What People Are Saying

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Read this review about The LITClub

LITClub Kids…

“I didn’t understand why I had to go through the torture of more homework. Until I realized that it wasn’t work, just a lot of fun. It helped me get a different look on the book, and when I did the projects with friends, that was even more fun. I’m really glad we did them.”

— Rachel Booth, 14

The projects helped me to get out of my comfort zone. I am not an actor and I am not planning on joining a play anytime soon, but I feel much more comfortable speaking in front of other people than I did when I first started literature club. I remember the first time Mrs. Ali gave us an acting project. It was for “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens. If I hadn’t liked the book as much as I did, I probably wouldn’t have even tried to do the project. Not only did the project force me to leave my comfort zone, I had to really analyze the character I was going to be. It forced me to dig deeper than the surface and this skill has carried over into my everyday reading and made reading a much more enjoyable experience overall. Though I dreaded the acting projects.

P.S. Literature club changed the way I read. Once you learn the parts of a book, you see the whole thing in a very different way. Before I read for pleasure, now I read for meaning.

— Vann Hassell, 17

“The projects can be hard sometimes but they are always worth it. I have loved every single one of them no matter how difficult they got.”

— Marisol Munoz, 16

“They are an amazing way to spend time with friends AND have meaningful conversations about interesting topics on literature!”

— Ralph Munoz, 17

“The projects are sometimes tedious, but I truly believe they have helped a lot in understanding the books. And they ARE a great way to spend time with such amazing people such as y’all!”

— Ralph Munoz, 17

“I like reading books alone, but I really like knowing that there are other kids reading the same book and that we will get to talk about it.  It is fun to talk about it and think about something in a different way.  The projects are fun, too!!” 

— Olivia Oney, 9

There was a sense of reluctance that accompanied me in reading the first literature book of my freshman year. It was definitely a case of “my mother is making me take this class.” I quickly forgot my sense of drudgery, however, as I dug into the literature. I came to appreciate authors like C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and George Orwell. I even caught myself enjoying a good debate over a topic or some symbolism in the books. Although the worth of a book is not determined by age, sometimes the oldest books are the ones that hold more truth and conviction than any given current book. It is the voice of the past in a way. My generation often disregards all these old tomes have to say because they are a “hard read” or any other number of reasons. But I learned to just dive in, ask questions, and see what there is to be found. If you take the time to look, you might be surprised at what you’ll find.

— Shelby Oney, 16

“While I had mandatorily read classics before, the books I was introduced to in Literature Club and the questions and discussions that accompanied them captivated me. At the discussion nights, the relaxed atmosphere made me comfortable, and I discussed literature guided by strong, intelligent leadership; discussing with Mrs. Dent, or people my age, with questions like mine, and who taught me when I didn’t know what was going on without patronizing me. I’d experienced dynamics like these before, but the atmosphere was different enough that I not only wanted to come back, but had started friendships that would last and an understanding of the world of writing and literature that I’d never had before.”

— Sarah Abernathy, 14

“When I first started Lit Club, I expected to learn a lot, and have no fun. This changed after a few meetings, as I had a great time hanging out with the other kids, doing the projects, and reading the books. I learned a lot, and I also had fun. I was surprised how many friendships spring up when everyone’s doing something together, like organizing a puppet show, or creating a board game. Lit Club has been a great experience for me, socially and educationally.”

— Tana Meeker, 14

“I can pull a book apart inside and out and I will probably have fun, but looking at the author’s message and discussing with others how it relates to my life and faith in God really makes the difference.”

— Ethan Hain, 16

“At first, I was not too excited to be reading books that I had not specifically chosen, but I found so many amazing books that I never would have ever thought about reading had it not been for Mrs. Ali and literature club.!”

— Madelyn Oney, 14

“I love my friends. I love the experience. This is a whole new world of books to delve into. I’ve never done anything like it before.”

— Rachel Booth, 14

“Often I don’t think I’ll like the books that are assigned to us, but I’ll read it so I can do the project. Then I find that I usually like the book after all. And meeting as a group every month is a reward for finishing the book.”

— Cassie Desmond, 9

“Once a student learns how to think on a deeper level in order to understand  hidden symbols and themes, reading classic literature becomes a bit like an addicting scavenger hunt. A story may be enjoyed for the plot line, or consumed for its message. In learning how to look for and understand the messages the author is trying to communicate, a student can never really go back to reading a mainstream novel for entertainment purposes only; they become entertained by the intellectual challenge a work of classic literature presents.”

