Club Read

Club Read: Urban Nation

By invoking the excitement, cultural diversity, and grittiness of city life, urban literature can promote understanding between cultures.

Imagine BookReading urban literature—K-12 fiction set in an urban environment—can open up new vistas for students, regardless of where they live. It can stimulate reflection and open-mindedness, improve self-esteem, and foster involvement and engagement. And, as with all fiction-reading, it can boost academic performance and literacy.

Students can enjoy urban literature on different levels. They can explore and process difficult situations and emotions in the safe environment of fiction, or gain an appreciation of urban history and culture. They may even be inspired to write their own urban prose or poetry!

Furthermore, urban literature can help students gain a greater appreciation of their own communities, from people and playgrounds to buildings and businesses. The urban landscape, whether imagined or remembered, can open a window on a myriad of experiences surrounding love, loss, joy, community, and family life.

And, by revealing the excitement, diversity, and grittiness of city life, urban literature can promote students’ understanding of other cultures and life experiences, as well as exposing them to some of the great artists, authors, poets, musicians, and thinkers whose lives were molded by the urban environment. At its best, such reading inspires open-mindedness, greater acceptance of differences, and hope for a better, more inclusive and cooperative future.

Promote reading and library use with the following urban literature selections from Perma-Bound.


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CLUB Read Editions 2017-2018

Club Read: One Picture, A Thousand Words

Pictures were humanity’s first cross-cultural communications, and it was through “picture power” that people first began sharing thoughts, ideas, and experiences across space and time. Prehistoric pictograms were the personal reflection of the mind’s eye—the interpretation of what was seen in the natural world—painted on stone walls and tablets.

As humanity progressed, modes of expression such as art, dance, music, gestures, objects, signs, symbols, photography, and digital imagery all became opportunities to tell a story. Throughout human history, visual syntax and semantics have been the springboard to understanding beyond words. And, in our increasingly visual world, visual literacy education has become an essential core curriculum component necessary to succeed in the classroom and in everyday life.

So, how does imagery communicate meaning? The answer is, through storytelling—the expression of ideas and emotions by sending or receiving messages using images. The picture story is without spoken or written word, yet is understood across global and cultural language barriers. Images force the viewer to reflect and answer questions: How is the visual story constructing a particular reality or meaning? What is the context? What is the subject matter? Decoding and interpretation require pausing and reflecting on each visual message to understand the truth of what is being communicated.

Visual competencies are critical to surviving in our culture, where images have an enormous influence on values, beliefs, attitudes, and lifestyles. This is a time of blogs, podcasts, creative text messaging, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, gaming, print ads, web ads, billboards, theater, museums, classroom, and television imagery. Shared cultural understanding influences what we learn from images, and dictates how they are perceived, reflected upon, and interpreted.

Your students are overwhelmed daily by visual images that require constructive visual interpretation. Students have become audiences, both in the classroom and out. Help them to become savvy participants in our visual world as well, with the following visual literacy books from Perma-Bound.


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What is CLUB Read?

CLUB Read is a program designed to help students foster and nurture a love for reading.

Suggested booklists that children and young adults find interesting and want to read are compiled by Perma-Bound Curriculum Specialists using the following guidelines:

  • Inspire Recreational Reading
  • Classroom Study Opportunities
  • Generate Interest In Reading
  • Increase Reading Ability
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Thematic Topics
  • Discussion-Generating Concepts

A new theme, brief synopsis, and a corresponding suggested booklist for grades K-12 is posted quarterly on this page, and is also included in our Perma-Gram e-newsletter.

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Club Read: What’s Your Plan?

As a teacher and trusted role model you have a major stake in making school a safe place. In a disaster and its aftermath, your students will most likely expect you to tell them what to do, help them get to safety, comfort them, and support their understanding of what is happening.

Your students may respond to a disaster with symptoms of shock, stress, and trauma. You can support their recovery by helping them work through their emotions and return to a daily routine. Some verbalize their feelings, but many will not. Negative behaviors that may manifest might include acting out, anxiety, perfectionism, physical symptoms, and difficulties with cognitive functioning. Give your students time to relax and let them know it’s normal to feel afraid, confused, angry, and guilty. Share as much factual information as possible, including how and where they may obtain more information and assistance. Continue teaching about disaster preparedness.

