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Challenge Book Club

June 8, 2023 @ 3:30 pm 5:00 pm

66 Main Street
Stamford, NY 12167 United States

Working with former Young Adult Librarian Julie Rockefeller, and with the support of HumanitiesNY and the A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation, the Roxbury Arts Group is excited to offer the Challenge Book Club, a curated and moderated reading group for 11 to 14 year olds that will explore age appropriate literature that has been challenged for its content. 

Together with book club facilitator Julie Rockefeller and other participants, readers will explore the books and their topics, share their ideas and reactions, expand their critical thinking skills, and learn about literary rating systems and their impact.

All books will be provided to Challenge Book Club participants to keep, guaranteeing that they will be accessible to the readers. At this time, Challenge Book Club selections are:

Harris and Me: A Summer Remembered by Gary Paulsen (1993): Frequently challenged for profanity.

Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher (1991): Frequently challenged due to LGBTQIA+ content and offensive language.

Blubber by Judy Blume (1974): Frequently challenged for lack of “moral tone”, swear words, and a racial slur that is used multiple times.

Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes (2001): Frequently challenged for sexually explicit content and offensive language. 

The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis (1995): Frequently challenged for offensive language, violence, sexual innuendo. 

Book selection may change based on the direction of the conversation that takes place during the moderated Challenge Book Club Meetings. Book Club Meetings will take place at the Headwaters Arts Center, 66 Main Street in Stamford NY. Participants can also join the conversation via zoom. The schedule for meeting dates are:

Thursday, April 13 from 3:30-5 pm

Thursday, April 27 from 3:30-5 pm

Thursday, May 11 from 3:30-5 pm

Thursday, May 25 from 3:30-5 pm

Thursday, June 8 from 3:30-5 pm

Thursday, June 22 from 3:30-5 pm

Your Book Club Leader:

Raised in a military family, by the time Julie graduated high school she had lived in Ohio (born there), Alaska, Florida, Ohio (again), Germany, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and Indiana. This lifestyle offered many gifts, but it was not easy to always be the new kid in class and to adjust to each new school’s curriculum. 

By second grade the public library was Julie’s happiest place. Because all libraries are arranged according to the same general system, she was never the “new kid” at the library and all her best friends were just waiting there for her to find them. 

This affinity for public libraries continued into adulthood, visiting frequently with her three daughters, volunteering often, and working as a part time circulation clerk. Children’s literature was always of special interest. From 2007 to 2010, Julie worked at her dream job: Young Adult Librarian at the Bedford Free Library in Westchester County, New York, managing the collection and running programs with kids in grades 6 through 12. 

When her husband retired from teaching and her youngest daughter graduated high school, Julie left the Bedford library to find her “forever home” in Hobart, New York, where she now lives full time. 

She is the founder and everyday librarian at The Book Nook, a free community library in Hobart, serves on the planning committee of the Hobart Book Village Festival of Women Writers, and collaborates with Stamford Village Library to present free summer reading programs for local area children.