Mayor Buddy's Book Club: Q&A with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
What exactly is Mayor Buddy’s Book Club, and when was it founded?
Mayor Buddy’s Book Club is my only signature book club. We started this book club in 2011 when the City of Orlando received a Cities of Service Leadership Grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Rockefeller Foundation, and Orlando joined the national Cities of Service Coalition. Mayor Buddy’s Book Club’s aim is to promote literacy through leisure reading for Orlando area students in grades 3–8, but all ages are welcome to participate. We accomplish this, in partnership with Orange County Library System and the City’ Recreation Division. In the book clubs, youth read together and share their joy of reading. We make reading fun and engaging through monthly book club meetings that feature guest speakers, activities and opportunities to meet the authors. We celebrate each book with an End of Book Party at the Orlando Public Library.
Why is literacy so important?
Reading is one of the most important skills and tools that we all must develop for lifelong success. You can learn anything through reading, and in today’s digital age, it’s important to be able to think critically about what we read. Reading, even for fun, helps to improve communication skills, success in school, and builds empathy and understanding. Through Mayor Buddy’s Book Club, we hope to create generations of readers and future leaders.
You mentioned End of Book Parties. What are those like?
After our members finish each book, we host a book party to celebrate each member’s completion of the book. Frequently, we have the featured authors attend and share their inspirations for writing the book, their journeys to become writers and their processes for writing, answering any questions that our book club members have. We also host trivia games during these parties to test members’ knowledge and comprehension of the story while competing for prizes. We like to do these parties at Orlando Public Library with students participating from all around the city. Sometimes, I have joined the fun!
What kinds of books does the book club read?
The book club reads selections from the Sunshine State Young Readers Award lists. My Mayor Buddy’s Book Club staff works with library staff to choose books from a wide range of genres, with diverse characters, and exciting storylines. We hope to introduce young readers to new kinds of stories and different perspectives or ideas through the selected books. We believe that one of the most exciting things about stories is that they allow readers to explore new places and experiences.
Of the 73 books that have been offered to book club members in the 10 years since your book club began, which book is one of your favorites?
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan, which describes the journey of two siblings who travel the globe and discover their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.
If I’m someone who wants to join the book club, what should I do?
Anyone who is interested in signing up to participate in Mayor Buddy’s Book Club should go online to orlando.gov/bookclub. There are also in-person chapters of Mayor Buddy’s Book Club at participating Orlando neighborhood centers throughout the city. To find your nearest center, visit orlando.gov/My-Neighborhood. Finally, you can start your own Mayor Buddy’s Book Club by visiting orlando.gov/newbookclub for a starter pack.
MAYOR BUDDY’S BOOK CLUB END OF BOOK PARTY
Orlando Public Library, Library Central
Wednesday, October 19, 4 p.m.
Orlando Mayor Buddy’s Book Club is celebrating the completion of its latest book Quintessence by Jess Redman! There will be a Q&A with the author. Recommended for ages 8–12.
Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
From book recommendations to pop culture discussions, the Orange County Library System wants you to join the conversation with library staff about the world around us.
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