The Parent Child Book Club – book review

I am nothing if not an avid reader. In fact, I have never needed a whole lot of encouragement that way. As a child reading was an escape and as an adult it is the way I unwind, learn and build better writing skills. My children luckily are both turning out to be book lovers, not entirely by accident though. In order to encourage budding readers I followed famed New York Times columnist and author Anna Quindlen’s advice of books in every room of the house. So in my bathroom is a drawer full of children’s books and in my living room are shelves lined with chapter books. Bedrooms and basement all have shelves or baskets filled with books. Anyways all of this I indicate to you dear reader by way of saying that when a book dubbed The Parent-Child Book Connection by Melissa Stoller and Marcy Winkler (HorizonLine Publishing, New York 2009, isbn 978-0-982187005 $19.95 US.) crossed my desk I thought instantly it might be interesting. I wasn’t disappointed. This is a book for families with children aged four to nine. The Parent-Child Book Club makes compelling arguments for building connected relationships with children through reading and literacy activities. While it could be used as a prescriptive type of tool instructing families on how to build a community book club, I prefer to interpret this a bit more broadly as a guidebook or reference for families who read together. The Parent-Child Book Connection could also be an excellent book for homeschoolers, teachers or anyone who works with children. There are pointed themes and reading suggestions given according to age group, and these are then built up with ideas for field trips, crafts and recipes that complement the book. Act a section of the book out, watch a DVD that goes with the book, experiment or do a sport related to one a main character does in the chosen selection – are all ideas that build strong connections to the novel. For instance read Jamberry and then bake a pie together, Stoller and Winkler suggest. The Parent-Child Book Club Resources section is excellent and contains some children’s books my family hasn’t yet read. Whether your book group is formal or informal, big or small as a family unit, this book is relevant and helpful. While I really do not have time to run out and create a book club for girls right now, (where would I fit it between Brownies, martial arts, swimming lessons, volunteer commitments, work, yoga, blogging, fitness and children’s theatre?) I will use their ideas and reading selections for several reasons. The crafts and experiments, the other various ways to bring books to life are fantastic tools to build connections between myself and my children. They are also excellent ways to stimulate discussion of the book’s topics and to nurture reading comprehension, an important component of classrooms reading curriculums everywhere. While homework assignments given in schools suggest asking questions when a child finishes a book, how much more powerful would the lesson be if the answers and connections, even the questions themselves arise from the student himself. Clearly the book, the lessons in the book, would be much more likely recalled when tied to an emotion or an experience.
Thriftymommastips rating $$$$ out of $$$$$

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.

One Comment

  • Skees

    Sounds like a great book. Sure you don’t have time to set up a book club? I’m sure P would love it if you did. Just joking, my schedule’s already a mess and I do a lot less then you do.