For our last meeting of the summer, I chose the genre of realistic fiction. I had two of my regular attendees show up along with a few other enthusiastic kids. We followed the same format as we had with the other summer meetings. Each kid told us about what book they'd read and I'd ask them a few questions about it (did they like it, would they recommend it, etc.). With this meeting in particular, the kids actually seemed interested in the books read by their peers and the last few minutes of the meeting were spent with them sharing book recommendations among themselves. Here's a list of what they read:
The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow
The Hardy Boys #5: The Rocky Road by Franklin W. Dixon (which, yes, is actually a mystery, but I explained that some books might fit more than one genre)
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
Almost Home and Close to Famous by Joan Bauer
I read Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan (review here). We spent a little time at the end of the meeting talking about what other genres we might explore in future meetings and that was it!
As I mentioned in earlier posts, I had tried a different format for the summer sessions of book club. Instead of everyone reading the same book and then using discussion questions I generated, we all read books of our choosing from a specific genre (which I chose). The kids were not enthusiastic about this idea when I mentioned it in the spring and I told them we'd revisit it after summer was over. So, how did it go? I had pretty consistent turnout with the new format and I enjoyed watching them try to booktalk and recommend things to each other. Initially, I had planned to revisit the structure of book club in the August meeting, but when I saw only two of my regular attendees, I decided to postpone until September. Have you had success with a book club for upper elementary kids?