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A clique is a group of people with shared interests, and in our clique, it’s a love of books we share with each other and readers everywhere. Join us every other Thursday for your bi-weekly book download and head into the weekend knowing just what you want to read.

Bookclique reviews and photographs are original to our AMAZING writers:

Vanessa Kroll Bennett is the founder of Dynamo Girl, a program whose mission is building girls’ self-esteem through sports and physical activity.  Vanessa is an avid reader of all literature, high, low and everything in between, but spends a lot of time reading about how to best understand girls in the 21st Century.  She lives in New York City with her husband and four children.

Ryan Benson is studying English and Theater Studies at Yale. She loves costume design, experimental theater, writing fiction, and going to the New Haven beach on Sunday afternoons. She hopes to spend the rest of her creating and consuming stories in far away places.

Jessica Braun is a mother, writer, yoga instructor, and former third grade teacher. She believes a good book can solve most problems, or at least provide an escape from them. She lives in coastal Massachusetts with her husband, two daughters, and chocolate lab.

Tanya Boteju is an English teacher and new novelist. Tanya recently completed a young adult novel, Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens, which will debut next summer 2019 with Simon & Schuster. She is grateful for her patient wife, supportive family and friends, sassy students, and hot mugs of tea. She hopes to contribute to the ever-growing collection of young adult literature representing diverse characters and experiences.

Megan Fink Brevard, a school librarian, began her career in children’s book publishing. She is an active member of YALSA and has served on national award committees such as the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature 2018 and the YALSA’s Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults 2012.  She has also served on the Teen Read Week and the Best Books for Young Adults committees.

Karen Marquis Derby teaches AP and IB English literature and has been teaching for more than 20 years. Karen lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband and daughter. This is her first foray in the blogging world.

Laura Dickerman taught high school English for many years; has a couple of master’s degrees in Fiction and English; and has lived in Vermont, New Haven, New York City, Brussels, and currently Atlanta. She is bossy in two book clubs, opinionated about even things she knows very little about, believes you can put down a bad book, and passionately supports re-reading Middlemarch every five years.

Currie Engel is an English major at Princeton University. An avid logophile, she enjoys taking classes in Princeton’s Creative Writing department, discussing feminist themes in literature and the arts with her friends, and reading everything from Chaucer to Toni Morrison. She hopes to pursue a career in the literary industry, but for now, is just dreaming about writing a bestselling novel.

Bookclique is brought to you by Jessica Flaxman, an educator and writer who lives outside of New York City with her husband and two daughters. She is author of the blog What I Learned Today in School and is an editor of Klingbrief. Jessica’s students, teachers, and friends are part of this project in support of book culture, readers and reading.

Rhoda Flaxman is a retired English professor who taught British and American Literature and directed Brown’s writing-across-the curriculum program. Rhoda is author of Victorian Word Painting and Narrative and presently serves as founding Director of The Open University of Wellfleet. She is an avid walker, swimmer, reader and participates actively in the lives of her children and eleven grand-children.

Mela Frye is a poet and high school English teacher who lives in Connecticut with her husband and son. She’s worked at the National Endowment for the Arts, taught at Johns Hopkins University, and bartended at Red Lobster. She once told Ernest Gaines she loved his novel, As I Lay Dying.

Adelaide Gorelick is an English major at the University of Pennsylvania concentrating in Medieval & Renaissance literature. When she’s not getting her Middle English or iambic pentameter on, you can find her rooting for the Carolina Panthers and listening to The Beatles on vinyl. After graduation, she plans to see how the LSAT goes before making any decisions about her future.

Ann V. Klotz is the mother of three (2 daughters off in the world, 1 son at home) and the Head of a girls’ school in Shaker Heights, OH, where she follows the lives and learning of 640 children, ages 2 to 18.  Her house is  cluttered with books and alive with the shenanigans of 3 rescue dogs, 3 cats and one long-lived gold fish.  You can read more of her writing at

Stacey Loscalzo is a reader and writer living outside of New York City with her husband and their two daughters. She writes for various local parenting publications and blogs at Stacey loves to read anything at all from adult novels and memoirs to picture books.

Lindsey Mead is a wife, mother, writer, and headhunter who lives outside of Boston with her husband, daughter, and son.  Lindsey’s writing has been published and anthologized in a variety of print and on-line sources, and she blogs regularly at A Design So Vast.

Cricket Mikheev is an educator, a mother of four, a longtime student of Russian literature, and an avid knitter. Due to the hubbub of daily life, she is consistently delighted when she can find and finish a book she has begun reading.

Ari Pinkus is a writer for the American Communities Project and a former writer and editor at the National Association of Independent Schools in Washington, DC, where she played a pivotal role in producing and editing the content of Independent School magazine. She launched and oversaw the magazine’s blog, Independent Ideas, which frequently covered cutting-edge topics like creativity, digital citizenship, mindfulness, sustainability, and diversity.

Samantha N. Simpson is an English teacher and writer whose essays and short stories have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Prism Review, REAL, Crazyhorse, and Curating Alexandria. She is currently working on a novel about a time travel and grand larceny. She keeps meaning to start a podcast about vegetarianism and schoolgirl crushes. She and her husband live outside of Boston.

Sara Sjerven is an English Teacher in Vancouver. Her mission during this pedagogical frenzy of STEM and STEAM is to prove to students that art is necessary for life. Sara’s life is filled with teaching teenagers to think, read, write, and speak thoughtfully, as well as raising two more teenagers, loving a husband, and walking a dog. She believes there is nothing better in the world than a book that can’t be put down, a well-worn blanket, a slightly smelly lap dog, and a bit of rain.

Katrina Smith is a student at UNC Chapel Hill, majoring in English and Philosophy, Politics & Economics, and minoring in Spanish. She works as a writing coach at UNC’s Writing Center and is the Sergeant-At-Arms for the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies, one of world’s oldest debating and literary societies. Her lifelong love has been 19th century women authors, but she has been found more recently reading modern non-fiction, with an emphasis on social justice.

When people meet Vicky Waldthausen, they think she’s an extrovert—she adamantly disagrees. Fondly known as Ms. Zen, Vicky teaches English and creative writing at her former high school in Charlotte, NC. She is bilingual and has strong opinions about the varying translations of The Metamorphosis. Vicky likes to think she’s a mix of all the places she’s lived: New York, Berlin, Geneva, Brasov, Chapel Hill, and Charlotte. But y’all, she’s a southerner at heart.