Emergency preparedness requires actively getting involved, making a plan, and staying informed. Risk reduction and resilience education are vital components of this effort, and can be taught across the curriculum. Reading and learning about disasters can help your students better prepare emotionally and physically—finding reassurance and empowerment about what could happen, what they should do to prepare, and what they should do during a catastrophe.

Disasters can affect anyone, so prepare for weathering them safely by having a plan with your students, parents, and community. DHS and FEMA produce cross-curricular and grade-leveled Be A Hero! Youth Emergency Preparedness teacher’s guides, with standards indicated. Preparedness lessons, questions, graphing, answer keys, extension activities, surveys, planners, reproducibles, reflection and dialogue prompts, and additional resource web links are included in these student-centered, inquiry-led comprehensive guides -

Strengthen your students’ disaster preparedness, survival, and recovery skills by including the following selections from Perma-Bound:


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Club Read: Passport to Diversity

There is so much value in teaching world cultures!

Human society is incredibly diverse. Opening our hearts to others’ cultural heritage can lead to extraordinary possibilities and a world of wonderment through greater understanding. Expanding our personal worldview produces admiration and empathy, and a spirit of inclusion and caring for others—exactly what you, as an educator, are trying to foster in the classroom.

Learning about other cultures does not mean we are giving up our own treasured heritage. In fact, we are seeing a new emphasis on the maintenance of cultural roots within a pluralistic society. There are many factors and attributes that affect the way we identify ourselves. Personal foundations such as our background, culture, race, and ethnicity have an important role in our identity. Linking these factors together can give students a better understanding of their own identity and a feeling of belonging. Studies show students who lack a sense of belonging lack motivation and tend not to participate. Honoring your students’ cultural diversity can gift them with a sense of belonging that will foster excitement about learning.

Heritage Learning Centers are a wonderful way to introduce culture into your classroom. Here’s how to create one: Design blank passports for your students. Select a corner in your classroom or library aimed at experiencing one culture at a time per week or month. Weave students’ journey using a mini-culture kit focused on language, cultural artifacts, geography, celebrations, traditions, customs, and humanitarian projects. Introduce students to books, foods, music, and art from other cultures, and stamp their passports as they complete each cultural journey. Expand your learning center to include other diversities such as gifted, special needs, English Language Learners, and special interests in conflict resolution and combatting low self-esteem. Invite other classrooms to participate, and allow your students to participate in other classroom Heritage Learning Centers as well.

We want to live in a world in which all people can achieve their potential. Viewing your school as a diverse family community rather than a student work institution brings your students closer to you and makes them more open to introspective dialogue and learning. Genuinely understanding each student can establish connections and help you support individual development, education, and a sense of belonging in our beautiful world.

Introduce your students to many fascinating culture journeys with the following books from Perma-Bound.


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Club Read: Show Me The Money

Why do we teach financial literacy as an essential life skill? Educators know it’s vital that students gain the knowledge and skills to manage their personal finances effectively for lifetime financial security. They also know that available resources ultimately decide the fate of any educational program.

Money determines our ability to feed and clothe ourselves. Money determines if we have a place to live, transportation, and healthcare. Money determines if we will work for others or have the funding to work for ourselves, achieving greater freedom and higher standards of living. Money is also necessary to survive after leaving the workforce.

How will you “work in” financial education into your curriculum? You may want to make it a daily habit to talk about money and its influence on our lives. For example, identify opportunities in your curriculum to highlight real-world situations where money is used, and dialogue how to obtain and disperse the needed funds. Talking about money throughout the day reinforces for students that financial matters are a normal part of life.

Teaching personal finance also helps to build college and vocational education goals. It is also crucial to philanthropic endeavors. There is a world of opportunity for those who understand how to make and use money wisely.

Prepare your students for financial success with the following Perma-Bound books.

Club Read: Oh, The Drama!

