Book clubs were a staple for adults long before cell phones and TikTok. They help distract us from everyday life – working, caring for children, cleaning – and help us discover new worlds. There’s nothing better than reading a good book and then calling a friend to discuss it. Book clubs are like that, but with more friends (and maybe even some good food).
This celebration of reading should not just be relegated to the adult world. No, children and teenagers should also have their own book club. Starting them early will set them up for a lifetime of reading, self-discovery, and connection.
Below, you’ll find a few more reasons why getting kids involved in book clubs is so important, along with some of our favorite books for kids and young adults. Get your bookmarks ready, it’s time to head to the library.
Less screen time
Ask most parents what they want for their kids and they’ll probably tell you less screen time. But it’s difficult, especially with schools that rely on tablets and technology for learning. Busy parents don’t always have the time or the reason to offer screen-free games – and that’s where book clubs come in.
Set your kids up with a few books in an interest category and have them read a little before bed or when they’re bored. Suggest that they read the same book as a friend or group of friends, and voilà, the book club was born. Once enough kids are involved, parents can organize book club nights where they can hang out, order pizza, and talk about their books. It doesn’t matter if they’re reading “Yerba Buena” or “The Hobbit” – if they’re engrossed and excited, you can call it a win.
No more connection
Just as a video game can spark friendly competition, books can help children bond around shared values and interests. (It’s also good to remind them that not all books are textbooks!) Find a few books that match their interests, whether it’s fantasy, cooking, flowers, or chess. Then create a themed book club where they can invite friends over to discuss the topics they are most passionate about. For those who don’t play school sports or participate in school activities, this is the perfect opportunity to socialize and connect – screen-free – with peers.
A safe escape for discovery (and self-discovery)
For kids who are stressed out about school, a book club provides an escape. In the pages of a good book, they can travel to distant lands, discover people different from them and experience thoughts and feelings that they may not encounter at school or while doing household chores. . They may even tackle difficult topics not covered in school, such as love and sexuality. With books like ‘Twas the Night Before Pride’ and ‘Loveless’, they can get answers to questions they may be afraid to ask when around curious kids like them.