How (& Why) to Start a Boys’ Book Club

Can a book club help boys enjoy reading? 

Yes, says Erin O’Donnell, a mom of two boys and author of How to Start a Kids Book Club. She and a bunch of other moms started a mother/son book club when their sons were in 3rd grade, on the cusp of the transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Some of the boys were already avid readers. Others were not.

“We were really hoping that peer pressure would be a powerful force in getting them to collectively enjoy books,” Erin says.

Of course, the boys’ club looks a little different than many typical book clubs. “Our meetings have often been chaotic, to be honest,” Erin notes. The boys considered naming their club “The Barfing Book Boys” before settling on “The Lakeside Book Boys.”

In this episode, Jen, Janet & Erin discuss:
  • How a book club can inspire reading and build relationships
  • Why boys must have a voice in the formation and functioning of their club
  • How to find discussion questions
  • The important role of food
  • How MOMS benefit from a mother/son book club
  • How BOYS benefit from book club
  • Using books to stimulate discussion about real issues and emotions
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

How to Start a Kids Book Club — Erin’s Parents article

Common Sense Media — mentioned at 33:50; great place for parents to check out a book’s themes and topics

15 Great Book Group Picks

(Recommended by the Lakeside Book Boys)

  1. Booked by Kwame Alexander
  2. Endling: The Last by Katherine Applegate
  3. The Terrible Two by Mac Barnet and Jory John
  4. Wonder by RJ Palacio
  5. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
  6. Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
  7. Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Boyea
  8. The Explorer by Katherine Rundell
  9. The Lifters by Dave Eggers
  10. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
  11. Posted by John David Anderson
  12. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  13. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
  14. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  15. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


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