IMAGINE YOUR FUTURE: A Science Fiction Reading Club
The Imagine Society, The Dred Scott Heritage Foundation, and the Green Hill Juvenile Detention Center have partnered together and selected a Science Fiction Reading Club as our first collaboration! This February, we’re inviting all teen readers to celebrate the science in science fiction and how young people can positively impact their future! The reading club is an exciting new project for 2023 in The Imagine Society’s #ANewChapter and The Dred Scott Heritage Foundation’s “Reading: A Civil Right” campaigns uniting young readers across the country and beyond! The book selection features exciting classic and contemporary titles!
Science made it possible for robots to stroll through the canyons and craters on Mars, and for you to scroll through the posts and profiles on the internet. The study of science has led to amazing discoveries that have opened our world to limitless possibilities. It’s also part of the things that help us every day. Whether big like a black hole or small like a microchip, our present and our future are shaped by science. These technological advancements can help our world in extraordinary ways and other times may feel like they hurt us or hinder certain communities. This February we challenge you to imagine YOUR future while reading SCIENCE FICTION!
How can you get involved? It’s easy!
- Choose a book from our chosen selections. 6 classics, and 3 contemporary titles (see below). The choice is entirely up to you!
- Read and enjoy the book (we hope it takes you about 2 weeks), but all readers will be able to participate.
- Brainstorm a unique and exciting project to create and share! It’s also entirely up to you to flex those creative muscles! Share your project with The Imagine Society and The Dred Scott Heritage Foundation so we can share your brilliance with our community! Projects will be featured on Instagram, in The Imagine Society Newsletter, and DredScottLives.org to celebrate all your hard work and creativity!
- Write your own book review as if you were reviewing for your favorite blog
- Create artwork celebrating the book – a drawing, painting, or even a collage!
- Create a comic book-like page or pages illustrating scenes from the book
- “Interview” a character from the book – this could be on your own in written
format, or you could get a friend and film it!
- Film a scene from the book, alone or with friends!
- Create a stop-motion cartoon about the book
- We’ll also be supplying some questions that are prompts you can answer about the book. You can do it on your own, with a parent, teacher, or tutor!
- Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to sign up!
We have selected the following science fiction books. We’re thrilled to introduce the classics but have also expanded the selections with new titles from diverse and exciting authors! It’s entirely up to you to choose which book is most exciting to you!
- 1984 by George Orwell. Reading Level: Moderate. 328 pages. Summary from britannica.com: “The book is set in 1984 in Oceania, one of three perpetually warring totalitarian states. Oceania is governed by the all-controlling Party, which has brainwashed the population into unthinking obedience to its leader, Big Brother. The Party has created a propagandistic language known as Newspeak, which is designed to limit free thought and promote the Party’s doctrines. Its words include doublethink (belief in contradictory ideas simultaneously), which is reflected in the Party’s slogans: “War is peace,” “Freedom is slavery,” and “Ignorance is strength.” The Party maintains control through the Thought Police and continual surveillance. The book’s hero, Winston Smith, is a minor party functionary living in London that is still shattered by a nuclear war that took place not long after World War II. He belongs to the Outer Party, and his job is to rewrite history in the Ministry of Truth, bringing it in line with current political thinking. However, Winston’s longing for truth and decency leads him to secretly rebel against the government.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. Reading Level: Advanced. 296 pages. Summary from amazon.com: “From the savannas of Africa at the dawn of mankind to the rings of Saturn as man ventures to the outer rim of our solar system, 2001: A Space Odyssey is a journey unlike any other. This allegory about humanity’s exploration of the universe—and the universe’s reaction to humanity—is a hallmark achievement in storytelling that follows the crew of the spacecraft Discovery as they embark on a mission to Saturn. Their vessel is controlled by HAL 9000, an artificially intelligent supercomputer capable of the highest level of cognitive functioning that rivals—and perhaps threatens—the human mind.”
- Dune by Frank Herbert. Reading Level: Accessible. 704 pages. Summary from amazon.com: “Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for…. When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.”
- Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Reading Level: Accessible. 249 pages. Summary from amazon.com: “Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.”
- I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. Reading Level: Moderate. 256 pages. Summary from amazon.com: “I, Robot, the first and most widely read book in Asimov’s Robot series, forever changed the world’s perception of artificial intelligence. Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-reading robots, and of robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians and robots who secretly run the world—all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asimov’s trademark…. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future—a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.”
- The Getaway by Lamar Giles Reading Level: Accessible. 400 pages. Summary amazon.com: “Jay is living his best life at Karloff Country, one of the world’s most famous resorts. He’s got his family, his crew, and an incredible after-school job at the property’s main theme park. Life isn’t so great for the rest of the world, but when people come here to vacation, it’s to get away from all that. As things outside get worse, trouble starts seeping into Karloff. First, Jay’s friend Connie and her family disappear in the middle of the night and no one will talk about it. Then the richest and most powerful families start arriving, only… they aren’t leaving. Unknown to the employees, the resort has been selling shares in an end-of-the-world oasis. The best of the best at the end of days. And in order to deliver the top-notch customer service the wealthy clientele paid for, the employees will be at their total beck and call. Whether they like it or not. Yet Karloff Country didn’t count on Jay and his crew–and just how far they’ll go to find out the truth and save themselves. But what’s more dangerous: the monster you know in your home or the unknown nightmare outside the walls?”
