Contact Us

Wanna be on the show? Got a book suggestion? 


Washington, DC
USA

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.

Broomfield Colorado Library readers future episode.JPG

Tips for Creating Lifelong Readers

Filtering by Tag: middle school

Tip #28: I Believe in You

Kitty Felde

You'd never imagine that writer Lynda Mullaly Hunt was one of "those" kids. Hunt is the author of the kid-favorite middle grade novel "Fish in a Tree," among others. But when she was in grammar school, reading was impossible. Teachers gave up asking her to turn in assignments. Hunt says she knew that meant that they'd written her off as a failure. 

And then she met her 6th grade teacher, Constantine Christy. "That guy saved me," she says. "Saved me."

Mr. Christy made eye contact with Hunt, took the time to have a conversation with her and learn who she was beyond a name. As a result, Hunt says, "I fell over myself, trying to please him."

Then Mr. Christy handed her a book. It was Judy Blume's "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing." He told her he wanted her to go home and read it. "Why should I?" she asked. He leaned forward and said, "Because I think you can. And I want you to try." 

Hunt says Mr. Christy's confidence in her gave her the courage to take up the challenge. She read the book. And learned that she could read a lot better than anybody thought she could. She then picked up another Judy Blume. And another. And keep on reading. She says she learned that she loved fiction, the books that let you "see movies in your head." Mr. Christy's vote of confidence made her stand three inches taller. She jumped from the lowest reading group to the highest. She left sixth grade with a "laser focus" on becoming a teacher herself. Which she did. And went on to become a writer of the kinds of books she loved to read.

Hunt says she became a reader, "not because I'd seen the light and fallen in love with books. It was because I'd fallen in love with the connection of being able to share that love with somebody else."

You can hear more from Lynda Mullaly Hunt on this episode of her book FISH IN A TREE.

Tip #26: Stop the Worksheet Madness

Kitty Felde

Jose Rodriguez just says "no" to homework worksheets.

Jose teaches fifth grade at the Ambassador School of Global Education in Los Angeles. Instead of stuffing backpacks with endless pieces of paper, basically spot reviews of topics covered in the classroom, Jose asks his students to keep a reading log. Once a week, students write a journal entry that includes a summary of what they've been reading.

It's the journey, not the finish line that matters to Jose. "I don't make a big deal about having to finish every book," he says. For more reluctant readers, Jose tries to "have a quick chat" about what they are reading.

Jose carves out time inside the classroom for students - and Jose himself - to pick up a book. "It's very important to walk the talk." he says. Jose constantly refers to the books he is reading...and provides evidence that he's actually doing it. In other words, let the kids see you reading.