The Basics of
The how and why of bookclubbing.
Welcome to Module One,
Which will take you through some of the basics of building a bookclub, covering all the basics you need to consider before deciding on your first book club book.
But first some notes to get us all started and on the same page, so to speak. As a teacher, I know that we all have favoured learning styles so in each module you will find several ways to access information. You might like to read onscreen and take notes, you may be a visual learner and enjoy my video guide to each module or you may be time poor and choose to listen to the audio on your drive to work. Whichever way you access this e-course, just remember that you have lifetime membership of the content so you can dip in and out as needed.
The idea is that you will spend one week on each of the six modules so that you 1) don’t experience information overload and 2) can take your time to digest the information and discuss with others any ideas that pop up for you. Choose or adapt the ideas that best suit you and your family, library or school situation.
Each week there will be:
Each week there will be module notes, a video from me, three suggested book club books and web resources, three points to action and a recipe to stash away for future meetings (because food + books + friends = winning at life). Where I list a book, website, podcast or video there will be a direct link to take you straight there. None of the content of this course is sponsored in any way and all recommendations are my own. Links to books are affiliate links to Booktopia which result in a small (very!) commission for Children’s Books Daily. Affiliate links are at no cost to the buyer and are one of the ways we keep the wheels turning and the reviews posted on the website. Booktopia is Australian owned and operated and I have had a longstanding relationship with them. I also support (and frequent) local independent bookstores and I encourage you to do the same. If you are buying in person, local and independent, for online buying I recommend Booktopia within Australia and New Zealand.
Community is key...
So please take the time to join the 7000 strong Facebook Group, Your Kid’s Next Read – moderated by authors Allison Tait and Allison Rushby and myself, where the conversations can continue. Note: in order to keep the cost of this course as low as possible, there is no dedicated Facebook group. And to be honest? Your Kid’s Next Read is where it’s at. I’m all about streamlining your life and helping you to curate the content you see on your socials!
So Why start a book club or take your existing book club to the next level? Well if you’ve invested in this course you’re probably already invested in the idea of a book club but I’ll give you some of my own thoughts, which you can then add to your own narrative around this, in order to start the discussion with others.
Book clubs help to form strong literary relationships with like-minded peers readers and with actual books. This is key in helping young readers to develop their identity as readers and become lifelong lovers of books. If you are a reader yourself, you will know that wondrous feeling of deeply losing yourself in a good book, it is something we want for the young people in our lives, whether they be our children or our students. In such a fast-paced world, reading is a ‘pause’, a moment of calm and quiet.
Being a member of a book club ensures reading is a priority. A book club ‘legitimises’ reading time – not that this is needed of course but it does help to schedule it into a busy life. Piano teachers ask us to make time to practice, sports coaches insist on multiple trainings a week – so as a teacher librarian I’m going to suggest that we could and should schedule time for reading, especially when life is so busy.
Book clubs build literary knowledge and skills. I mean that really needs no further explanation does it? Who doesn’t want to be the master of literary knowledge at the local trivia night.
Reading alongside young people can be the perfect way to kick start tricky discussions. Books are a reflection of the life and life has moments of darkness and of light – books can help peers, parents and trusted adults, to have non-confrontational conversations about issues that can sometimes be difficult to discuss, such as relationships, behaviour at parties, grief and loss, depression and body image. Books are a springboard for good conversations and learning to listen to the views of others.
Books club reads grow as your child or student grows and your relationship changes. Book Clubs are a particularly great way to ‘hold the hand’ of readers as they read through the primary years and into middle grade novels and then young adult reads. It can be really tricky for young people to work out what they are comfortable reading but as you read with them and get to know their maturity level it can help them to grow their confidence in self-selecting books in the future.
Book clubs help to create memories and positive reading experiences which will be long remembered.
This is the final post in a three part series on books for readers from 11+. I have read and enjoyed all of them and many of them have been previous book club reads.
A Secret Book Club is a great to create a buzz about books and a sense of mystery in a school or library setting and I just love this idea. One day I want to run a version of this book club.
I absolutely rejoiced when I first saw this article – what a brilliant idea! My local independent bookstore runs silent reading parties for ‘special events’ like the release of the latest book in a popular series or on the ‘birthday’ of Harry Potter. I have the most gorgeous photo of my own tween reading silently in this bookstore with some of her friends.
Recipe idea to stash away for future meetings...
Purchase or borrow one of the suggested books and get into the swing of reading middle grade novels.
Look at each of the subheadings relating to how you might run a book club and ponder or discuss what will best suit your situation and research venues to host your book club.