NEW TEEN READING GROUP TACKLES FASCISM

Are you a teen who likes to read, or do you know one? Got a hankering to understand what makes fascists tick?

A new reading group for teens kicks off Monday at the Red Bank Public Library. Staffer Stephanie Chadwick, who organized the series, says she hopes to entice teens to participate in discussion with attention-grabbing books like this month’s pick, “The Wave,” a 1981 novel by Todd Strasser, writing under the pen name Morton Rhue.

“The Wave” fictionalizes the true story of a high school history class experiment led by Ron Jones in 1969 to demonstrate the power of fascism – with frighteningly successful results in demonstrating how it can win over people who profess opposite values. Chadwick said she picked the book in part because of its gender-neutral themes, hoping to pull in both boys and girls.

Participants should be prepared to dig deep into the themes of book and the moral issues it raises, said Chadwick, who will lead the group with a preselected discussion topic. There will also be an open forum to ask questions.

A book club such as this promotes a love of reading in today’s teens, Chadwick said. And with a focus on “cool new books,” the reading club hopes to draw in young readers. By eliciting a variety of interpretations and ideas, as well as imparting the basics skills of literary criticism, book discussions make the most out of reading for teenagers, she said.

Open for kids in grades 6 through 12, the club is slated to begin at 4 p.m. For information, contact Chadwick here.