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Start a Book Club This Summer

May 15, 2011

Looking for something fun to do with your kids this summer and keep them reading at the same time? How about starting a book club with some of your child’s friends and their moms or dads?  My daughter and I joined a mother-daughter book club when she was 8, and it was a great way to share a book with my daughter, a fun excuse for her to hang out with her friends and a great way for me to get to know some really interesting moms.  In fact, our group enjoyed it so much that we stayed together in one form or another for more than 5 years and probably read 20-30 books together during that time!

Book clubs can be as elaborate or as simple as you want.  All you really need is a good book, a place to meet and some simple snacks.   When our group started, we took turns hosting a get together in our home every month or two.  As the girls got older and we all got busier, we started meeting at Starbucks instead because it was easier for everyone and the girls loved the hot chocolate and Frappuccinos. We always kept the book discussions short and light.  Usually, each girl and mom offered a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” opinion of the book and a brief comment about their favorite part of the story. The younger girls also really enjoyed doing a simple craft related to the story.

Picking a book for a book club is always tricky.  In our group, sometimes the family that was hosting would pick the book, other times the group chose the book, and still other times, each girl read a different book and shared her recommendations with the group.  The key was to mix it up to keep the girls interested and engaged in what they were reading.  We definitely chose some that were better than others, but most were enjoyed by both the girls and the moms.  School librarians are excellent resources for book suggestions that the moms and dads will like too.  Check out this list for girls from Cottonwood Creek’s librarian. Some of the most fun meetings we had were for books that had been made into movies.  We watched the movie together and then discussed the differences between the book and movie.

Whichever way you choose to do it, I think you’ll find a parent-child book club is a great way to enjoy an activity with your child that enriches both their mind and yours!

This article was originally published on the Coppell (TX) Gifted Association’s website.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. She-Bear permalink*
    April 16, 2010 9:27 pm

    I love the idea of a mother-daughter book club, because it helps elevate the discussion to a more adult level, giving gifted girls more challenge than they might get in school.

    A tip for facilitating book discussions, from Bertie Kingore: hand out book marks in advance that say “this reminds me of….”, “I disagree”, “I’m curious about…”, “I think”, “I like how…”, or “I’m not sure of….” or similar prompts. Each person can take one or more book marks. When they walk in the door, they are prepared to share and discuss passages that peaked their interest.

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