While I also belong to a book club in my neighborhood (more affectionately known as the Wine Club…it’s really fab), I’ve recently informally created a book club at home with my two daughters (ages 8 and 10). And we actually read. And we don’t drink any wine.
The girls and I had read together at bed time from infancy, but it had long been picture books. It was one of my favorite parts of every day, all snuggly and cozy and a time where they really actively wanted to listen. For a short while, my older girl would read her own chapter books silently on her own at bedtime, but I missed having that reading time together. When I suggested we read chapter books aloud together again, they were game.
We started with a modern day caper called Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library. It was fast-paced and had a wide array of interesting characters. The girls looked forward to resuming the Willy Wonka-esque story every night, often urging to go on for “just one more chapter.”
Once we finished it, I was very encouraged with this refreshed nightly tradition. The girls were looking forward to the next adventure.
Before I’d even had kids I started to collect some of my favorite books from childhood, simply to reread again and catch a whiff of nostalgia. Once I’d had my first little one, I started to stockpile my old favorites in earnest (sometimes having to trawl through vintage book sites and eBay).
Our next book was From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler. I wondered if they’d enjoy a story that was published nearly 50 years ago, but I had loved it so much when I was in 6th grade that I just knew we had to try. It had also been alluded to within Lemoncello’s Library, so that helped pique interest for them even more. I had nothing to worry about. They adored Jamie Kincaid and his kooky adventure with big sister Claudia. Even half a century later, the story resonated with my girls as much as it had for me. Adventure! NYC! The Metropolitan Museum of Art!
We are currently reading The Kindness Club. I find myself sucked into this tale just as much as my old classics. We are very invested in the characters already and find ourselves sussing out the situations (or at least trying) before they are revealed within the narrative. We are still getting into this story, but I think I like this pattern of reading contemporary stories and then going back to classic stories and then back to contemporary…perhaps I will try them on some Great Brain books next…or Tom Sawyer!
With summer break just around the corner and a lot of time we plan to spend unplugged / in transit / chilling, I think we may be able to plow through quite a few more Mom & Me reads together. We are all looking forward to it.