The Kids’ Book Club Book

School is nearly out, and parents everywhere are beginning to wonder what the heck to do with the summer looming before them. Here’s an idea: Start a kids’ book club. As it happens, I know just where to send you for information on how to do it. 🙂

Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp have taken the concept from their first book, “The Book Club Cookbook,” and gone nuts with it in “The Kids’ Book Club Book,” creating what will probably always stand as the definitive book on organizing a kids’ reading club. It covers the how-tos of starting a book club for children, ways to spice up meetings, and includes lists of suggested books for certain age groups.

Then they take these ideas and show you exactly what they’re talking about, taking a suggested book and breaking it down for you. A timid book club organizer could take this book and work with it for a good chunk of time without having to come up with a single original idea. By the time he finished, he’d be a pro and wouldn’t have any trouble continuing on his own.

Example: The break-down of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”:

  • A brief synopsis of the book.
  • A couple of pages of “tidbits” on author Roald Dahl, including biographical notes and a discussion of racism in the original depiction of the Oompa-Loompas.
  • A recipe for Wonka’s Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight, a recipe created by Dahl himself with his wife, Felicity (with a warning that it’s extremely sweet).
  • A “candy inventing” activity.
  • A candy bar guessing game.
  • Discussion questions for the kids.
  • Sadly, no ideas on how adults can cope with a book club full of kids hopped up on sugar. Luckily, it’s a rare book that has this much candy in it!

Gelman and Levy Krupp interviewed something like 500 kids’ book clubs around the country, and it shows. This book is PACKED with book ideas, activities, recipes, discussion questions and more. I can’t imagine a homeschool group, especially, that wouldn’t get a great deal out of it.