• James Parry

Young student launches first of its kind book club in Hudson


Photographed at the Hudson War Memorial Library together with just some of the other youngsters who share his love of reading, Ruven Barrell (centre) holds up the poster that he designed and distributed at his school to promote his new book club.

He loves to read, he describes the Hudson War Memorial Library as his second home, Herman Melville's Moby Dick is one of his favourite books (with Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island a close second), and he is about to launch a truly original initiative at his school with the full approval of the principal. His name? Ruven Barrell, he lives in Vaudreuil-Dorion West, and he is only nine years old.

Explains, Barrell, who is in Grade 4 at Mount Pleasant Elementary in Hudson, “It’s a book club that will meet on Wednesdays in the school library. Members will take a vote for a book that they will read that week. Different books for different grades. And then we’ll talk about the book.”

So how did it all come about? Says Barrell, who is also a big fan of National Geographic Magazine and children's author, Robert Munsch, “I came up with the idea at supper one night because I love to read and have since I was six years old. First, I asked our school principal, Mark Massarelli, if I could go ahead and then I made up flyers for the book club. He took me out of the class to say that he approved and then I made a poster and students started signing up.”

These students to date include James MacIsaac, Jasmine Dorcas, and Leah Butcher, all of whom think it’s a great idea and are looking forward to participating. Says Barrell, showing wisdom beyond his years, “Everyone will have a say and I won't pressure or rush anyone in order for the selection to be fair.”

Says school principal Massarelli, “I was very excited when Ruven came to me with the idea of a book club. Having a student-centered school means focusing on developing skills and practices that enable students to be lifelong learners and independent problem-solvers. This is what Mount Pleasant is all about.”

Says his Mom, Cristina Capela, “I am very proud of his initiative. I hope that it is very successful and that it helps his peers develop a love of reading.”

As for his home-away-from-home, Barrell has also nothing but praise for the volunteer-run War Memorial Library located at 60 Elm Street which supports many other local worthwhile causes annually. “I would really recommend it to other families so that they can get the love of reading that I have.”

For more info on the library, and one doesn't have to be a Hudson resident to become a member, call (450) 458-4814 or go to warmemoriallibrary.blogspot.ca.

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