The Teen Book Club offers a selection of books across genres and topics. Participants get reading guides, activities, resources, and paper prompts.
|Class Type||Monthly Book Club|
|Start / End Dates||March 2022; Live Session April 1 at 1pm Eastern|
|Class Size||1-50 Learners|
|Enrollment||$15 Per Student|
|Enrollment with Feedback Add-On||$35 Per Student|
About this Book
In the distant future, humans and several other races have been granted membership in the Confederation – at a price. They must act as soldier/protectors of the far more civilized races who have long since turned away from war… — Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr was a battle-hardened professional. So when she and those in her platoon who’d survived the last deadly encounter with the Others were yanked from a well-deserved leave for what was supposed to be “easy” duty as the honor guard for a diplomatic mission to the non-Confederation world of the Silsviss, she was ready for anything.
At first it seemed that all she’d have to contend with was bored troops getting into mischief, and breaking in the new Second Lieutenant who had been given command of her men.
Sure, there’d been rumors of the Others – the sworn enemies of the Confederation – being spotted in this sector of space. But there were always rumors. The key thing was to recruit the Silsviss into the Confederation before the Others either attacked or claimed this lizardlike race of warriors for their own side. And everything seemed to be going perfectly. Maybe too perfectly… (Goodreads)
Valor’s Choice by Tanya Huff is the first of the Confederation series of books about Torin Kerr, a Staff Sergeant in a multi-species Space Marines service. The stories present a realistic and nuanced representation of soldiers and intriguing political questions about humans and how they might interact with other intelligence life forms when humans are not in charge.
This series is part Space Marines, part Space Opera, part alien science fiction, featuring an excellent female protagonist who is a strong and capable leader.
Discussions in this book will connect back to the previous month’s book, Starship Troopers, as we examine genre tropes and inspirations, as well as the evolution of stories over time and core elements that persist.
Book Club Overview
Are you looking for a low-pressure way to include reading? Do you want supplemental reading guides focused on understanding and vocabulary? Would you like project and paper prompts themed around books? Does your learner like to meet with others to discuss what they’ve read?
Dr. Sabrina Weiss and Dr. Michelle Parrinello-Cason are excited to bring you this and more in the SEA Tween and Teen Book Clubs!
The supplemental components of these Book Clubs brings these up to the level your students would get in middle school and high school literature classes.
At the same time, your family is free to pick and choose how much you use, so you can adapt each Club to fit your own schedule and time constraints. Each of these has suggested writing assignments that are thought-provoking, helping students dig deeper and investigate concepts more fully.
For an additional cost, Sabrina and Michelle will provide students with meaningful feedback that focuses on their strengths and challenges. Feedback will be given for rough and final drafts of projects and papers included in the class materials.
Class materials are housed on Teachable. Learners will use Discord and Zoom for interactive components. Those using the Feedback Add-On will use Google Drive and/or Dropbox to submit assignments.
The purchase of the online class component includes the following:
The amount of time really varies by student and how much they want to participate. Those who want to do all activities, explore all resources, and participate in online discussions leading up to the live meeting could easily spend 4-5 hours a week on the class.
Those who just want to read the book and show up to the live session may spend 2-3 hours per week.
Live Sessions Meet on Zoom
We’ll meet live on Friday, April 1 at 1pm Eastern / 12pm Central / 11am Mountain / 10am Pacific Time.
Story is about space marines fighting in wars. PTSD, trauma, injuries, death will be discussed and explored in mature and reasonable ways relevant to the story. Conflicts and violence will be present in the book. Consensual sexual activity among adults will be acknowledged but not presented in graphic detail; some awkwardness regarding sexual attraction will be mentioned.
A Note about Discord
Discord is an accessible platform that allows for text and voice communications; we will only use text channels for our discussions and still use Zoom for our live meeting at the end of the month. Here is some information about Discord for parents and educators.
Participation in the Discord server is optional, so if you don’t want to use Discord, you can still use the other resources in the class and attend the live session, but Discord allows for more robust conversations and connections.
This space is really dependent on the participants being active and making it a community of readers discussing their ideas. Facilitators will post some threads to get discussion started, but learners are invited to make it their own!
To participate successfully in class, learners will need the following:
- A copy of the book Valor’s Choice by Tanya Huff*
- Microphone and camera for in-class participation
- Discord for online discussions (free account; optional)
- Zoom (free account)
- PDF reader for accessing materials
* Valor’s Choice can be obtained as a standalone copy or as part of a 2-book omnibus edition titled A Confederation of Valor (ISBN-13 9780756403997). Both are acceptable for this class.
Dr. Sabrina Weiss
Dr. Sabrina Weiss specializes in developing theoretical models that represent the ethical and social dimensions of issues at the intersection of science, technology, and society.
My Zoom-averse daughter looked forward to the weekly online meetings. Michelle does such a wonderful job at speaking with young people and guiding discussions. My daughter was motivated to work hard on her assignments and has asked to take another class from Michelle.
E.F.P.Teacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
I really appreciated your enthusiasm, support, and kind words in your video feedback messages to him. That goes a long way! [Learner] is going to a brick and mortar school next year for the first time since fourth grade. We submitted the two papers he wrote in your class to the high school he applied to go to next year, and they recommended he start in Advanced English! Woohoo!
Jill G.Teacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
The video lectures were clear and packed full of helpful and important writing lessons. The video and written feedback was clearly personalized, very detailed, and extremely beneficial for my learner. Michelle truly demonstrates compassion and expertise in her classes!
Kristi R.Teacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
I only wish we had found Michelle sooner! I’ve been homeschooling my son off and on for years. Writing is very challenging for him and it is so difficult to take feedback from a parent. I have begged so many of his teachers to please offer direct, concise, written feedback and give him the opportunity to revise. I knew this would be the only way he could improve. This class was everything I’ve been asking for for years…..except I didn’t have to ask! It is designed this way and it worked brilliantly! My son gets to attend an adventure school in the fall, but if we homeschool the following year, the first thing I will do is sign him up for whatever Michelle is teaching.
E.F.P.Teacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
I really appreciate how organized the class was, how clear the expectations and guidelines were and how professional and encouraging the feedback delivery was.
DarceyTeacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
I just want to take a few minutes to send a huge thank you for the way you deliver (have delivered) feedback to [Learner]. He tends to put a lot of pressure on himself and doesn’t often take feedback or constructive criticism well. You have managed to give him a boost of confidence and an opportunity to look inward to appreciate feedback from others. I’m so glad we found you! This experience is exactly what I hoped for in our homeschooling journey!
KarenTeacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
He was so invigorated and excited after today’s meeting. It awakens something in him he craves and can only get from discussions like the one today.
Bevin EarlyTeacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
I especially enjoyed the final project for this class, which was something I had never tried before, using creative writing as a way to debate philosophy and contrasting view points. It was quite a bit challenging, ultimately leaving me satisfied with the ending result.
AnonymousTeacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
For us, this is “authentic learning.” We discussed how community college classes and other virtual online high school classes might be accredited and “weigh” a lot in terms of grades and credits, but SEA is where her mind and creativity are challenged and inspired. I’d like to emphasize the part about creativity. She felt invited to engage creatively. SEA classes are where the love of learning happens.
AnonymousTeacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
It’s great to see thought-provoking books chosen and to have my son experience such an inclusive environment.