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Elementary book club suggestions


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Please help me think of books for the spring semester of our book club. The kids involved are mostly ages 6-8, with a few a little older and some younger siblings taking part. We read one book a month, and they do a project that ties in that they share.

Here's what I'm looking for:

1. Good as family read alouds but can be read in about 10-12 sessions. The longest book we're reading is Unusual Chickens, which is pushing it a bit 

2. Diverse. Our area is diverse and so is our membership. I want books that reflect this.

3. Variety. older and newer books, different genres and styles, different topics.

4. Discussable but not controversial. Different religions, family makeups, political beliefs, etc can be in the background, but I don't think this is the right forum for those to be front and center.

5. Plenty of copies in our local library, but it's a good one and I'll check on that.

We've done or are doing Henry Huggins, Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, Zoey and Sassafras, From The Mixed up Files, and Odd and the Frost Giants. We rejected Mathilda because one mom was worried about how the parents speak to the children, and I agreed because I was concerned about giving a group of home schooled kids such a very negative view of school. I'll probably do The Birchbark House in the spring. When I look for newer books at in different cultures, I'm finding more books with female protagonists, and I'd like to keep that balanced as much as possible.

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Toys Go Out, by Emily Jenkins was a favorite here with people at that age. We particularly liked the audio book. Maybe you could play the first chapter or two at a meeting so that people hear the voices. This is a shorter book than what you've done so far.

The Doll People, by Ann M. Martin might be good. Not from a diversity stand point, but there are some discussion topics in there. 

 

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My 7 almost 8 year old is enjoying Charlie and the Chocolate Factory right now. It could definitely be easily done in 10 - 12 sessions. Might be a good one for February/Valentine's Day.

The Wild Robot was also a hit here but it is longer. You could probably do it in 10 - 12 sessions though because some of the chapters are super short, like one page long short. It would tie in well with spring/bird migrations/animals.

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, The Trumpet of the Swan and  Ida B. are on our list of read alouds for the next couple of months as well.

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The diversity requirement is a little hard... I can think of a good number of books that fit your other criteria, but not so much this one. Pretty much all the British fiction I can think of it isn't very diverse, for example! 

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Thank you all for your suggestions. I love those lists, and even though I have to whittle it to 5 books for the club, my kids will benefit from many more.

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Right now, my list includes:

The Birchbark House

My Side of the Mountain

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

That would get us through May. If we do something in the summer (schools get out on mid May here, usually) it will likely be a different format. After a few months I'll start thinking about next year. For now, I just need to preread/reread these, figure out which month to pair then with, and think of projects that are both worth doing and fun to share in a Zoom meeting.

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