— Rae Ann Vrzalik, 17

“Lit club is a place where I feel safe. I can express my opinions and ideas without being afraid of getting judged or criticized but instead being able to listen to other peoples opinions and ideas as well.”

— Ella Moody, 13

 “Books unlock innovative doors of discovery. Literature challenges me in ways I never knew were possible and teaches me more about myself in the process. Books are a whole different world and open ways to experience places and times that would be impossible to reach otherwise. One of the greatest gifts my mom ever gave me as a homeschooling parent was to allow me to discover and relish literature and all the wonders that it entails. It’s one skill that I have never outgrown and carried me through high school and beyond. In my opinion, an excellent foundation in literature is a mandatory part of every education.”

— Bethany Cox, 17

“I keep coming back for the social aspect. There’s also the fact that it’s a discussion and not a classroom environment. The latter is miserable whereas a discussion provides free communication without fear of discrimination.”

— James Dent, age 17

“When it was first announced that memorizing vocabulary words was a component of literature club, I immediately decided that was something I would opt out of. However, since my mom immediately decided it was a wonderful idea, I began going through lists that next week. While it initially seemed a drudgery, I found learning new, colorful words not only enhanced the writing I did as a hobby, but also my everyday speech. Then, when the SAT test came around the next year, I realized another benefit of memorizing vocabulary was improved test scores!”

— Rae Ann Vrzalik, 17

“My favorite part of the focus paper was deciding what type of book we were reading, whether it was historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, etc. I also liked writing a little about who wrote the books and when they were written.”

— Cassie Desmond, 9

“Like many, I am not a fan of public speaking. However, through Lit Club and the unique projects, I have gained confidence and courage to share my thoughts and opinions on the many books we have studied.”

— Celste Sabo, 17

“Ali Dent’s focus papers have been a great opportunity to study each Literature Club book every month on my own. By filling out these work pages, I now know how to do things like summarize a book’s plot in one sentence, or tell you the protagonist and antagonist in a story. After completing the pages, I have an in-depth understanding of the literature.”

— Charis Meeker, 15

TheLitClub cover-3D-thin SMALLLITClub Parents…

“The literature club is a fulfilling and satisfying way to bring people together to share something common to all of the participants: the food and the books. In a unique and historic way, deeper relationships and community are built around a common table and common stories. More of us should consider being involved in something like this; we’d all be better for it.”

— M Kent Travis, Humanities Department Chair, The Brook Hill School and LitClub Dad

“When my daughters joined Ali’s literature club I figured it would be similar as joining a book club: read, discuss, repeat. And, on the surface, that’s what happened. However, this was no “drop off” event. Ali built in a relational piece to the literature club, which made the experience richer, deeper, and more satisfying than joining a book club. Not only did our family learn to relate to the book’s characters and story, but we also grew closer as parent and child, friend to friend. The books became the excuse for gathering.”

— Bridgette Booth, LitClub Mom

“The projects for Literature Club were helpful because they required the students to go deeper into their understanding of the text.  Monologues, debates, magazine articles…all made the students dig deeper to truly understand the characters and issues that were presented.  Reading and answering questions is easy, but when one has to internalize the material, true learning takes place.”

— Pam Hassell, LitClub Mom

“It has been such a blessing to witness my teenaged daughter develop a love for literature through the project portion of Literature Club. The projects have really made the books come alive for her. I’ve seen my shy 14 year old proudly present her project assignments in a totally safe and judgment free environment. I believe that Literature Club is responsible for instilling a love for great literature in my child.”

— Billie Moody, LitClub Mom

 “Our experience at Literature Club has far surpassed the typical Book Club or Homeschool Co-op meeting.  Literature Club not only is academically challenging for my 14 year old son (the Focus Paper pages alone are pure GOLD in preparing him with all the tools he needs to complete a well composed and thoughtful analysis of the book) but the group projects and discussions with the other students is in a safe setting, where the students are free to bounce around their ideas and explore deep topics and themes in the literary works.”

— Shelia Ryan, LitClub Mom

 “As a parent of a lit club student (and now as a literature club leader/facilitator), the project assignments and presentations are one of the highlights of our time together. I love how each project is unique to each student; we always get a lot of variety. And the kids learn about each other through their projects and often develop friendships around them.

When we first started lit club, my daughter didn’t have a lot of confidence in her reading, so she was reluctant to participate. But as she observed the others share what they were learning and creating with their projects, she wanted to join in. After just a few months Cassie began reading the books on her own and could hardly wait until the next month to present her project to the group.”

