Your kids may not be able to imagine a world without their favorite digital devices, but even the latest apps can’t compete with the magic of reading. Whether your child has completed the Harry Potter series or is still taken with the Berenstain Bears, starting a Family Book Club can be a fun new tradition. Parents and kids read the same book and then share takeaways (and snacks of course) at your club “meeting”.
You’ll have a chance to encourage your young readers and may even rediscover your own love of literature. Reading has been shown to boost our brain power and promote relaxation along with taking us to new worlds. And your family will have a blast spending more quality time together.
Here’s our recent article on a Teen Family Book Club on an important topic to discuss with your children.
Kick off your Family Book Club with us this month, or next 🙂 and stay tuned for our monthly book reco’s to help make your selections easier.
Here’s how to start your Family Book Club:
Ask your kids for book ideas The latest bestsellers are great options, but your kids will likely know what books are earning raves at the lunch table. Write book ideas on pieces of paper, and let one of the kids pick a title out of a hat.
Set a date Make sure everyone knows how long they have to complete the book – give more time for chapter books. Put a date for your book club meeting on the family calendar.
Buy or borrow one extra copy Everyone in your family may not need their own copy of the book, but it will help to have an extra on hand as younger readers may need more time.
Story time A parent or older sibling can read the book out loud to younger children if it’s more challenging.
Plan a special outing for your book discussion Bring a picnic spread to a local park or grab a patio table at an ice cream shop. If your book of choice features a certain type of food (like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), you can serve the dish for inspiration.
Q & A Make a list of questions that will help every member of your family share their thoughts on the book. A few examples: Who was your favorite character? How did the book make you feel? Could you use something you learned from the book in real life? Would you recommend it to a friend?
Thumbs Up or Down? Create a fun rating system so everyone can share if the book earned their praise.
Finally Pick your next book!
Book suggestions by age for Family Book Club (book summaries pulled from Amazon.com):
Islandborn, by Junot Díaz
“Every kid in Lola’s school was from somewhere else.
Hers was a school of faraway places.
So when Lola’s teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can’t remember The Island—she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories—joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening—Lola’s imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island. As she draws closer to the heart of her family’s story, Lola comes to understand the truth of her abuela’s words: “Just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.”
Gloriously illustrated and lyrically written, Islandborn is a celebration of creativity, diversity, and our imagination’s boundless ability to connect us—to our families, to our past and to ourselves.”
The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein
“The Giving Tree, a classic story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein, has been a classic favorite for generations.
Since it was first published fifty years ago, Shel Silverstein’s poignant picture book for readers of all ages has offered a touching interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.”
Hello, Universe, by Erin Entrada Kelly
“Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly’s Hello, Universe is a funny and poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships.
Told from four intertwining points of view—two boys and two girls—the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero). “Readers will be instantly engrossed in this relatable neighborhood adventure and its eclectic cast of misfits.”—Booklist
In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so he can concentrate on basketball.
They aren’t friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a, rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms.
The acclaimed and award-winning author of Blackbird Fly and The Land of Forgotten Girls writes with an authentic, humorous, and irresistible tween voice that will appeal to fans of Thanhha Lai and Rita Williams-Garcia.”
The Wild Robot Escapes, by Peter Brown
“Shipwrecked on a remote, wild island, Robot Roz learned from the unwelcoming animal inhabitants and adapted to her surroundings–but can she survive the challenges of the civilized world and find her way home to Brightbill and the island?
From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed sequel to his New York Times bestselling The Wild Robot, about what happens when nature and technology collide.”
For Every One, by Jason Reynolds
“Originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and later as a tribute to Walter Dean Myers, this stirring and inspirational poem is New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds’s rallying cry to the dreamers of the world.
For Every One is just that: for every one. For every one person. For every one dream. But especially for every one kid. The kids who dream of being better than they are. Kids who dream of doing more than they almost dare to dream. Kids who are like Jason Reynolds, a self-professed dreamer. Jason does not claim to know how to make dreams come true; he has, in fact, been fighting on the front line of his own battle to make his own dreams a reality. He expected to make it when he was sixteen. Then eighteen. Then twenty-five. Now, some of those expectations have been realized. But others, the most important ones, lay ahead, and a lot of them involve kids, how to inspire them. All the kids who are scared to dream, or don’t know how to dream, or don’t dare to dream because they’ve NEVER seen a dream come true. Jason wants kids to know that dreams take time. They involve countless struggles. But no matter how many times a dreamer gets beat down, the drive and the passion and the hope never fully extinguish—because just having the dream is the start you need, or you won’t get anywhere anyway, and that is when you have to take a leap of faith.”
Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green
“Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.”
Book summaries below pulled from Amazon.com.