Book clubs were a staple for adults long before cell phones and TikTok. They help distract us from the mundane — work, taking care of kids, cleaning — and help us discover new worlds. There's nothing better than reading a great book and then calling up a friend to discuss it. Book clubs are just like that, but with more friends (and maybe even some good food).
This celebration of reading shouldn't just be relegated to the world of adults. No, kids and teens should have their own book clubs, too. Starting them early will set them up for a lifetime of reading, self-discovery, and connection.
Below, you'll find a few more reasons why getting kids involved in book clubs is so important, along with some of our favorite books for kids and young adults. Get your bookmarks ready — it's time to head to the library.
Less Screen Time
Ask most parents what they want for their kids, and they'll likely say less screen time. But that's hard, especially with schools relying on tablets and technology for learning. Busy parents don't always have the time or sanity to come up with screen-free games — and that's where book clubs come in.
Set your kids up with a few books in a category of interest and have them read a bit before bed or when they're bored. Suggest that they read the same book as a friend or a group of friends, and voila — the book club is born. Once enough kids are involved, parents can host book-club nights where they can hang out, order pizza, and talk about their books. It doesn't matter if they're reading "Yerba Buena" or "The Hobbit" — if they're engrossed and excited, you can call that a win.
Just as a video game might spark some friendly competition, books can help kids bond over shared values and interests. (It's also good to remind them that not all books are school books!) Find a few books to suit their interests, whether that's fantasy, cooking, flowers, or chess. Then, start a themed book club where they can invite friends over to discuss the topics that most excite them. For those who don't play school sports or partake in school activities, this is the perfect opportunity to socialize and connect — screen free — with peers.
A Safe Escape for Discovery (and Self-Discovery)
For kids who are stressed about school, a book club provides an escape. Within the pages of a good book, they can travel to distant lands, learn about people who are different from them, and experience thoughts and feelings they may not come across at school or while doing chores. They can even tackle difficult topics not covered in school, such as love and sexuality. With books like "'Twas the Night Before Pride" and "Loveless," they can get questions answered that they may be afraid to ask while surrounded by curious kids like them.