Beat Boredom with Books! 4 Summer Book Club Ideas (page 2)

Beat Boredom with Books! 4 Summer Book Club Ideas

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Updated on Jun 12, 2009

Chapter 2:  Hop on (Grand) Pop – Multigenerational Dr. Seuss 

Any child growing up in the 1950s remembers the books of Theodore Geisel, or Dr. Seuss—and fifty years later, kids around the world are still hearing Whos with Horton, hopping on Pop, and pulling Wockets from their pockets.  Seuss, noted for his riotous rhymes and simplified vocabulary, is a time-tested choice for emerging readers and his books are a great way to bring together the Silent Generation and their grandkids together for some one-on-one time.  Lest you think that Dr. Seuss is mere child’s play, think again—his Butter Battle Book is a thinly-veiled Cold War commentary and Yertle the Turtle is supposed to have anti-fascist undertones!   

What to read (all books are Random House Books for Young Readers):  Go Dog Go, Hop on Pop, Green Eggs and Ham, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (for Christmas in July, of course!), The Butter Battle Book

For more themed fun: Serve green eggs and ham, naturally!  Also try roast beast sandwiches (How the Grinch Stole Christmas), or perhaps bread—with the butter side up (Butter Battle Book). 

Chapter 3:  Mother-Daughter Mysteries in the Middle 

The middle years can be especially awkward for tween girls—now more than ever, they crave self-confidence and positive female role models to help them make the transition into young adulthood both physically and emotionally.  Part of that is why Phoenix librarian Wendy Resnik “personally think[s] that tweens are the best audience (ages 10-12)” for book groups. What better way to channel some of that positive female energy than teaming up with mom for some girl-powered mysteries?  The mystery/suspense market is rife with strong female protagonists, both new and classic. 

What to read:  Chasing Vermeer (Blue Balliett, Scholastic), The Smuggler’s Treasure (Sarah Master Buckey, American Girl), The Secret of the Mansion (Julie Campbell, Random House Books for Young Readers), The Philadelphia Adventure (Lloyd Alexander, Puffin), Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief (Wendelin VanDraanin, Yearling).

For more themed fun: Celebrate the whodunit spirit with a murder-mystery-themed party for your book club participants, or a Clue board game night. You can also pit mother-daughter teams against each other with a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt.

Chapter 4:  Teen Time Coffeehouse– Read What You Want 

While the younger set may crave contact time with their parents, “teens . . . prefer a more open, read-what-you-want book club with no parents allowed,” says Phoenix librarian Patrick King.  “Their lives are so structured with school, homework, sports and after school activities that presenting one more required book to read bears no interest with them.  Therefore, the moderator, either a teacher, librarian or parent, discusses the individual titles- what the teens are reading and why.”  He points out that teens will often have similar reading habits, so finding similarities between books shouldn’t be difficult. 

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