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Cast of Characters

Students • Teachers • Librarians • School Administrators


As William Shakespeare, the greatest dramatist of all time, noted in the famous passage above, drama plays a part in daily life. In the realm of education, integrating visual and performing arts across the curriculum allows all your students to experience a holistic and balanced education. The study of dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts has been proven to help students achieve academically in core subjects such as math, language arts, reading, social studies, and science. In addition, it promotes cognitive ability, critical thinking, verbal skills, and social and emotional learning (SEL), and fosters civic (community) engagement.


We are living in a stimulating and expansive visual age. Creativity and inspired innovation are more important than ever in today’s job market. Designing a video game, creating and maintaining a website, engineering in the 21st Century, and painting or crafting a work of art are everyday applications that are developed through a strong visual arts education. Blend the arts throughout daily lesssons and your students will become improved critical thinkers while enhancing their cognitive abilities.


Arts education across the curriculum also provides growth in social skills. Students learn to convey ideas and emotions that cannot be expressed in language alone, strengthening their SEL quotient and creating more constructive responses to communications challenges. Acting out scenarios helps students practice approaching conflicts, problems, and new experiences, making them better at processing their emotions and gaining an understanding of what others may be feeling. As a result, they become better communicators.


As you make space in your curriculum to study the arts—and to “theatricalize” other core subjects— your students will become more aware of visual and performing arts in their community. Incorporating the power of the arts into their daily lives will give them an understanding of the range and depth of the human experience, imagination, and culture, and of the importance of art resources in their community.


Invite all your students to discover their talents by gaining important skills and knowledge through the arts with this spectacular list from Perma-Bound books.


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Club Read: Elementary, My Dear Watson! 

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One of our goals as teachers is to help students observe and understand what is going on around them, and use this information to make good decisions.

One way to develop cognitive skills is through literature. Reading literature is a basic learning tool that can develop and refine students’ thinking abilities by teaching them how to compare and evaluate ideas and information. The skills of predicting and confirming are key components of critical thinking, generating actions that produce clear strategies and outcomes.

There are many ways to encourage your developing readers to use their imaginations to help make predictions. For example, solving a puzzle, or reading how a detective solves a mystery, satisfies natural curiosity and affords the opportunity to discover and use higher-order skills. Through literature, your students can learn to observe, compare, and analyze by identifying (evidence), finding order (sequence), communicating (explanation), and making a decision by evaluation (inference).

You can help your students become critical thinkers and good decision-makers by providing reading materials that develop deductive reasoning skills.

Club Read: Makerspace Movement 

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Effective teachers aspire to turn students into “active learners.” One way they do this is through the use of makerspaces, which have been shown to increase dynamic engagement and critical thinking, improve student academic performance, and build social communication and collaboration skills.

The active learner uses sensory input to engage with the world. The process of experiential learning drives student engagement by requiring personal experience— critically developing ideas and spurring subject-matter comprehension and application.

Collaboration on projects creates a communication thread, inspiring students to learn how to talk and interact with others to achieve a common goal. Makerspace hubs provide a stage to solve problems as part of an alliance, creating team spirit and even inspiring friendship.

Makerspace isn’t just for the classroom, either; school and public libraries can get in on a growing DIY and instructorled makerspace movement as well. Overall, educators can boost student applied learning and self-esteem by providing designs and experiments that deeply engage science, engineering, and crafting—launching their imaginations and catapulting them into a future as next-century collaborators and inventors!

Perma-Bound offers the following book selections to support your thriving Makerspace culture!

Club Read: Why Vote? 

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If you truly want to be the writer of your own story, you need to learn to make thoughtful choices. Voting allows you to be an active participant in your narrative by creating the life circumstances you want for yourself and the community you live in.

Supplying books to help your students understand their role as educated citizens is essential to maintaining a republic where people are free to discuss issues and act upon informed decisions. Armed with knowledge, students will have the courage to become catalysts able to improve the quality of life in their communities. They will learn how to responsibly exercise their rights, and will be able to experience the personal satisfaction of fulfilling their civic duty—experiences that are fundamental to success as a human being and as a citizen of a functioning democracy.

Perma-Bound offers the following selections to help your students write a life-story of their own choosing by using the power of the vote.