May 2024 Teen Book Club ThMay 2024 Teen Book Club The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer
Cover of book The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer

The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer

Two boys, alone in space.

After the first settler on Titan trips her distress signal, neither remaining country on Earth can afford to scramble a rescue of its own, and so two sworn enemies are installed in the same spaceship.

Ambrose wakes up on the Coordinated Endeavor, with no memory of a launch. There’s more that doesn’t add up: Evidence indicates strangers have been on board, the ship’s operating system is voiced by his mother, and his handsome, brooding shipmate has barricaded himself away. But nothing will stop Ambrose from making his mission succeed—not when he’s rescuing his own sister.

In order to survive the ship’s secrets, Ambrose and Kodiak will need to work together and learn to trust one another… especially once they discover what they are truly up against. Love might be the only way to survive. (Goodreads synopsis)

This book is mindblowing and amazing. It is both an outstanding science fiction book that explores deep existential questions of what it means to be human and what the vastness of space is like, and an incredibly thoughtful depiction of the full spectrum of deep emotions in a relationship between two young men. Avoid spoilers for this book!

How These Live Book Clubs Work

Participation in the live book club includes access to a set of resources and activities as well as interactive components.

Participants receive

  • A suggested reading schedule
  • PDF reading guides with comprehension questions
  • Vocabulary/reading activities
  • Discussion board posts in our online classroom
  • Writing/multimodal project prompts related to the reading
  • An invitation to a live discussion
  • A recording of the summary of the live discussion
  • An optional feedback add-on for the final paper/project
  • Rubrics for at-home feedback

Families are welcome to use as much or as little of the suggested resources and activities as they'd like to fit their interest and schedules.


13 - 18


May 1 - 31, 2024

Live Meeting:

There are two options for attending a live meeting for this club. An afternoon/evening option is offered to accommodate people with different schedules. Please only attend one of these meetings.

A video summary presentation will be made available for those unable to attend the live meeting. To protect participant privacy, recordings of the meetings will not be distributed to anyone who did not attend the meeting.

Note: meetings with fewer than 3 attendees may run a bit shorter depending on how participation goes.

Option 1:

May 30, 2024 (Thursday)

7:00 PM Eastern / 6:00 PM Central / 5:00 PM Mountain / 4:00 PM Pacific Time

Option 2:

May 31, 2024 (Friday)

1:00 PM Eastern / 12:00 PM Central / 11:00 AM Mountain / 10:00 AM Pacific Time


A copy of the book The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer
(Edition information here, audiobook available). Borrowed, used, and audio formats will work.

  • Zoom account for live session
  • Microphone and camera for live session (optional)
  • PDF reader
  • Access to printer if you want to print worksheets

Content Note:

Violence, death, existential horror, HAL-like A.I., sibling in danger, teen romance and sexual activity (non-graphic, a bit steamy), swearing.

Positive representation:
Pansexual/panromantic protagonist, LGBTQIA+ as norm in society, deep explorations of masculinity, destigmatizing "unmasculine" behaviors, teen relationship that grows and develops maturely over time.

Choose a Pricing Option