Pirate Picks: The top Palatine “must-reads”

PHS Senior checks out one of the new Palatine Picks books
PHS Senior checks out one of the new Palatine Picks books
Sonia Jezierski

‘Pirate Picks’, previously known as ‘Top 16’, are books available for any student to check out at the Media Center. There are 39 books from a variety of genres to choose from.

Top 16 used to be a list of 16 young adult books from any genre, such as fantasy, sci-fi, mystery and romance that was picked out by Palatine High School’s librarians to provide students with a list of book recommendations, whether for independent reading classes or just for fun.

This year, it’s been rebranded as ‘Pirate Picks’, and with that rebranding, the people choosing the books have changed – now, it’s a committee of students, teachers and staff that decide on the list of books.

“We decided to broaden the scope of who does the book selections because our library is a community of people in Palatine High School,” librarian Meredith Quick said. “It’s not just librarians or teachers, it’s students too. It’s all of us together – this is our library.”

The selection of books aims to provide a variety of genres for anyone interested in finding new books to enjoy – the books are chosen when multiple people on the committee have read and enjoyed the book, and think that others might be interested in it as well.

“We got together to choose selections that have broad appeal, but are not narrowly defined as young adult book,” Quick said. “These are books that are vetted by your fellow classmates, your teachers. They’ve been deemed interesting enough that students would want to read them.”

Students that missed getting involved in the choosing of Pirate Picks but are interested in joining a book club can join Books for Breakfast, ran by Quick. The club meets the second Thursday of each month to discuss that month’s book over hot chocolate and donuts.

“We have students that read the books and take notes and have deep discussions about [them], and we also have students that just come for the donuts and the hot chocolate,” Quick said. “We’re happy with anybody in between who comes to join us.”

Students gather in the Media Center cafe to celebrate the release of Pirate Picks. (Librarian Meredith Quick)
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