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I need help picking books for Book Club...

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Our homeschool group does a book club for the kids. There are four levels, Pre-Readers - my group, Early Readers, Middle Readers - my older son is here and Advanced Readers - my daughter is here. For the Pre-Readers, I pick a theme and read two or three books about that theme and we do a craft. For the Early Readers, a book is picked the leader reads it and they do a craft. For the Middle Readers, a book is picked, the kids read it at home before Book Club day and then discuss the book and do a craft. For the Advanced Readers, a book is picked, the kids read it and then they discuss it.


This year I am doing Pre-Readers and my son wants to do Penguins, Pizza, Rocket Ships and Kitties for our first few themes. I think they are reasonable for the 3 to 6 year olds that usually make up Pre-Readers. Do you have any other ideas for good themes? (This is a secular group with people of many faiths and none at all so no Christmas or Easter themes.)


But I need to give suggestions for the other groups that my kids are in and I am kind of stuck.


Last year the Early Readers read mostly Magic School Bus books, the thin ones. These kids are at Frog and Toad level mostly. They range in age from about 6 to 9 or so. I technically don't need to provide suggestions for this group, but since I am involved with all of the other ones, I figured I should have some ideas for here too.


The Middle Readers read books like The Mouse and the Motorcycle and Maniac Magee last year. They are looking for more books at about this level. These kids range in age from about 7 to 12 or so.


The Advanced Readers read Count of Monte Cristo and The Pretties last year. They are looking for more books that require real thought and have complex themes. These kids are mostly 13 and up.


So any good ideas from the Hive?

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I do Homeschool Storytime for our group at two local libraries. Some themes we've done are fireflies, fairy tales, tall tales, seeds and plants, libraries, elections, teeth, Valentine's Day, winter, Thanksgiving, and sunflowers. If you go to my blog choose the storytime category, I have written about our storytime sessions including the books we used. This year I am planning themes of vacation/travel, alphabet books (unusual approaches to the alphabet), and presidents. I know we will do more, but just haven't planned that far in advance.


In our storytime, I read the books. Then we have been doing a lapbook on library skills.


For your beginning readers, I would suggest Mr. Putter and Tabby books. My dd loved those as she was learning to read. She also enjoyed The Young Cam Jansen series.



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I'm doing a Book Club class at our co-op this year. Some read at a Frog and Toad level, some can do Mouse and Motorcycle. Because of the ability range, we often won't read the same book.


  • For our first book they read Flat Stanley. In class, we made Flat Stanley figures and I just mailed those off (with a letter and blank journal) to friends/relatives. At a later class, we'll see what comes back.
  • Next we will do a Magic Treehouse book. They get to choose which one, then we will talk about setting with respect to the books. I'm planning to bring our Legos so they can build their setting.
  • A mystery is next. They can choose from a list I'll provide (something easy like Cam Jansen or Nate the Great for the early readers, an A to Z mystery for the better readers.) One class period I plan to have them play Clue, another one we are going to do detective activities (fingerprints, secret messages, analyzing eah other's DNA...).
  • A biography, another choice list. In one class they will present a monologue as their character, in another they will write a short letter asking questions of their character.
  • An animal story. Maybe use Sculpy during class to amke their animal.
  • A non-fiction book. Make a poster in class about what they learned.

That's all I've planned so far. Maybe this will give you some ideas.


Have fun!

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