Interested in starting a facilitated book club with or for your child/preteen? You’ve come to the right place!
This past September, I started facilitating after school and evening book clubs for kids and their caring adults. It has been an incredibly fun, new adventure! Currently, I am reserving space for book clubs for the summer of 2023 and the 2023-24 school year. I have just a few spots left for new clubs. If you’re interested in starting a club with your child/preteen for the summer, school year, or both, send me an email at email@example.com.
What do book clubs look like?
Book clubs involve a group of five to ten kids/preteens and their caring adults who gather to participate in casual and engaging facilitated book discussions. All kids/preteens participate in club discussions. Some adults choose to participate while others choose to just read the book beforehand. My role as facilitator for each club meeting involves selecting books based on group input, creating and providing discussion guides, and keeping the discussion lively, engaging, and focused during the book club meeting.
Who is this for?
The book clubs are for upper elementary/middle grade kids/preteens (3rd through 7th grade) and a caring adult in their lives. A caring adult could be a parent, caregiver, aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc. If you’d like to share reading with your child or you would like to give your child the opportunity to read many different types of books, this is for you! If your child loves reading, this is an opportunity for them to share books with other readers in a casual, engaging environment. If your child does not enjoy reading quite yet, the club is one way to start to try to change that. Making reading a social experience often boosts kids’ interest in books!
How do clubs form?
To get a book club going, one or two adults act as the group organizers who ask other parents and their kids to join the club. Clubs typically consist of neighborhood, school, or other groups of friends. Once the members of the book club are confirmed by organizing parents and the book club dates are determined, I take over the organizing and facilitation for the duration of the club’s season, whether it be a summer or school year.
Where/when do the clubs take place?
Club meetings take place in-person or on Zoom. I serve the San Francisco Peninsula/South Bay Area, specifically anywhere between San Jose/Los Gatos and San Francisco for in-person book club meetings. Forming a Zoom book club is available for those outside of the SF Peninsula and South Bay Area. In-person book clubs take place in comfortable, casual environments: the homes of participants. Each club determines a location for each meeting ahead of time. Summer clubs will meet once or twice to discuss one or two books. School year clubs will meet five to seven times throughout the school year to discuss selected books spanning different genres.
What is the kid/preteen’s role in the club?
The role of each child or preteen in the club is to read the selected book before each club meeting, read and think about the discussion guide, and participate during each meeting. Some choose to verbally participate in meetings more than others. Some prefer to listen more than talk. All engage in a mix of listening to each others’ perspectives and responding with their own ideas which leads to deeper understanding than what might take place as a solo reader. All levels of participation and ideas are always honored and welcome.
What is the caring adult’s role in the club?
Adults agree to provide their child/preteen with the selected book for each meeting. It is highly encouraged to use your local library or independent book shop. Some adults choose to read the selected books and participate in the discussions. Others choose to read the books for conversation with their child/preteen before the group discussion, but do not participate in the larger group discussion itself. It’s up to each adult and their personal preference. Either way, each book read will give kids/preteens and their caring adults a lot to talk about.
How are books selected and what guides the discussion?
I carefully take each group’s needs and preferences into consideration when choosing books for each club meeting. Selection considerations include genre preferences, past books read, and much more. A wide range of experiences and perspectives is always included in book selection. No two books will be alike! All clubs and readers are different, so choices are tailored for each individual group. All books chosen are written by highly acclaimed and often award-winning children’s and middle grade authors. Books are revealed a month before each meeting so participants have time to read before the group discussion. I also create and provide discussion guides tailored to each individual group. Guides help with ideas for consideration and thinking/talking points for each discussion.
What is the cost?
Prices vary depending on your location, number of participants, and number of club meetings. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
*As much as I love discussing books with the students at the school where I’m a teacher, my after-school/evening book clubs are not available to current students at my own school