Over the last few months my 11-year-old has started participating in a Preteen Book Club, meeting with other kids his age. There are so many great things about Book Clubs for kids. Ian has been reading faster and better. He has also been reading books he would not have picked on his own, but read because it was someone else's suggestion. Even if the book choice is not his preference, it is teaching him to persevere and not be narrow-minded in his selections (e.g., choosing the same type of books all the time). He is also able to discuss the books with other kids, which he wouldn't have done if they weren't all reading the same book. At this age, we've been having a mom introduce the discussion questions and then the kids are able to volunteer their opinions and thoughts, or the mom will go around the circle giving each child an opportunity to talk (which is good for the more introverted kids, like Ian). It is exciting to watch my eldest child enjoy reading more and more and start to develop a more mature appreciation of books. Of course, he can read other books of his choosing between meetings as well, but he also reads the selections so he can participate. The other nice things is that, if he really doesn't care for a book, we can find an audiobook version of it so he can still participate.
Book Club books so far:
* Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
* The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
* Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
* The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
* My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (current book club selection)