What We Do

Our Mission

Durham Book Club is a student-driven community-building program that operates year-round, leading to a concentrated celebration from April to July. Our mission is to empower middle school students in Durham, NC, fostering leadership and camaraderie through shared reading experiences.

In Durham Book Club, we believe that reading is a bridge to understanding, a catalyst for personal growth, and a cornerstone of community building. We are committed to nurturing a generation of young minds who are confident in their voices, compassionate in their interactions, and excited to explore the world through the bonds of shared stories.

2023 DBC Impact Report.pdf

What We're Working On Right Now

We are happy to announce the four titles that we will be reading together this year:

While registration will run through February 19, we, the Student Leadership Team, are working on the book-related activities we'll challenge you with each month. We know at least one book will have a virtual scavenger hunt (a DBC favorite!), so stay tuned as we get closer to April.

In the meantime, feel free to read all about last year's AMAZING success in our 2022-2023 Impact Report. In our fourth year, we saw explosive growth, from the number of participants who joined us this summer to the responsibilities that we, the Student Leadership Team, took on. We're really proud of what we accomplished together. Thank you to all our students, partners, friends, and Reading Advocates. 

    





How It All Started


Durham Book Club, initiated by StrongHER TogetHER in the summer of 2020 during the COVID pandemic, was originally conceived to provide more engaging activities for the oldest girls in our program during Zoom sessions. The idea was inspired by a youth representative who suggested reading The Girl Who Drank the Moon. This sparked the girls' curiosity about book clubs. The initiative then expanded to involve the community, with support from the DPS Foundation and  Durham Housing Authority. Funding was secured through grassroots efforts, and virtual author engagements were leveraged. In those first two years, books were distributed through DPS food distribution car lines, and small libraries were established in residences managed by DHA.

In the winter of 2022, as the pandemic eased, we were able to partner with middle school staff and build stronger communication and distribution processes for students. These partnerships have proven to be integral for Durham Book Club. Throughout 2022, a dynamic Student Leadership Team emerged, a group of dedicated middle school students who work year-round to actively shape our reading season, which runs annually from April to July.

In 2023, our impact soared—800 books reached over 200 registered middle-grade students, representing a diverse array of Durham's schools. Our members talked with authors, met together in-person for the first time, and participated in engaging book-related activities that took them all over Durham.

What started as one student’s idea has grown into a student-led movement, with strong community backing. We are forever grateful for the support of the Bull City. Durham Book Club demonstrates the power of reading to unite and enrich young minds when the community works together. 

Want to Join Us??

Durham Book Club's Student Leaders and Reading Advocates are steadfast in our commitment to connect Durham students through reading,  help students realize the many ways reading can be fun and give them the reins to build a community-wide program they will be proud to leave as a legacy for younger peers.  Whether you are a middle school student who is interested in joining the Student Leadership Team or participating in this summer's activities, or a community member who is just happy to follow along, we hope you will connect with us and join in for the journey as we grow and learn alongside the best middle school kids around! 

2024 Durham Book Club

April

May

June

July

We'll be meeting the authors and getting together for small group discussions at Durham County Libraries. Please stay tuned for more information, coming in March 2024.

Programming from the Archives

The Summer of 2023

Title: Nyxia

Author: Scott Reintgen

Activity: Nyxia Team Trivia

Title: The Best At It

Author: Maulik Pancholy

Activity: The Best At It

Title: The Parker Inheritance

Author: Varian Johnson

Activity: Durham History Challenge

Title: Aru Shah and the End of Time

Author: Roshani Chokshi

Activity: Aru Shah Virtual Scavenger Hunt

The Books We've Read in Years' Past

2022

Spin with Me by Ami Polonsky

Someone Like Me by Julissa Arce

Booked by Kwame Alexander

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

2021

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Roll with It by Jamie Sumner

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

2020

The Skin I'm In by Sharon G. Flake

In Progress: Short Stories about Young Latinos by Lulu DeLacre

The Queen Bee and Me by Gillian McDunn