a peek inside the fishbowl

12 Dec, 2011

Book clubs for kids

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy

One of our friends started a Mother-Daughter book club last year, and I have to say, I’m kind of loving it. We drink tea, eat cookies, and talk about our monthly read. Not that we need any more encouragement to read around here (everyone has a book on the go At All Times) but it has been a great opportunity to read something new, and something we may not have necessarily chosen for ourselves. Participating with the kids has been a real treat – not just reading the same books as them, but the experience of discussing the books as a group has surpassed all of my expectations. The best part of book club (cookies aside of course) is listening to the kids and their insights into the books we read. It knocks my socks off. Kids are SO COOL.

The books we’ve read (and I recommend them all) include:

  • Savvy, by Ingrid Law (interested readers might also want to pick up the second book, Scumble)
  • Holes, by Louis Sachar
  • When you Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead (one of my favourites so far)
  • Zorgamazoo, by Robert West (This was Sarah’s choice and it’s a particularly creative one. It’s 200+ pages of tendramic pentameter!)

Our next book is The True Meaning of Smekday, Emma’s pick, and it was her job to come up with some discussion questions this month.

We’ve only had one copy between the three of us, and it’s been Sarah’s to read it this week. She’s been digesting it faster than a starving vulture on roadkill. I can’t wait to hear what she thinks.

Are you in a book club? Mother/child or otherwise?

Related: I just finished reading The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. I had reserved it months ago and had no idea what I was getting into when I started. What a fantastic read that was, but it was also gruelling, because I KNEW it was slowly marching towards something life-altering at the end. Oh boy.

Anyway, yes, I’d love to hear what you’re reading!

5 Responses to "Book clubs for kids"

1 | Jane

December 13th, 2011 at 10:27 am


Book clubs can be alot of fun. Your post reminded me of a club (for adults) I was in when the first Harry Potter books came out. We worked our way through the first few books and at our meeting the host invited her young son (I’m sure he was under 10) for his take on the series. It added a really interesting perspective to the mix–and made him feel pretty special. I wish we (you know, society in general) created more opportunities for intergenerational intellectual exchanges.

Right now my 13 year old is in a heavy duty science fiction phase–a genre that has never had a hold on me. Of course many of the books he’s reading have been made into movies, some of which I’ve really enjoyed. Still, it would be great if he could be part of a discussion group about what he’s read that would be intellectually challenging–going beyond the gadgets & gimmicks and really exploring the bigger questions in life that one ponders when reading about alternate universes, the meaning of life, time travel and such.

2 | Great summer reads for girls 10+ >> a peek inside the fishbowl

July 19th, 2012 at 11:35 am


[…] You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead [Ed: we read this at our Mother-Daughter Book club. At the end of it you’ll be, like, WHOA. It’s a really great read.] Twelve-year old Miranda’s […]

3 | Carey

July 19th, 2012 at 2:10 pm


Love this post! My daughter is still a little young for a mother daughter book club, but I’ve been looking forward to joining/creating one since I read her first picture book to her. Just curious as to how many members you have? when do you find is the best time to meet – weeknights or weekends? We now have a good group of friends and they are just starting chapter books. Everyone is so busy, I’m just not sure how we will fit it in to everyone’s schedules!!

4 | andrea

July 19th, 2012 at 2:29 pm


Hi Carey –
it’s tough to find a night that works for everyone. We meet once a month after dinner, between 6:30 and 8:00 p.m. We have five families participating right now. :)

5 | Making New Year's resolutions with kids >> a peek inside the fishbowl

January 1st, 2014 at 10:04 am


[…] What about a family reading challenge? This could be about reading a set amount of chapter books together, or maybe starting a book club? […]

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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