Friday, May 5, 2017

How We Choose Books + Our Next 6 Read Alouds

Choosing books for our Homeschool Book Club is something we've been doing since 2010. We have read more than 60 books for this book club since it began. We have wonderful memories and many hundreds of hours spent diving into new worlds together. We often choose several months worth of books at a time. For May we are reading our last selected book - The Wheel on the School. That means it is time to choose another round of books. The moms can all contribute ideas that fit within our group's guidelines.

I started with a list of books we've never read in the history of our book club:
  • 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson
  • Ember Falls by S.D. Smith
  • On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson
  • The Bark of the Bog Owl by Jonathan Rogers
  • The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic by Jennifer Trafton
  • Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton
  • Begin: The Growly Books by Philip and Erin Ulrich
  • Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
  • Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
  • Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry
Then I pulled some more books we've never read from the list by The Good and the Beautiful:
  • Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
  • Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin
  • Cinnabar, the One O'clock Fox
  • The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (some of my kids have read this several years ago, but we've not done it for book club).
I also pulled the lists of books we did in the early years of our book club because it might be fun to revisit some of the titles with older kids and younger ones who weren't even born when we first read these. (There are 27 books in the first 4 years, I'm not writing them all in this post. You can read them in THIS POST. )

I asked my kids if they had any suggestions. One did - "I want to do another poetry month! And another poetry tea time with the whole group." You can get a peek at the last time we did this with our book club here. Basically we read poetry all month, wrote poetry, and brought a poem to share at our tea time.

The next step has the moms narrowing the list down a bit. We got it down to 13 options. Then I make a survey online where each person (kids and moms individually) can sort the books from 1-13. Everyone's votes count and the computer does the work of figuring out percentages and letting me know what the top book selections are. I sat down to see the results today. Here are the top 6 winners (with amazon affiliate links):

  1. Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
  2. Poetry month with a poetry tea time
  3. Ember Falls by S. D. Smith
  4. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (This is a reread - we read it in 2010, our very first book club year.)
  5. Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
  6. Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton
It's going to be a fantastic rest of 2017 with these books! When I read the winners to my children today at lunch time they were excited and offering their suggestions of which should be first. We will do a mix of reading these aloud and listening to an audio book together as the year moves forward.

What is the last book you read aloud to your children?

1 comment:

  1. You've got good books on your list. The only one I don't already know is Henry and the Chalk Dragon, so I'll be adding that to my list of potential read alouds. :)

    And to answer your question, I'm in the middle of Little Britches with the older half dozen, and I'm reading Teddy & Co. to the littler ones.


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