What:  it’s a book club. We talk about books!

When and Where? Middle Schoolers eat lunch together in the library every other Friday. High Schoolers meet with readers from W-L, Wakefield and Yorktown at Central Library the first Tuesday of each month.

History: TAB began 28 years ago as a partnership between the Arlington County Public Library and Arlington Public Schools. It was designed to get student input and involvement in the selection of books by the libraries and as a resource for committees making recommendations on “best books.”  In 2000, we received a national award form the American Library Association honoring our partnership.

Who can join?  Anyone at any time of the year! (Don’t worry if you can’t come to every meeting.)

How it works: TAB students read and review new titles purchased in partnership with the public library. (many of those books end up on the annual award lists.) Students spend the school year reading whichever books they like from our TAB shelves. They rate their reads with 1-5 stars and provide our group a quick review.  In the Spring, TAB members vote to determine which of the TAB collection deserve to be the “Top 10” titles, creating a list for each middle school in Arlington.  (It’s very cool to see which books each school picked!)

In addition, we organize special activities such as March Book Madness (it’s a “battle of the books” tournament), pizza parties, and Skyping with famous authors. We share information about book festivals and reading contests. The highlight of the year is when we go on a field trip to All TAB. It’s an event during which we join middle schoolers from all around APS for a presentation by a super famous author. This year we’ve invited National Book Award Finalist Ibi Zoboi! All TAB will be in November this year and we’ll all get a free copy of Ibi’s latest novel, My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich. YOU’LL GET TO MEET HER when she signs your book!


The 2018-2019 “TOP 10” Picks:

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya

The Cardboard KIngdom by Chad Sell

My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero with Erica Moroz

The Rule of One by Ashley and Leslie Saunders

No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen

Breakout by Kate Messner

Crush by Svetlana Chmakova

Making Friends by Kristen Gudsnuk

Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan tied with Takedown by Laura Shovan

The 2017-2018 “TOP 10” Picks:

All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson

Real Friends by Shannon Hale

Restart by Gordon Korman

Swing it Sunny by Jennifer Holm

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Warcross by Marie Lu

The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Brave by Svetlana Chmakova

First Rule of Punk by Cecilia Perez

Solo by Kwame Alexander


THE 2016-17 “TOP 10” PICKS

Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson

As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds

The Best Man by Richard Peck

The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

It’s not so Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

Lodestar by Shannon Messenger

Nothing But Trouble by Jaqueline Davies

Unplugged by Donna Freitus

THE 2015-16 “TOP 10” PICKS

Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks

Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko

Apple and Rain: A Story to Fix a Broken Heart by Sarah Crossan

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

“Masterminds” series by Gordon Korman

“The Young Elite” series, including Rose Society by Marie Lu

I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest

Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

“The Sword of Summer series, including Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

THE 2014-2015 “TOP 10” PICKS
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
“The Blood of Olympus” (series) by Rick Riordan
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer Smith


Ideas for staying engaged with reading all summer long:

HBW’s students read like crazy in the summer.

Arlington Public Library offers a summer reading program. (Registration helps raise money for charity and makes students eligible for prizes!)

Start or Join a Summer Book Club: Students are encouraged to find friends with whom to make regular visits to the public library (“each Thursday at 10 am,” for example) and form a summer book club. Middle Schoolers are free to set up a Google Classroom for help with communication.

Planning for a Successful Summer Book Club:

  1. You can have your first meeting before summer starts in the library at lunchtime, if you like. Fridays are great for that.  Want Maggie to advertise it? Pop in to make the arrangements.
  2. It’s helpful if you pick a day and time of the week when you’ll meet during the summer and put it onto your calendars (Every other Thursday all summer at 10 am?  Fridays, noon each week in July?)
  3. Share contact information with one another.
  4. Pick a location where you’ll meet (at the public library? at Dunkin’ Donuts? at specific homes?)
  5. Consider picking a theme that would draw in like-minded readers.  (For example:  “Fans of Fantasy and Sci Fi” or “World War II Fiction for middle schoolers.”)
  6. You want to give your members the chance to nominate and then vote on the books for discussion if you’re all to read and discuss the same title.  Alternatively, you can gather regularly simply to share on WHATEVER books you are reading.
  7. Make a goal for your group:  “We’ll read and discuss 3 books by Sept. 4.”
  8. Give members enough time to find the books in the library or order them for delivery.
  9. Take turns “running” the meeting if you think people will enjoy structure by applying ideas such as these Tips for Book Discussions.  (It often helps to think of questions to ask before the meeting starts.) If one person is “hosting” the meeting and might get distracted with such duties, consider having someone else run the actual discussion.
  10. If the group agrees, open your discussions to parents and friends to participate.
  11. Last, but vital: It can be fun to put names on the schedule who who is bringing “treats” if, for example, you want to have snacks each meeting.

HS TAB generally meets the first Tuesday night, 5pm at Central Library (during the school year.)

Middle School TAB Calendar:
(Most Friday lunches, 11:50 – 12:20)

Oct. 11:  grades 6-8
Oct. 25:  grades 6-8
Nov. 8:  grades 6-8
Nov. 22:  grades 6-8
Dec. 6:  grades 6-8
Dec. 13:  grades 6-8
Jan. 10:  grades 6-8
Jan. 24:  grades 6-8
Feb. 7:  grades 6-8
Feb. 21:  grades 6-8
Mar. 6:  grades 6-8 (March Book Madness starts!)
Mar. 13:  grades 6-8
Mar. 20:  grades 6-8
Mar. 27:  grades 6-8
April 3:  grades 6-8 (Nominate Top Ten)
April 24:  grades 6-8
May 1:  grades 6-8 (Vote Top Ten)
May 8:  grades 6-8 (Last Meeting Party!)