book groups for younger readers

The Kangaroos are an enthusiastic group of ten 3rd and 4th grade children who meet twice a month to discuss books. This is an opportunity to get together with other kids who love to read, expand knowledge of reading, and talk about books.

We focus on one book at a time. Our current selection is The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo. At each meeting, we take turns with different responsibilities. From teaching vocabulary to discussing important passages, everyone becomes involved in reviewing our selection.

Outside of the Kangaroos, members have a varied preference for reading material. Most prefer fiction, but the range includes fantasy, comedy, supernatural, and graphic novels. Beyond reading, our interests include soccer, tennis, dance, and figure skating.

Reading in and of itself is a valuable skill, but being able to talk about what you’ve read — why  you liked it or didn’t, noticing how the author uses words, understanding the plot — is even more valuable. These are the sorts of skills that help kids succeed in life, not just in academics. A group environment can encourage kids to tackle books they might shy away from on their own. We like to make reading fun!

If you’d like to learn more about kids’ book groups at the library, contact Anne Creffield or Karen Seghers in the Youth Services department.

If you’re interested in starting a book group of your own, check out this site for tips and book discussion guides: Kidsreads.com.

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About Heather Sturm

Director at Manchester District Library
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