Team. Below is a quick description of what we're working on now, or you can jump to each program by clicking on the Table of Contents links. ➡️

From our humble beginning as a summer reading program, we're thrilled to offer new programs this year:

DBCreads is our annual summer reading program, where we invite ALL Durham middle school students to join us in reading four books together from April to July.

DBCwrites includes all of our writing workshops, which we're expanding this year. Our goal will be to host one workshop each quarter.

DBCtalks is our podcast that the Student Leadership Team runs every other week. We talk about books, interview authors - kids and adults!, meet with all kinds of book professionals, and more!

DBCexplores is our only paid program, and it's our annual summer camp, which is a deep dive into the world of publishing. Kids meet professionals in the publishing world while also working on a writing piece that we publish and distribute at the end of the camp.

There's a lot going on, and we're hopeful you'll want to join us in reading and writing in any way you want!


We're so excited that 2024 Durham Book Club has begun! All 5th through 8th grade students are invited to join us this spring/summer as we read four amazing books together, one book each month during April, May, June, and July.  While registration is currently closed, you can still get your own copies of the books at the Durham County Library, local bookstores, or wherever you like to get your books. 

During Durham Book Club READS, you'll also have the choice to:

As always, this program is free to all participating students, thanks to the support of grants and donations and partnerships with Durham County Library and dozens of teachers and media specialists in Durham's schools.

So, wait - what is DBC reads all about?

We read great books with middle school peers from throughout Durham, NC.  We meet all kinds of people - students, community leaders, authors, you name it!!... And we learn about different perspectives and experiences with books as our guide.  You can look forward to making new friends, meeting authors, playing games, winning prizes and thinking about reading in a whole new way!  Come join us!

Okay, so how are the books picked?

We ask middle grade students who like to read for their suggestions! Our Student Leadership Team is made up of 10 - 15 middle school students, who either find us on their own or they are recommended to us by someone in their school.  This group of students meets once a week throughout the entire school year, but we focus on the books during the fall. During the title selection period, we talk about some of our favorite books (and some of our not-so-favorite books!). Eventually, we narrow down what is usually a long list of titles by considering all kinds of criteria: genre, topic, length, reading level, diversity of character, diversity of author, and price. When the process is finished, voila! We have four titles that will be read by Durham Book Club students during the upcoming summer! 


Sounds fun, so what do I need to do?

It's easy!


Every fall, the Student Leadership Team chooses four titles for hundreds of middle school students to read together from April to July.  Do you know how HARD it is to choose only four titles??? There are so many amazing stories and authors to choose from!!! We want to share with you some of the books we love, interview authors about their writing process, and explore everything else in the world of books and writing. 

And so, our solution is a regular podcast in which we'll do all of these things: Welcome to DBCTalks, the podcast hosted completely by Durham Book Club's Student Leaders. We talk about books, reading, writing, and everything in between. Thank you for listening!

We try to post new episodes every two weeks, so subscribe and let us know what you think!


We hear from students all the time who wish DBC could be year-round, and we totally get it. We wish we could meet every single month, too, but it's tough with everyone being so busy! One request we've gotten a lot, though, is to hear more from authors and to learn more about the writing process.

And so, we're happy to say we've started DBCwrites, which we hope will grow to become a regular writing workshop series for middle school students. We want to support your interests in writing, whether it's poetry and songs, writing your own memoir or creative nonfiction, or crafting fanfiction or your very own novel. 

Our first writing workshop was in January 2024 with NYTimes Bestselling Scott Reintgen. We were overwhelmed with the number of participants in this event, so we know future workshops are needed. Stay tuned for more events like this in fall 2024.

As always, this program is free to all participating students, thanks to the support of grants and donations and partnerships with Durham County Library and dozens of teachers and media specialists in Durham's schools.

Scott Reintgen, author of the Nyxia series (and so many more!), talked to a group of more than 50 teens in January 2024 about world building when writing fiction.


Have you ever wanted to publish something you wrote, but didn’t have any idea how to do it? Get ready to have all your questions answered during a week of creativity and exploration at Durham Book Club’s Publishing Camp! Join us to unlock the secrets of writing and publishing with fun activities and engaging conversations.

What's In Store?

With a very special thank you to Carolina Friends School for hosting us on their amazing campus, we are so excited to learn all about the publishing world with you!

Note: this is our only paid program.