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Book Club for Kids is a podcast where middle school readers discuss the books they love with host Kitty Felde. The author answers questions. A celebrity reads from the book.

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Tips for Creating Lifelong Readers

Filtering by Tag: family

Tip #68: The Family That Reads Together...

Kitty Felde

Code Talkers readers

A big topic at the National Council of Teachers of English convention was Family Book Clubs.

The program is voluntary. Kids and their parents read the book of the month and join other families at their child's school or public library to discuss the novel. The actual meeting is short by book club standards: at Auburn's elementary school, groups meet for half an hour either at 7 AM for doughnuts and juice and book talk, or at a noontime gabfest over pizza. Middle schoolers and their folks meet at the Auburn public library in the early evening hours. There are often book themed decorations and a fun quiz to kick things off. 

Shannon Brandt, an instructional coach for Auburn City Schools, says parents in particular love the program. "It's like bringing back their bonding time," she says, "the days when they would crawl into bed with their kids and read aloud." Shannon says one parent confessed she was "heartbroken" when her kids outgrew the bedtime ritual and wanted to read on their own. Now, she says, the family has a shared experience again, rekindling the bonding she had missed.

It's not just the parents who enjoy the shared reading experience. According to Scholastic's biannual Kids & Family Reading Report, 80% of tweens and teens admit that they still like being read to by an adult.

The Auburn groups are multi-generational. One grandmother attends book clubs with all three of her grandchildren. And no one is left out: kids without a parent can bring a teacher.

Do you have a Family Book Club at your school or library? Tell us about it!

Tip #10: Book Club in a Bag

Kitty Felde

Broomfield, Colorado offers a Book Club in a Bag

Broomfield, Colorado offers a Book Club in a Bag

Book Clubs can be powerful motivators to get folks of all ages to read regularly. But how do you start one? How do you get enough books for everyone in the group? How do you kick off the discussion? 

The Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library in Broomfield, Colorado has come up with a brilliant idea: they've put together Junior Book Club Kits.

Children's Librarian Susan Person says the library has lots of programming for little kids and teens, but needed to find something just for tweens. Their on-site Junior Book Club for 4th and 5th graders was a hit "almost from the beginning," she says. (And you'll hear those kids on an upcoming podcast discussing Lisa Graff's "Absolutely Almost.)

But what about other kids? And what do you do with 13 copies of one particular middle grade novel?

Person started putting together book club kits - a complete book club in a box - or rather, in a lime green canvas satchel.  Inside, each kit contains a dozen copies of the book for readers, plus one more for the group leader. Families or neighborhood group can use the book club in a box to host their own Junior Book Club. Kits are checked out with a library card, just like a single book or DVD. 

What about your classroom or library? Why not start your own Book Club in a Box?

Got a tip of your own? Email us! More great tips at the website!