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Books & Beyond

Start a Family Book Club

By Anna B.
September 11, 2020

Most parents are in the know about reading to their young child. But as kids grow up and start reading independently, did you know that it is still important to read together? And yes, it might feel strange to read Brown Bear, Brown Bear with your 4th grader. Good news, there are some amazing books you and your child can share! Here are our recommendations for starting your own family book club with your 3rd-8th grade family members.

Reading with a 3rd grader and above, you can tackle some more difficult books, both in writing style and emotional content. When you read together, you have a chance to check in with your child about what they read. Did they understand what happened? How did it make them feel? Do they see any connections or contrasts to their own life?

As a grownup, we have the opportunity to discover some incredible stories that may have been missing when we became young readers. Use these stories as a jumping off place to delve deeper into tough conversations, historical events, or current concerns. More than anything, have fun! Enjoy this opportunity to connect with your child through stories. Talk about what kinds of stories appeal to you and to them. What do you have in common? What stories do you have to share? What stories do they have to share?

Check out our selections and get a copy. You can choose to read the book aloud together, take turns reading the same book, or get multiple copies (digital or hard copy) and each family member can read at their own pace. This is YOUR book club, so do what works for you!

HISTORY COMES ALIVE

Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park
Time: Westward Expansion

After her mother’s death, half-Chinese Hanna and her white father head to the Dakota Territory for a fresh start.

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley
Time: World War II

Having been hidden her whole life, a young girl finds new experiences in her escape from London to the countryside.

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
Time: 1840s

Follow the life of a young girl of the Ojibwe tribe and her family throughout the year.

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Three stories of a refugees through history weave together in a powerful story of resilience and hope.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST

A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry

After an attack, a young wolf is separated from his pack and begins a journey for a new home.

Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis

When the Umpqua tribe is legally terminated, a young girl must find a new home with her family.

Wildwood by Colin Meloy

Set in the magic of Forest Park, an adventure begins when birds kidnap a younger brother.

Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart

When his beloved pony is stolen, a young boy sets off to get her back in 1890s Washington.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Written in free verse, the writer shares her childhood experiences growing up in the North and South.

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Killed by a police officer, a young boy finds he is not alone after he dies, but accompanied by the spirits of other young black boys.

A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee

After attending a protest, a young rule follower has to decide if certain rules are meant to be broken for the better.

From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks

Just before her birthday, Zoe receives a letter from her biological father, a man she has never met, who has been serving time in prison for a terrible crime.

ADVENTURE

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Minli sets off on an adventure to find a solution for the hard life her family lives.

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Having been separated, a young boy and his fox each begin journeys to find each other through a war-torn landscape.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

A library designed by a game master and kids locked inside…what could go wrong?!

 

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

A witch in the woods who saved babies, a town with many rules, and a girl who could change it all.

IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE

Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai

Two brothers start a new life in a new country after the death of their father, a baker. Heavily illustrated.

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Mia and her family live and manage a hotel, something she doesn’t want her wealthy classmates to find out.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

A girl and her mother have to leave their wealth behind to begin again in a new country.

 

Where Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed

Omar and his brother live in a refugee camp, longing for a chance at an education and a permanent home.

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