How to Start a Book Club with Your Kids

By Elaina Daniels

Oprah made them famous.  Lots of adults participate in them.  Can you guess what I’m talking about?  I’m talking about the book club.  A book club is an opportunity for people to get together and discuss a book that they have all read individually.  Are you that person who is always talking about the book that you just read?  Then a book club could be just for you.

But, have you ever thought of also applying the concept of a book club to your children?  Parents are always looking for something that they can enjoy with their kids.  What better than to share a good book with them?  Not only will you be aware of what your kids are reading, but you can also make some amazing connections with them.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Cindy Hudson, author of Book by Book:  The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs.  Cindy created book clubs with her daughters.  According to Cindy, it was one of the most important things that she did when her daughters were young.  Cindy created a book club for each of her daughters, starting when they were just nine years old.

Don’t despair if you have sons instead of daughters though. You can create any kind of club, as long as you can find the people to get the club going.  I wanted to get some advice from Cindy on the best ways to create a book club for anyone.

The most obvious way to create a book club is to do it locally.  Local clubs offer the advantage of community connection.  One of the keys to creating a successful local book club is to be persistent. Keep talking to people, and keep looking for ways to grow your book club.  Cindy started her clubs simply with friends who had a daughter about the same age.  Each of them asked two people to join, and then it went from there.

A second way is to create an online club.  An online club offers little face to face interaction, but can allow you to form a larger club, complete with people from all over the world.  Since children spend so much time online these days, it can be a good way to connect with them.  You can either search online to join one that suits your needs, or you can start one yourself.  There are all kinds of free sites out there that allow you to create an online world.

Cindy has a lot of “been there, done that” advice for what to do and what not to do with a book club.

  1. Do keep it fun!  A book club is supposed to be something fun to do with your kids.
  2. Don’t use it as a platform to preach!  You can use the book club as a way to have teachable moments about things with your kids, and to learn more about them, but don’t preach at them.  It will turn them off of the club quickly.
  3. Do find what YOUR child enjoys to read.  Different kids like to read different things.  Even Cindy’s daughters enjoyed different genres of books. Never force your kids to read something they don’t enjoy.
  4. Don’t have a rigid structure.  Do what works with your group and with your kids.  Don’t be afraid of change.  Be flexible to the group’s needs.

Whatever type of book club that you decide to start, give it your all, you won’t be disappointed.  Cindy says, “You will get to know your kids in different ways than you ever imagined.”  In other words, see a side of your kids that you never would have otherwise glimpsed.

In addition to Mother Daughter Book Club, Some sites we like:

Oprah’s Kids Reading List

Book Adventure


Elaina Daniels is a 13 year educator, who had taught at the elementary/middle school level for all of those years.  She has taught all subjects, but her passion is Reading.  She has two children, aged 9 and 7.  Her oldest son was diagnosed with autism.  Elaina lives on a farm in Southwest Missouri with her husband of 11 years. Together, they raise children, dogs, and cattle.  



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