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Family Matters: Mother-Son Book Clubs

Saturday, August 11, 2012


How do we inspire modern boys to curl up with books? Starting a mother-son bookclub is a creative way to get them hooked. Photo: kbowenwriter/flickr

It can be challenging, convincing boys to spend time with books. A few friends and I started a Mother-Son Bookclub about a year ago as a way to challenge our boys to read more, teach them to articulate their thoughts,

and encourage them to discuss books in a fun atmosphere outside the classroom. We hope this Bookclub inspires our boys to become lifelong readers and continues to be a positive way for us to connect with our sons as they get older.

The first rule of Mother-Son Bookclub...

We came up with a few loose rules, to get started.

1. Mothers and sons read the books.
2. Each boy takes a turn selecting the book. (We drew number order at the first meeting.)
3. Meet monthly, rotating houses from 5:30-7:30 PM. Each meeting includes dinner, activity, book discussion.
4. Host parent buys the pizza, host child (with help from parent) plans the project / activity / discussion.
5. Host boy selects the next book.

The boys were heading into 4th grade when we started the club. Here’s a list below of our Mother-Son Bookclub reads and the activity that we did to accompany each book .

  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
    Activity: Make a Shrinky Dink dragon.

  • The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald
    Activity: Play marbles and other simple games.

  • Warriors: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter
    Activity: Make a book club book journal.

  • War Horse by Michael Murporgo
    Activity: Watch Youtube video of WW1 treatment of horses. Play the game Stratego.

  • My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
    Activity: Make your own granola.

  • The Phantom Tollbooth written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer.
    Activity: Math and word games.

  • By the Great Horn Spoon! by Sid Fleischman
    Activity: Sift for gold. (Gold rocks hidden in sand.)

  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
    Activity: Scavenger Hunt. Watch “The 20,000 Pyramid” on Youtube and play our own version of the game.

  • Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi
    Activity: Cartoon drawing. Hunt for your own amulet.

  • Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
    Activity: Make up dollar words. Count grass. Role playing – bullying, conflict situations.

Upcoming reads:

  • Dave at Night by Gail Carson Levine

  • The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales / With an Introduction by Lemony Snicket

Are your children in a bookclub? Let us know what you’re reading, what works, what doesn’t. We would love to hear from you.

Anisa Raoof is the publisher and founder of Kidoinfo, the parents' guide for Rhode Island and beyond.


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