As the year begins, thoughts and conversations revolve around making new resolutions or changing behaviors. Mostly, these changes are about doing something differently or better, eating habits, or exercise…so this year, why not commit to exercise your mind? An easy way to do this would be to read a little more, and a fun way to read a little more would be to start a book club! Adults do this, classrooms and schools might too-even libraries have programs (see Guys Read or Girls Rock here at NLPL), but kids can try it with friends, classmates, cousins, neighbors or family. To get started, you might need a little help from an adult (parent, teacher, librarian, etc.) or older sibling to get organized and maybe help with the first few meetings. Get a few friends, set some ground rules, put together a list of book suggestions, and you’re good to go! The websites readwritethink.org and Scholastic.com have some helpful suggestions for kids and parents:
Pbs.org has information for a more parent-involved club, including ideas for a mother-daughter group and guidelines for getting started as well :
Reading becomes a social activity for kids in book clubs and promotes so many benefits: respecting others’ ideas and perspectives, building cooperation & collaboration skills, being accountable by being prepared and keeping track of books read, just to name a few …and teachers will be thrilled when comprehension improves! Creativity abounds when an art project relating to the book is part of the meeting. Book clubs can also be a springboard for community involvement after a discussion- for example helping at a pet shelter, volunteering to help keep park areas clean, or recycling projects- or any other theme found in books. Kids learn to listen to each other and make decisions together (respect and collaboration again) regarding how often to meet, where to meet, which books to add to the reading list, will there be snacks, and the list goes on….! Of course, the Youth Services Staff will be happy to assist you in finding appropriate books. A place you might start would be in our Staff Picks section at the front of the department:
So in 2017, exercise your mind, enjoy time with friends, and cozy up to a good book- you might enjoy the results! In my humble opinion though, the best result of a book club is fostering a love for reading!!