Summer Book Club for Kids


In the summer, I'm constantly on the prowl for ideas to encourage my kids to read. My kids aren't exactly reading enthusiasts (despite having a book worm for a mother), and I sometimes have to get creative. This idea is one of my very VERY favorites.


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Do you not love that??

Here's how it works:

1) Choose an age appropriate book that excites your child. 2) Have him or her invite their friends to read the same book by a certain date. 3) Host Book Club at your house (or the park, etc.)

(Ideally) at Book Club, kids talk about the book. Here are a few helpful questions if they need some prodding:

1) What major emotion did the story evoke in you as a reader? 2) What passage from the book stood out to you? 3) Have you had a life changing revelation from reading this text?

Just kidding. (I just like to picture my 11 yr old's face if I asked him these questions.)

More like this:

1) Who was you favorite/least favorite character? Why? 2) What was your favorite part? 3) Did you like the ending? 4) If you could change anything about the story, what would it be?

After all 240 seconds of discussion, it's treat time. Treats are a must at Book Club, and if you feel so inclined, treats "themed" around the book are even better.


Also, my kids are ALWAYS much more excited about reading a book if there is a movie adaptation they can watch when they finish (and for that reason, 9 times out of 10 we'll choose a book that's been made into a movie). I LOVE this link for a long list of children's books that have been adapted to film. But here is a short(er) list of our favorites:

Anne of Green Gables Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Charlotte's Web Ender's Game Fantastic Mr. Fox Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone Holes Indian in the Cupboard Island of the Blue Dolphins Little Women Matilda Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief The City of Ember The Giver (movie coming Aug 15th!!!!! Whaaaaaaaaaat???) Tuck Everlasting

For Littlest Readers: Horton Hears a Who The Lorax Clifford the Big Red Dog Curious George

AND….did you know Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Tale of Despereaux, Mr. Popper's Penguins, and Night at the Museum were all based on books??


If your child and his/her friends aren't quite reading chapter books alone yet, you could always host a Mommy & Me Book Club. I did this with my daughter a few years ago (she was 5). I read "The Worst Christmas Pageant Ever" TO her, and then we met together with other mommies and daughters to stuff our faces and watch the movie talk about the book.

A Book Club for kids is SUCH a fun way to motivate sluggish (and avid) readers during the summer. Happy Clubbing!