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Community: How to Build Readers with a Kid’s Book Club

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With summer inching it’s glorious rays closer, parents and kids fix their eyes upon the calendar. Kids counting the days of unending fun, and parents wondering how to include both good times and good learning throughout long, summer days.

The answer to making memories, building community, and extending learning? A kid-centered book club. Last summer, our family invited several families we knew and a few we hoped to know better to a kids’ book club. The result?

How to Start Your Own Kid-Centered Book Club:

Book Club: girls celebrating Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Fondue.

1. Make the Guest List

Have your child help create a list of about five friends to invite to the book club.

2. Decide on a Book

I recommend choosing a book that can be easily paired with memorable extension activities. Example: Not only did Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have a movie to accompany the book, but our book club participants enjoyed chocolaty fondue, chocolate milk, and chocolate kisses.

3. Send Invitations

Create an evite to help keep invitations free and attendance easy to track.

4. Choose the Venue

Decide on a place and time for the meeting. I’ve found an hour and a half to be the perfect amount of time.

5. Rotate Responsibilities

Take turns rotating book choice and hosting responsibilities between club members. Whoever picks the book is the next host. By rotating around, you get to visit new moms and kids in their own home.

Now, I know what you are thinking…

I’m not sure what books are right for my child’s grade level. No problem. Check out Kids’ Book Club Books has a recommendation page.

I’m just not creative enough to come up with fun ideas to pair with books. Not an issue. There are many creative types who have already put together recipes and activities. Consider making Fern’s Spider Cakes (from Charlotte’s Web) or Dandelion Juice (from Harry Potter).

I don’t know the kids (or the parents) my child wants to invite to book club. Even more reason to get planning. Kid-centered book clubs are a great way to build community.

I’m still in need of a little push. Fine, fine. Bounce around NPR’s Backseat Book Club: questions from kids, answers from authors, and endless encouragement to keep reading.

I'm not sure what my kids will find interesting. Perfect! It's a great time to push classics from your day on them. What about Super Fudge, Bridge to Teribithia, or Diecy's Song?

What book first ignited your interest in reading?

Featured image courtesy of Flickr.

Can one beyond blessed family move from addicted to themselves to devoted to others? The author of this post shares honestly at Amy L. Sullivan about her family’s attempt to become less me, me, me focused and more others centered. Amy writes for print and online publications and is also writing a nonfiction book about serving others as a family.


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