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  Book Club for Kids
by Susie Tilton

When my children were little it seemed like there was always reading to be done. Whether we were trying to meet the teacher's guidelines or compete in some contest, the kids were always grumbling about reading. My joke was for my kids to tell me I had to go to my room and read for an hour. They thought it was a punishment, it'd be like a vacation for me!

As my kids have gotten older, reading is less of a punishment for them. There are some reading assignments that don't thrill them, but they usually have a book started around the house. I always have one myself, and in my book club I have a little required reading as well. In the book club, we each get to pick a book for our month and then we host the meeting. My first meeting was after reading the Twilight books. I mean, all our daughters read them, so we decided to as well.

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When I got to book club, we were having Bloody Mary's as an homage to the book. Over the months, we had Chinese luncheon for a book called Shanghai Girls, and we went to a Southern restaurant for fried green tomatoes and fried chicken after we read The Help. We soon discovered we were choosing our books based on what sort of meeting we were wanting to plan. And then it dawned on us, it really made reading fun. Choosing the book became a challenge and the meetings were always something we really looked forward to. Wouldn't kids feel the same way?

So one mom whose children are a little less enthusiastic about reading decided to start a book club. Her range of girls was 9-12, and she decided to start with a classic, Charlotte's Web. She bought 5 copies of the book and gave them to the girls whose moms she had arranged the club with. Since it was a favorite of many, reading it was a breeze. Then they had the meeting and she called me to help with snacks.

Sugar cookies are my thing, so spider webs and pigs seemed like the natural place to start. I thought bacon would send the wrong message, so we went with more of a fair and farm theme. The girls drank their juice out of Mason jars, she made blue ribbons for each place setting, and used bandana napkins. The girls talked about the book and how a spider could be cool. Then they talked about the next book and who would have their little book club party. Nothing is as wonderful as an enthusiastic reader!

Some other ideas would be a soldier themed autobiography for the boys, Cinderella for the younger girls, even Harry Potter for the older kids. They can be read by the parents or read on their own. But either way, I know lots of little girls who love to learn to read Cinderella for a crown cookie and maybe a crown to wear home! And maybe the moms could have their own book club meeting when the little ones are done!

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About the Author:
Susie Tilton is a blogger from Tennessee. You can check out her blog at Sweetie Petitti. Magazine on Facebook

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