Sunday, August 7, 2011

I'm Starting a Book Club! (But Not For You)

For the last couple of years, I've volunteered at the library at Z's school. It's a great way for me to spend time with the kids, help the incredibly overworked librarian and to hopefully steer a few students toward books they might love. It's even helping me decide whether to head back to school to get my MLIS or not. But this year, I have decided to step up and do more to promote reading at the school -- I'm reviving the PTA-sponsored Book Club!

My first decision was to make it available to students of all grades so, instead of choosing single books to read together, I've decided that we will read on a topic each time. I will publicize the topic and post a list of book suggestions and kids can choose their books on- or off-list. The younger kids can also be read to if they aren't ready for chapter books yet.

I've decided to start slowly and see how things go with just three meetings throughout the year. So, the next thing for me to do is something I'm hoping you want to help me with. I have decided the three topics -TIME -TRAVEL, ANIMALS and FOREIGN LANDS (anything with a mostly non-U.S. setting, real or imaginary)-- and need to start some book lists! I'm looking for books that span a range of genres and will appeal to both boys and girls (obviously). This will be a K-6 group but we also have an Elementary Advanced program at the school so the lists could include anything through younger-level YA books.

Can you help me out? Please leave a comment with a couple of book suggestions that fit under any of the three topics. I'll start the lists here with some of my favorites and update them with your suggestions. I would also appreciate any input if you have run an elementary school book club before.

Sharing the list making fun,

The Time Quake Trilogy by Linda Buckley-Archer (The Time Travelers, The Time Thief, The Time Quake)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Time at the Top by Edward Ormondroyd

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Bunnicula by James Howe
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat by Lynne Jonell
The Giraffe and The Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl
Flight of the Phoenix (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, Book 1) by R.L. LaFevers

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
The BFG by Roald Dahl
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Bloomability by Sharon Creech


  1. My favorite time travel book when I was a kid was Jessamy by Barbara Sleigh--it's not easy to find unless someone has finally decided to republish it. I wanted my kids to read stand finally found a copy. Wonderful book.

    God luck w your venture--sounds like it should be great!

  2. How incredibly awesome!!!!! I'll have to think and come back with some suggestions. I always freeze up when I have to think of books on the spot!

  3. I'm going to have a think. I immediately thought of The Ghost of Opalina, which has animals and sort of time travel, in the sense that the cat's ghost lives through many different time periods. But it is so, so out of print.

    Oh, plus, Sharon Creech's Bloomability. The most excellent book about foreign lands.

  4. Oh! Edward Ormondroyd's Time at the Top! Possibly most awesome time travel book of my whole childhood.

  5. Jane - That's so unfortunate that it's out of print! I've checked our library system and it's not there either.

    Jenners - That's why I put stuff out to you all. When I sat down to write my lists, I drew a blank. :)

    Jenny - Boo again for out of print books! I will definitely add Bloomability and Time at the Top to the lists as they are both in our library system (with lots of copies!).

  6. Yep, way late in commenting on so many posts! Get ready for a few comments from me tonight apparently!

    I would totally add Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, maybe to Foreign Lands?!? We love that book and I think we are going to revisit that one soon. Also, what about Stuart Little or any of the Geronimo Stilton series for Animals? Then, you have The Mouse and the Motorcycle and James and the Giant Peach for more Animals, and The Borrowers for another Foreign Lands. I've also heard great things about The Secrets of Droon series for Foreign Lands, but have not yet read them. They are still on the TBR. Okay, that's all I've got for now!