— Lee Desmond

“I found literature club to be a great experience for my daughter. It gave her the opportunity to experience classic literature in a fun and engaging environment. I really appreciate the group interaction as well as opportunity for personal growth through individual presentation. Literature club served as an effective preparatory class for college and made the transition to university a breeze.”

— Steve Matthews, LitClub Dad

“I had such a positive experience with literature club for my eldest daughter that I wouldn’t hesitate to enroll my youngest. Parents and kids alike can benefit from the experience. We did!”  

— Tonya Matthews , LitClub Mom

“LitClub is a place where the moms can grow together and gain encouragement and strength from each other.  Being present with our children gives us all an increased ability to be in their world and be kind of a fly on the wall in their group setting, but it keeps the conversation open so that we get to continue it at home until the next meeting.  To me, this is invaluable.  In other settings where teens get together, parents are not usually privy to their conversations and ideas, but the structure of Literature Club brings parents into the conversation so that the relationship and the necessary discussion lines remain open. Big ideas are tossed around. Enormous issues are brought up and the teenagers can see that they are capable of not only thinking about such things, but engaging in the bigger conversation that history is driven by. What Ali Dent has crafted in putting together a Literature Club for us has been so incredibly meaningful, not just on an academic level, which is so important in homeschooling our children, but on a deep social level.  We are different, better people, for the time that we have spent in Literature Club.”

— Shelia Ryan, LitClub Mom

“My fourteen-year-old son has always been an avid reader, so when Ali invited us to Literature Club I was both excited and apprehensive.  Even though my son was a reader, he had never been challenged to read up to his ability.  He had been reading whatever the “latest, greatest” book was to get his AR credit, but never tackled the classics.  Although he wasn’t immediately sold (Pride and Prejudice was our first book.  He still believes it is the worst book ever written!  , but he quickly became a fan of the club.  I took him to a used book sale at the end of the year, and he walked out with a stack of classics, which he happily paid for!  He hasn’t completely given up the “latest, greatest” books, but he is much more balanced in his reading preferences and has a new appreciation for “the great books.”

— Pam Hassell

“My eleven year old son is NOT a reader, so when Ali invited us to Literature Club, I had my doubts.  However, I have been pleasantly surprised by the results.  He has enjoyed the experience very much and looks forward to it with great anticipation.  I asked him if he liked what he was learning or just hanging out with his buddies and he enthusiastically replied, “Both!”  It’s a win/win!  Even though I sometimes read the books to him, I think the experience of being exposed to great literature has enormous benefits.  We can’t wait until next year!”

— Pam Hassell

“Both of my daughters are in Lit club this year.  I have seen different types of growth in each of them.  In one, I have seen her feel like she belongs even when she is too shy to comment during the group.  She has felt accepted and has never been ridiculed or judged.  I know she has gleaned so much just from participating in the projects and  listening in on the discussions.   She has made many new friends and considers it to be a very important part of her life now.  My other daughter did not want to join Lit Club as she felt it would be for bookworms only.  She struggled with dyslexia when she was younger and has felt insecure in the area of academics.  I have seen her self confidence blossom as she reads quality literature, has a leader who is very good at making kids feel loved and special no matter how “academic” they are and meet new friends who are very accepting and make it lots of fun.  The literature, projects, leader, friends and food make it a very special time for her.  She is sad to graduate this year and leave Literature club.”

— Stacy Cambron

LITClub Facilitators…

“When we started literature club this year, Kori was a little hesitant because Stephen, her eighth grader, wasn’t too interested in reading. She decided to join so that she and Stephen, her oldest of 5 boys, could have a regular mom/son time out. About 3 months in to literature club, Kori called to thank me and to say that Stephen was loving our books. He had just started Shakespeare and wanted more!”

— Lee Desmond, LITClub Facilitator in Colorado

“At our meeting this month, the activity for the students was to write a fictional travel journal, forming characters, events, and places. We read Pilgrim’s Progress, and next month we’re reading Canterbury Tales; their activity next month is to take the same idea and develop the journal further, writing about what they’re learning from the travels and characters. Stephen’s journal this month was very funny; his characters were based on each of his brothers and some of his friends from our group. And he gave each a characteristic based on how he knows them. We all had a lot of laughs, and some of the kids want to put his story in video form!”

— Lee Desmond, LITClub Facilitator in Colorado

“The evening of our last lit club meeting, Stephen’s mom also told us that he had the option to go to dinner with his dad to celebrate his dad’s birthday or go to literature club — he chose literature!”

— Lee Desmond, LITClub Facilitator in Colorado