Our Children's Book Club Reading List

A few years ago, I joined a book club. Actually, a second book club since I was already a member of another with a handful of my coworkers.

But this one was my idea and was also, hands-down, the best book club I've ever been a part of. 

It was a Children's Book Club. And the members were: me, my best friend, and her three boys. (Well, two... the third was just there for the snacks.)

We agreed to read a chapter of the chosen book each weeknight and discuss it over snacks on Saturday afternoon. (This was a considerable commitment on the part of their mom and dad given that neither of the boys were reading chapter books on their own just yet.)

We started with Children's books I already owned two copies of... which, let me tell you, as a literature major with a deep love of good cover art, there were plenty to choose from. From there, we moved to books I'd loved as a kid. I figured, if I fondly remembered bits and pieces of the plot nearly thirty years later, they were likely to get lost in the stories, too.

It was so fun to see these familiar stories come to life through their recounting. 

They'd talk over each other--getting louder and faster as they went--to catch me up on the plot and tell me what they think might happen next. 

They'd share with such excitement about their favorite parts--moments of silliness, danger, or triumph. 

They'd laugh as the other recounted the line that made them both giggle. 

When we could, we'd watch the movie version of the book we'd just finished before starting the next book. (As evidenced in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory candy-fest above.)

It was the highlight of my week--every week.

Here is the Children's Book Club Reading List:

1. The Cricket in Times Square (Because it's been one of my favorites since I did a book report on it in early elementary school.)

2. Charlotte's Web

3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 

4. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (not my favorite, but kinda fun to find out what happens after the elevator shoots out of the roof.)

5. Fantastic Mr. Fox (We sat on the couch together and read nearly all of this in a single sitting. They were hooked!)

6. James and the Giant Peach (I had forgotten how much abuse James suffers at the start of this book. In hindsight, I may have skipped it for that reason. This was also why we didn't read Matilda--there's just so much physical and verbal abuse.)

7. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

8. Stuart Little

9. Freckle Juice

10. Superfudge (I wish I had video of the boys giggling about this one. I knew the crazy little brother's antics would make them laugh!)

At this point, they started reading so fast I couldn't keep up! Once the oldest learned to read, he'd read chapter after chapter aloud to his brothers before bed each night. They were finishing entire books in a single week!

Here we are, a few years later, and they're currently reading through the Harry Potter series... which makes my heart proud to bursting. I'd honestly consider having kids just to experience the magic (no pun intended) of their first experience of Hogwarts... and their first viewing of Home Alone. 

If we were to pick up the book club again, I'd like to incorporate books with characters of different races and cultures, plus characters with disabilities or limb differences. (If they'd been a little bit older the first go-round, we would have read Wonder together and talked about inclusivity, bravery, and compassion.) Maybe once the screen fatigue from online school fades away, we'll try a long-distance book club.

How about you... What's the first book you remember loving as a kid? What's one Children's book you would recommend to kids just finding their love of reading? 

1 comment

  1. You know how much this makes my heart JUMP! I loved most all of these books as a kid myself...then read them to you...then was THRILLED that you loved reading on your own so much too."Henry Huggins" was the first book I remember checking out from the library and getting hooked on a series. Henry and Beezus, Beezus and Ramona, Ramona and her Mother...and YOU fell in love with them too. James and the Giant Peach was another of my favorites from elementary school (I loved seeing my name listed several times on the 'checked out' stamped paper in the front of the book from St. Catherine's!) And OH do I remember 'The Cricket in Time Square'...you LOVED that one! Great post...!