We had a reunion with the book club Marisa organized after 2nd grade, partly because our schedule finally allowed it and partly because both my daughters had already read Rebecca’s pick: Bossypants by Tina Fey. All the book club members now go to high school and they have still been meeting monthly. That is impressive. Marisa was the one who had begun to experience reading other people’s book choices each month as just more pressure. She decided to give priority to homework as middle schoolers learn to juggle multiple classes with multiple teachers and she dedicated her time to swimming and chorus (auditions coming up soon if you live in the Boston area!).
The younger kids’ book club has already stopped meeting. Like the 9th graders, many of the 7th graders have started going to different schools now and it could be a nice way for them to stay connected. But I felt there were a couple key differences in the way the groups were composed. The first club was organized by a second-grader herself. She heard about parent-child book clubs and asked her mother if she could have one. She made a list of children she knew liked to read, wrote a letter of invitation and snail-mailed it to each child. The younger group was invited by a mom from this first group for a couple of the younger siblings to have their own book club. Having been frustrated with some of the behavior and inattentiveness of the first group, she invited children whom she thought would be more focused, behave better etc. They certainly did listen to one another and conduct more coherent discussions from the outset; they were also a year older when they started. But they also decided to meet every other month to give everyone time to finish the books and have already disbanded. So just some points you might want to consider if you are thinking of having a parent-child book club of your own. Perhaps you can find an ideal balance, but also of course we know members will change, mature, move, etc.