This is Your Kid’s Brain on Fiction: Literature Clubs

This is Your Kid’s Brain on Fiction: Literature Clubs


Almost 2 years ago, I wrote about Ali Dent’s literature clubs.

Since then much has changed – Ali has started more literature clubs and is busy writing a how-to book for others who are interested in forming their own group.

I thought I’d re-blog this post as encouragement to other parents to take the plunge.

You won’t be sorry!

from the archives. . . 

Can you imagine your 14-year-old son or daughter sitting around a coffee table discussing how the Mississippi river is a metaphor in Huckleberry Finn?

Or the role and purpose of Enkidu in Gilgamesh?

How about listening to 9-year-old boys explain to 12-year-old girls that the father in The Sign of the Beaver had praised his son exceptionally well when he said, “You’ve done a grown man’s job, son.”

I’ve heard every one of these scenarios, and more, during our three-year involvement of a local literature club.

If you don’t know what a literature club is – I didn’t until we joined – then think of it as a laid-back, kid-centered get-together when you and your child talk books.

Even if your son or daughter doesn’t like to read, then you can join for the play time and food and fun.

When the book discussion gets going, you can let your son or daughter just listen, and let him or her slowly grow into a person who appreciates books.

My friend, Ali Dent, has led her literature club, off and on, for about ten years. She invites other parents and their children to her house once a month, to eat and play and then gather around her coffee table to talk about a book the children have read the month before.

She gives them a hands-on project to do beforehand – an optional part of the evening but fun nonetheless – and then guides the children through a series of questions about the books.

It doesn’t take long before the boys and girls are laughing or explaining or rolling their eyes about a scene in a book.

So think about joining a literature club. It’s a great way to nurture a love for books and reading.

You can read more about how to form a literature club here.  If you want to ask Ali questions, then contact her here.


by Bridgette Booth

Bridgette Booth writes for children and young adults.

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