How To Start A Children’s Book Club

how to start a children's book club

My daughter has been asking for some time to start a book club. She loves reading more than anything, and is also really keen to connect on this level with other friends.

The plan is to gather with a handful of homeschooling friends over 7 years old, as I’d like her to get to know some children that are her age and a bit older.  She spends so much of her time with her siblings, the next one down being 4 years younger, and I notice that she thrives when she’s with her peers.

Despite having put together a great plan (subject to what the rest of the group wants to do of course), I think we’re going to wait a little longer to officially get started, as the last term of the year is spilling over with extra-curricular activities and time outside the home.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you what we have so far. This will hopefully be a good starting place for putting together your own book club.

Getting Started

  • Invite 5-8 friends;
  • Set the time, date, and frequency (6 weekly is a good idea);
  • Come up with a book list that is suitable for the reading level of all your members (discuss this with the parents);
  • Take turns to host, depending on who has chosen the book for that time;
  • Sit in a circle.

Guidelines

Go over the rules on the first visit:

  1. Come prepared to discuss the book.
  2. Allow one child each week to lead the meeting (the first time could be a parent).
  3. Be respectful, listen without interrupting, and raise your hand if you’d like to speak.
  4. Ask questions when the opportunity is given.
  5. It’s OK to have different ideas and opinions, but express them respectfully.
  6. Have Fun!

Discussion Time

Spend the first 10-20m discussing the book.  It’s a good idea to have some questions printed out and ready for the child that is leading the group (see below for some ideas).  If you have younger ones that have come, this is a good time for one of the parents to have read-aloud story time in another space, or to do some quiet colouring at the table.

Activity Time

The next half an hour or so is spent doing an activity related to the book.  Younger ones may be able to join in with this or do an alternative activity.

  • Write out a sentence or two and have the kids draw it
  • Colouring pages
  • Act out one of the characters
  • Learn about the time and setting of the story
  • Create a film strip
  • Watch a clip from a movie about the book, and discuss different interpretations of the same story
  • Make bookmarks
  • Make a poster advertising the book
  • Come dressed as one of the characters
  • Extend the end – come up with what happened after the story ended
  • Change the end – come up with an alternative ending
  • Listen to an audiobook
  • Someone take a turn to read their favourite passage from the book
  • Make puppets and re-enact the story
  • Design a book cover
  • Make a list on a whiteboard of all the new words you came across (will need to bring this along with you)
  • Have a character quiz at the end of the term (with questions about the characters from the books you read during the term)
  • Write a letter to the author

Finally, choose a book for next time and who is going to lead the discussion time.  You might also like to have snack time that centres around the book you’ve discussed.

Book Club Discussion Time Questions

  1. Did you enjoy the book?  Why or why not?
  2. Which character did you relate to and why?
  3. Would you have made different decisions than any of the characters?
  4. Would you read another book by this author?
  5. Were there any problems that occurred? What would you have done about it?
  6. Did you like any of the characters? Why?
  7. Did you dislike any of the characters? Why?
  8. Did the book or any of the characters remind you of anything else you’ve read before?
  9. How did the story make you feel? (or one part of it)
  10. If there was a sequel to this book, what would happen?

{You might also be interested in these Book Lists for choosing titles for your book club}.

book club 2

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14 thoughts on “How To Start A Children’s Book Club

  1. Jessica S

    Hey, you need to add a little Twitter share icon under there! I’ll share it anyway, but I thought maybe my coffee had left my veins and I was just missing it. Great post, and I’m going to start one for my daughter (she’s a whopping 19 months, but she loves post-reading activities).

    Reply
    1. homemakingwithheart

      Thanks Jessica! I’ll have to have a look on how I do that… :)
      Perhaps you could do a book club for little ones? Just chose a great read-aloud to read on the day with them all, and then do an activity afterwards. You could read ‘If you give a mouse a cookie’ and then make cookies from playdough. :)

      Reply
      1. Jessica S

        Hey, I’m all for it! I just need to find some other little ones. :) I’ll let you know if I get any others to join, and let you know how it goes. I’m seriously pumped about the idea!!

        Reply
      2. rediscoveredfamilies

        Lots of libraries offer this kind of activity for preschoolers, so you may want to check and see if yours does :) If they don’t maybe you could offer to do one. Our library has about 20 preschoolers in each Friday morning.

        Reply
  2. Missy

    I like your idea of letting the children lead the book club! That would be a great experience for them! Thank you for sharing this post! I found your post at Blogging Homeschoolers Daily Post Share.

    Reply
  3. lorijohnston836656258

    This is a lovely plan for your daughter and her friends when you are able to implement it. We had book clubs for our kids when they were young until they graduated and it was so wonderful to know they were reading great books {mostly classics} and discussing their amazing insights. They are graduated {homeschoolers} now but I miss that book club ~ such great memories. Would you be willing to share this post and any other of your great homeschooling posts at our Making Monday link party? We would love it and I think our readers would, too. Thanks. Have a fabulous week. And good luck with your daughter’s book club. http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/making-monday-10/

    Lori @ A Bright and Beautiful Life
    http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com

    Reply

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