- The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. Reading Level: Accessible. 432 pages. Available on amazon.com: National Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature and Newbery Honor Book The House of the Scorpion is “set in the future …in Opium, a country which separates Aztlán (formerly Mexico) and the United States. The main character Matteo Alcránm or Matt, is a young clone of a drug lord of the same name, usually called “El Patrón.” It is a story about the struggle to survive as a free individual and the search for a personal identity.” – Wikipedia
- The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline. Reading Level: Accessible. 231 pages. Available on amazon.com: Multi-award-winning The Marrow Thieves is “set in a dystopian future in which most people have lost the ability to dream, with catastrophic psychological results. Indigenous people, who can still dream, are hunted for their marro to create a serum to treat others.” The author was inspired “to write a novel in which those youth could envision themselves as protagonists, as people with a future.” – Wikipedia
- The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein. Reading Level: Moderate. 400 pages. Summary from amazon.com: “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress rose from the golden age of science fiction to become an undisputed classic—and a touchstone for the philosophy of personal responsibility and political freedom. A revolution on a lunar penal colony—aided by a self-aware supercomputer—provides the framework for a story of a diverse group of men and women grappling with the ever-changing definitions of humanity, technology, and free will—themes that resonate just as strongly today as they did when the novel was first published.”
Welcome aboard to all young readers! We’re over the moon excited to launch this very special reading club celebrating reading, science, creativity, and the limitless possibilities of young minds!
Since the summer of 2022, The Imagine Society has decided to focus on “Equity in Education,” highlighting different ways our Youth Leaders can help young students in need get access to books, necessary supplies, technology, and community encouragement. Now you can join us in Chapter 2 of our ongoing service project #ANewChapter. In our March Imagine Newsletter, we introduced you to the library at Green Hill School in Chehalis, Washington. Green Hill is a maximum security fenced facility for young men sentenced to Juvenile Rehabilitation. Their incredible librarian Julie Forbes is on an inspiring mission to support the dreams and aspirations of these young men, and to provide for them a world-class library where they can grow and thrive. Every day the students at Green Hill request books they would like to read, books that help inspire their future selves: that take them through their journeys of education, career, adulthood, parenting. Our Youth Leaders have decided to help fulfill the Green Hill Library’s book wishlist.
Our Imagine Youth have created and designed bespoke bookmarks that helped us raise $2000 with which we directly purchased and shipped brand new books to the students and the library at the Green Hill Juvenile Detention Center. Please consider continuing sponsorship of this important, ongoing mission Green Hill Library’s book wishlist.
Check out our gallery of some of the original bookmarks featured on @TheImagineSociety Instagram page where our youth raised $2000 to #clearthelist in August 2022.
Librarian Julie Forbes on The Profitable Table Podcast
GREEN HILL is a medium/maximum security fenced facility that provides older males sentenced to Juvenile Rehabilitation treatment with education and vocational training. Educational options include high school diploma, general equivalency diploma (GED), and college coursework. Vocational programs include computer technology, light machine fabrication, vehicle maintenance, landscaping, welding, and the Juvenile Vocational Industries Program or “JVIP”. Green Hill School provides Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Aggression Replacement Training (ART), cultural programming, sex offense-specific treatment, and intensive outpatient chemical dependency treatment. Other unique programs include peer-to-peer mentoring, credible messengers (mentoring), and Gateways through Evergreen State College.
The Imagine Society has successfully raised $2,000 to put towards the service project A New Chapter to provide library carts and books to the teens in secure juvenile detention facilities Horizon in the Bronx and Crossroads in Brooklyn! These carts and books will be part of the mobile library and book club that will enrich and enhance the lives of teens just like us who have found themselves in a difficult situation. Aside from the obvious positive effects of reading to enhance vocabulary, imagination and academics, research has also shown that reading can impact your sense of empathy, social skills and self esteem. Reading can literally change your mind during the continuous development of the brain until age 25.
Thank you to Project Cicero a not-for-profit organization whose primary goal is to enhance classroom and school libraries in under-resourced New York City public schools. They generously donated 155 gently used books from their book drive to The Imagine Society for us to deliver together with our mobile book carts to Horizon in the Bronx and Crossroads in Brooklyn.
Star members of Warriors Youth NYC together with the amazing mom & teacher Evie Polesny, our liaison with the juvenile detention centers– who brought this need to our attention and inspired our teens to start “A New Chapter” (thank you Nellie Fitzpatrick, age 15, for the perfect name for this initiative)! One of our Imagine Teen Leaders Margot donated 25 books from her personal library and custom made vintage library card inserts for each book to make them even more special for the teens who receive them!
The Warriors assembled two industrial sized book carts to make it easy to wheel the books around the centers and place them in different rooms. Foster Schrader, age 17, our Imagine Teen leader and Youth Ambassador for Project Cicero, sorted the books to remove the hardcovers (per requirements of the centers) and organized the donation. She met up with Warrior Joseph Fitzpatrick, age 17, to hand off the books that filled the whole back of the car!
The books were then transported to the in person Warriors meeting where the books were photographed and sent to the other Warrior members at home in quarantine who inventoried each book.
Imagine volunteer Nora Fitzpatrick and Evie then made the first epic delivery of books to Horizon and Crossroads! During this pandemic everything is a little harder to pull off, but we will never let that stop us from our mission to help each other. Almost 200 books have been donated so far and we’re already preparing for our next delivery!