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Most people begin the process of starting a book club with an interest in books.  But how do you start a book club with children--as the main participants--in mind.  It may seem daunting at first, but here are some good questions to keep in your mind as you begin the process.  A great many book clubs and reading groups are formed around a common theme.  Building your own children's book club may open a whole new world of friends and possibility for your child as well as other people's children.  Here are a few questions to guide your thinking:

Do I want my child to be in a book club or does my child want to be in a book club?

If my child is interested in joining a book club, who are the other children (and their parents) that I should invite to join?

Who are the adults that will be reading along with the children and guiding them? Remember, children love consistency and having just one or two adult leaders providing a level of comfort to insure the safe exchange of ideas is crucial.  Also, book clubs are not necessarily academic but belonging to a children's book club should communicate that reading good books and the sharing of the ideas that those books generate can be fun.

What types of books will the club primarily read? Non-fiction?  Biographies?  Classics?  Sports?  (Yes, children's fiction can have a genre and focus.)

What is the minimum and maximum number of children to make the group run smoothly? Keep your meeting space in mind when you consider this question.

Set time parameters for meeting: How long will you meet?  How often?  What seasons and months should you avoid?

How will you select new members to join the group?

Does your local newspaper or library offer a children's book club?  If so, you may want to piggyback your selections with theirs.

Like all parents, you want what is best for your child.  The average child is naturally inquisitive, easy to get a long with, and likes a challenge.  However, understanding what a child wants can be a daunting task.  Ask your child what he or she would like to get out of a reading club.  Keep them in the process because the more they are invested in the idea of the club, the more you will see them own it.  Setting your child off on an odyssey that promotes reading as a journey rather than something they "have to do for school," to be shared rather than just a solitary endeavor, the better for all of you.  You will be promoting a life-long learner and reader.

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Book Club Recommendations

Looking for some inspiration for your next book club selection?  We've got some suggestions for you.

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9-12 Age Group

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