Kids Reading Group Guide

How to Start a Book Club

Want to hang out with your friends?  Want to talk about cool books?  Want to do both at the same time?  Start a book club!

What’s a book club?

A book club is a fun way to get together with friends and talk about the books you love.  Usually, a book club reads one book every month then discusses each book.  It’s all about sharing ideas, sharing giggles, and most importantly, sharing snacks.  Just kidding about the snacks.  They are not most important.  But still pretty important.  Especially if they’re chocolate brownies with chocolate chips.  But wait, we were talking about books...

How do I start a book club?

First of all, just talk to your friends. Tell them your idea.  It’s easy.  Just say, “Hey, I’m thinking about starting a book club.  We could hang out and talk about great books.”  If they look at you kind of funny, you might want to mention that there will be snacks.  That will change their minds.  Fast. 

Ask around school.  Ask friends from sports teams or drama club or art class.  You want to find about 6-8 friends.  Once you find your group, talk to your parents about your plans.  They might have some great ideas for you.

What should I call my book club?

Call it anything you want!  Be silly.  Be creative.  Be dramatic.  This is your club.  It deserves a great name.  And no, you can’t just call it “book club.”  Well, you can, but that name’s already been taken like a thousand times.  Make it something better.  Vote on your favorite name at your first meeting.

When will my book club meet?

Once a month for an hour works.  Maybe the first Friday of every month from 4-5pm.  Start right after school so you can take the bus or carpool with your friends.  Check with all the parents to see if that time works for them.  They’re the ones who have to drive!

Where should my book club meet?

Why not meet at someone’s house every month?  Every month can be a different house.  Make a schedule and email it to all of the parents to make sure those dates will work.  Who knows, maybe your parents will want to get in on the fun—if you let them.  Most parents will want to at least help with the snacks.

If it’s warm out, skip the living room and meet outside. 

Who’s in charge of the book club?

Well, that’s up to your group.  First, pick a leader.  Maybe that’s you.  Maybe that’s your friend Abbie’s mom.  Maybe you take turns being the leader.  The leader makes sure you start and stop on time—so bring your watch.  They also bring questions about the book. 

Get a notebook that’s just for the club.  Keep your schedule and your list of great book lists in there.  You can even keep track of good questions that come up.  Put someone in charge of sending out an email reminder the week before:  “Book Club.  Jade’s House.  Friday at 4pm.”  

What do we read?

Have everyone bring in a list of books they want to read to the first meeting. It’s helpful to choose the first few books during the first meeting so you don’t spend every meeting choosing the next book.  Ask your librarian or local bookstore for suggestions.  They might also have ideas about how to get enough books for the whole group.

What do we talk about?

The leader can help guide your group while you talk about the book.  Here are a few ideas:

1. First, make everyone feel comfortable.  Make sure everyone knows everyone else’s name.  Play that name game from camp.  Or make one up!

2. Go around the room and talk about your favorite parts of the book.

3. Have everyone write down a question about the book.  Ask each question to the group one at a time.  You can ask about characters, setting, the beginning, the end, the middle or whatever comes to mind.  Just make sure it’s about the book and not about the snack. 

4. Pick your favorite characters and explain why they’re your favorite. 

5. Try asking everyone to dress up like one of the characters.

What happens when we’re done talking?

Play charades, play touch football, make a lemon meringue pie.  Do whatever you want to, if you have time left over.  This is your group.  Don’t look at me.  Get your own ideas.  

Okay. Finally, what about those snacks?

Snacks.  Have them.  Lots of them.  Okay not huge crazy amounts of snacks, but it’s fun to have pretzels and grapes and chips and cookies.  It makes talking about books that much more fun.  Maybe make a dish that one of the characters makes in the book. 

Good luck and have fun!




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