I started a children's bookclub for my daughter and her friends. The children had just finished Kindergarten and teetered with excitement on the edge of this new skill- reading. Everyone made their selection and we filled our summer with books.
At first the children were happy just to name the characters and draw their own illustration to go with each book. Now, in their fourth summer, they're digging deeper, discussing plot, themes, character traits and even their favorite author's unique writing styles.
First rule of bookclub, Is talk about bookclub.
If you're talking about books with friends, you're more likely to be reading books. And reading ten books through the summer isn't a bad result when disguised as spending time with friends.
Second rule of bookclub, Is it's your bookclub.
Simply stated that after the initial organizing (selecting books and scheduling dates) the kids run the show. A basic questionaire for the children to use as a guide was given, but I expressed that by no means do they have to stick to that structure. What happened next was magical.
The kids started acting out the stories by pretending to be their favorite characters in the book. The artwork they brought in was inspired. They brought in book related treats to share with their friends. Their laughter was contagious and the books came to life in front of my eyes.
As an author, I know my personal experience with books, the reason I write. As a parent, I want my daughter to have the same connection I have with books. The way this bookclub touches my heart confirms how important writing for this audience is.
I will be sharing posts from our bookclub, Chapters, Chat, Chillin, and Children. Please know that our group has grown and given rise to a younger sibling group with some cross over of classic moments that had to shared.