On Oct. 24, students filed into the media center with one thing bringing them together: reading. Those who have read either “The Hate You Give” by Angie Thomas, “Want” by Cindy Pon, “Letters to the Lost” by Brigid Kemmerer or “My Sister Rosa” by Justine Larbalestier were brought together between first and second lunch to an event called Lit Lunch.
Every year media specialists across the state choose 15 young adult novels that are deemed Florida Teen Reads. Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ book club and book clubs in other Broward County Public Schools have read all 15 books and compete against other high schools in the Battle of the Books. Due to this event, Ruth Martinez, the media specialist at Taravella High School proposed an idea to host a Lit Lunch. These lunches would occur once a quarter with games, prizes and food to celebrate reading.
The first Lit Lunch event held at MSD began with food such as pizza and buffalo wings provided by Assistant Principal Winfred Porter. Students were able to converse and read while they ate lunch. Books on the Florida Teen Readers list were on the tables for students to peruse.
“My favorite book that we had to read was “The Hate You Give” by Angie Thomas because it talks about real life problems while still being entertaining” sophomore Valentina Espinosa said.
When all students were full and ready for fun, a competitive game of Kahoot was set up forming a team per table. The questions involved the contents of the books, quizzing each team on their knowledge of each. When Kahoot came to an end, the three students who won the Kahoot were able to keep one of the four books. Later on in the lunch, seven students’ names were pulled from a bucket to win a book of their choice from the reading list.
“My favorite part of lit lunch is playing kahoot because it is a fun way to participate and celebrate reading with your friends,” junior Sydney Kerr said.
To end Lit Lunch, students voted on which book they thought was the best, with The Hate You Give winning . The students were also asked which books they should add to the Florida Teen Readers list. Many books that were suggested and are under consideration include “Goodbye Days” by Jeff Zentner and “In Other Lands” by Sarah Rees Brennan.
The next Lit Lunch will take place in December, as it is quarterly. The MSD book club will be reading the new four books together, and encouraging others to read them as well. Registration will be on the Douglas website closer to the date.