written by Deborah Lytton, author of Ruby Starr
Book clubs are a wonderful way to combine reading and friends. A book club allows for discovery of new books as well as ideas. Here are 7 tips for starting your own.
In my newest release, RUBY STARR (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky), the main character Ruby is a ten-year-old who absolutely loves books. She is inspired by her mother’s book club to start the Unicorn book club. Once a week, Ruby and her friends meet at lunch to discuss their latest read.
Here are some Ruby-inspired tips for starting a book club of your own.
- Ask for Permission. If the group will be at school, ask your teacher for permission before you start. Explain that you would like to start a book club to meet at lunchtime. Maybe your teacher will help you make an announcement. (If you want to meet outside of school, ask your parent or guardian for permission.)
- The Announcement. Let your class know that you are starting a book club for anyone who would like to join. Then give them the details about when you will meet. Don’t forget to tell everyone when the first meeting will be.
- First Meeting. At the first meeting, if you have a large number of students, you can suggest that everyone break into mini-groups of 5 so it will be easier to talk about the books and also to gather together at lunch. Just make sure if there are a few people who don’t have a group that you bring them into yours. The more readers, the better.
- Choosing a Name. One of the most exciting things about starting a book club is choosing a really imaginative name that represents your group. Have fun!
- Selecting the First Book. Have everyone in the group make suggestions for the books they would like to read as a group and write them all down. Then vote on which one to read first. Save the list so next time you can choose one of the other books. Hint: classics are always a good way to start.
Here are some of my favorites (and Ruby’s favorite, too): ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS, BLACK BEAUTY, THE SECRET GARDEN, A WRINKLE IN TIME.
- Questions. Ask everyone to come to the meeting with one question for the group. This will help get the discussion started. Here are some ideas:
What sentence in the book made you laugh or cry?
What would you do differently if you were the main character?
If you were to rewrite this story, how would you change it?
- Second Meeting. As the host, ask if anyone has finished the book. If everyone hasn’t finished, remember not to give away the ending. Ask your questions one by one so that everyone has a chance to share their thoughts. At the end of the meeting, choose your next book.
If you need any help with questions, I have book club discussion guides for all of my books on my website, www.deborahlytton.com. Happy reading!
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