At last month’s CYPD conference, I gave a presentation called “You Can Find Me in the Club, The Book Club!” (cue the 50 Cent music). I talked about the two book clubs our library has for kids, how they work, and what we do during meetings. Since I’ve been working away at various book club related tasks today, I thought I’d share some book club info with you.
What are your book clubs?
My library hosts two book clubs for kids. One for kids ages 5-8 called “The Page Turners” and one for our tweens ages 8-12 called “inbeTWEEN the Lines.”
What do the book clubs do?
We meet once a month to discuss a book and do different activities related to that book. The kids get a free copy of the book (while supplies last) to keep.
Why do you have book clubs for kids?
Why not?! Book clubs give kids the chance to talk about books. It can help them define what they like to read (or what they don’t like to read). It also encourages them to read outside their comfort zone in terms of reading ability and their normal reading tastes.
The book clubs have also given me the opportunity to get the know the kids one on one. Because book clubs do have a fairly big discussion element, we get to talk about more than just the books.
How do you select the books?
I DO WHAT I WANT!!! Actually, I try to think about what the kids would like to read and what books might bring more kids to the book clubs. We mostly read fiction (picture books for the younger group) but I do try to include some non-fiction and graphic novels. There is also something classic-y every year (i.e. Where the Wild Things Are, Pippi Longstocking, etc.). In the summer, I try to tie the selections into our Summer Reading Program theme. In 2013, we read all award winning books in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Medal.
Where do you get the books?
What have you read?
The Page Turners (5-8 year olds)
- The Snowy Day
- Make Way For Ducklings
- Bad Kitty
- The Sandwich Swap
- Junie B. Jones and the Yucky, Blucky Fruitcake
inbeTWEEN the Lines (9-12 year olds)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- The Adventures of Captain Underpants
- The City of Ember
- Dewey the Library Cat
My library doesn’t have a very big programming budget. How can we start a kids book club?
In Indiana, there are Book Club kits available through the Indiana State Library. The kits contain 15 copies of each title and check out to your library for 3 months. If you’re outside Indiana, check with your state library to see if they have a similar program. I also think this would be an excellent grant opportunity. Reach out to your Friends of the Library group to see if they could help fund this project.
Have any more questions about kids book clubs? Ask away!