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Larchmont Student Sparks Reading Interest

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- When Alana Rome isn't studying for her masters degree in education, she is volunteering with the Larchmont Public Library to give young adults a reason to read.

The Larchmont resident and graduate student at Iona College led the library's first young adult book group meeting Monday night in the Burchill Children's Room, along with the young adult reference librarian Paul Doherty.

"We had relatively low turnout, but the kids that came in were really engaged and very bright," said Rome, who is volunteering to meet the 25-hours of volunteer work required to become a member of Pi Lambda Theta, a national honors society of educators at Iona College.

One of the participants, who will be going into the eighth grade, had a lot to say about "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner, which the small group discussed from 7 p.m. through 7:30 p.m.

"It was nice to hear that he had never read the book beforehand and now he's read the sequal and is waiting for the third book to come out," Rome said. "So, we sparked some interest."

During the book discussion, Rome said she was able to apply what she has been learning during her graduate program. "It helped me come up with discussion questions and taught me how to think on my feet and get kids talking about the book," said Rome, who is also taking three courses for her masters program this summer.

Rome graduated from Iona College with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communications, and a specialization in journalism, but decided to stay in school while the economy went south. "I wanted two degrees to toggle with because of the economy being so terrible," said Rome, who has yet to decide which career path to follow after earning her Masters.

The young adult book group will hold two more meetings this summer:August 1: "Numbers" by Rachel WardAugust 15: "After the First Death" by Robert Cormier

What are your favorite young adult books?

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