Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ideas for Ramona's Book Club?


A friend of mine has done a great book club for the last few years, but we're all feeling at a bit of a crossroads. The mix of kids is tricky at this particular juncture -- this year we will have boys and girls ranging in age from six to twelve. It's hard to bridge all those gaps (not to mention tastes.)

Ideas?
Inspiration?

I think we're overthinking it, and we just need a jolt. Brainstorming, anyone?

21 comments:

Emily said...

Anything Laura Ingalls Wilder, or Beverly Cleary....I *think* there might be some Lois Lowry for younger kids, like Number the Stars? (Might be too much for 6 year olds, though) What about the Newberry award winners? Or A Wrinkle in Time? There's a lot of the scienecy stuff but Charles Wallace is about 6 or so, right? So they have someone to relate to there. Things like Little Women, Black Beauty, Anne of Green Gables....I read Little Women in third grade ad I remember there were illustrated books I loved. Little Princess? Secret Garden--that has good male characters too, for the boys.....(assuming they are boys!), Shel Silverstein's poetry.....Miss Spitfire is a great fictional take on Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller....the Ignatius Vision books are GREAT bios of saints that I think would fit this age group

Charlotte (WaltzingM) said...

That is quite a wide age range! I had trouble with my 8-12 year olds this past year. Have they read Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library? That one has a lot of references to other books in it that the older kids might really enjoy but is still a fun little adventure for the younger ones.

Charlotte (WaltzingM) said...

Check your FB messages.

jencircletheworld said...

My Side of the Mountain trilogy by Jean Craighead George, anything by Roald Dahl or anything by Edith Nesbit

Karen Edmisten said...

(I thought I posted this reply last night, but it got lost in cyber space, I guess!)

Emily, we've talked about (or read) much of what you named, all great stuff! I think Secret Garden might be in the running. Miss Spitfire is a fun idea -- my older girls read that and loved it. And a saint bio is an interesting alternative. We've done fiction, but that's a fun idea.

Charlotte, thanks for the message, and yes, we all read Mr. Lemoncello last year. Did you enter his contest? :)

Jen, we were just talking about My Side of the Mountain yesterday. Too funny. And I was thinking about James and the Giant Peach, too.

Keep 'em coming! Thanks!

Tabatha said...

The Anybodies by N.E. Bode?
The Gorillas of Gill Park by Amy Gordon?
I would suggest Where the Red Fern Grows, but it is for 8-12 year olds.

Elizabeth Kay said...

Have you read "Millions" by Frank Cottrell Boyce? It is an amazing story about a boy who has visions of saints, including his deceased mother. It's a great book with a powerful message. It's hilarious and exciting and heart-tugging all the the same time.

quillandcamera said...

We just finished Pie and my kids, 7 and 10 really enjoyed it!

Karen Edmisten said...

We read Pie last year for a library book club and loved it!

Elizabeth, Millions sounds really interesting! I'm putting it on a list for Ramona and me.

Tabatha, your suggestions are intriguing, too. My middle daughter loved The Anybodies.

ellie said...

Ages 6-12 huh? .... Not sure of the format -- do you all read aloud together as a group? Do kids read at home on their own or with their parents, then you are all there together?

Anyhow. The Hobbit -- even if most have read it already, it's a wonderful meaty choice for a children's book club.

Liz said...

Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons. You might warn everybody that the first chapter gets going a little slowly, but after that the book is terrific and a terrific lead in to the entire series. These books are great because they have younger kids and older kids, they have boys and girl. The kids have adventures on their own, but the adults are nearby for assistance when needed. There's sailing, and camping, and competition. While they take place in the early 20th century so much of them feels like something that in the right place kids could do even today. To boot, it's a wonderful introduction to the Lake's District in England. My daughter was so excited when her English prof mentioned the Ransome books and it turned out that a. Abby was the only one in the class familiar with them, and b. her professor's family had actually vacationed at the real Holly Howe Farm. These books were a hit with both my kids and that's a really strong recommendation because the L'Engle books weren't.

I'd also recommend L'Engle (perhaps Meet the Austins or A Wrinkle in Time), but I'd cast a very huge vote for Ransome as probably getting the yes vote from more kids.

Karen Edmisten said...

Ellie, thanks, and thanks to you, too, Liz!

I said ages 6-12 because we have one six yo who listens in on the read-alouds to his older siblings, but realistically, it's more like ages 8-12.

Great suggestions, everyone! Thank you so much!

Melanie Bettinelli said...

We've been thoroughly enjoying the Bantry Bay trilogy by Hilda van Stockum. I could see it working for that age range. Right now it's delighting my 8, 6, 5, and 3 year olds. But I can definitely see it pleasing 12 year olds too. And definitely good for both boys and girls. Or her Mitchells books.

Karen Edmisten said...

Melanie, we talked about some Hilda Van Stockum! We set her aside for now (for the group) because we're looking for stuff that none of the families have read, but The Mitchells was our first alternate if we decided to include something that some of us have read. I LOVE Hilda Van Stockum.

Melanie Bettinelli said...

Incidentally, you were in my dream last night. I was visiting with Lissa and the Peterson clan and your family were all there too, but all the kids were at the ages they were when I first started reading your blog and Lissa's. And I kept addressing all the children by their blog names and the other kids who were there, who didn't know the blog names, kept ignoring me when I said things like, "Please give that to Betsy."

Karen Edmisten said...

Melanie, that is too funny! I love it!

Have I ever told you how much my kids love to say your name? "MelanieBettinelliMelanieBettinelliMelanieBettinelli!" It's just fun to say! :)

Karen Edmisten said...

Oh, and btw, that would be an awesome get-together! :)

Melanie Bettinelli said...

Karen, that's so funny. I remember doing that chant quite a bit way back when. It is fun to say.

And I was sad when I woke up to think it had all been a dream.

Karen Edmisten said...

I'd be sad to wake from that dream, too! Someday in Boston....!

Kimberlee said...

What about The Saturdays and its sequels? The kids in the story rather match the ages of the kids in your club, both boys and girls. We are so very fond of these wonderful books!
If you're looking for a bio/hist fic type book, Priest on Horseback by Eva Bentz is excellent. Unfortunately it's OOP (and my kids told me not to suggest a book that your club members couldn't actually get on paper, ahem) but it's worth tracking down. We just got it from the library, and all ages here have enjoyed this tale of a traveling priest in Colonial times.

Karen Edmisten said...

Oooh, the Saturdays! We've read it, though we've not read the sequels yet.

Priest on Horseback sounds good, Kimberlee -- I just checked Amazon and there's a used copy available for only $496.00. :) We'll have to be on the lookout or do an interlibrary loan. Thanks for the ideas!