How to Run Book Clubs

I wanted to take this week to focus on Book Clubs and how exactly they work. First of all What is a Book Club? A Book Club or Literature Circle, is small group of students reading the SAME book. It can be a book they they have chosen themselves, chosen from a pre-picked list by the teacher, or assigned to them. 
How Does It Work?!
Good question! A working Book Club is going to look different at each grade level because of the expectations in independence, questions, and leadership. Basically your Book Club is a time for REFLECTION and COLLABORATION of ideas for students. 
Step 1: Planning
I usually give my students a list of books (and this will depend on what you have available to you in multiple copies in your building or library). I have them put their top choices either on Sticky Notes OR I love to use a Google Form for their picks. I be sure to note the reading level (just generically easy, hard, or just right in terms of the grouping of books). I also DON'T give students a heads up about the books and have them choose immediately so they aren't able to collaborate with their friend because it should be about interest and reading level NOT who is going to be in the group. 
Step 2: Build Groups/Set a Schedule
Groups are built on what they are reading. So get the groups together and then explain the RULES of Book Club. All the rules will be different, but if you check out my Book Clubs pack above it will have a RULES book for students for you to get started. Also set a schedule of how many pages/chapters students will read each day and what they need to prep for the next "meeting" of their group. 
Step 3: Gather Information/Writing Responses
Students will gather information for their Book Club meeting such as writing down new vocabulary words, thoughts, questions, and connections. I like to teach students to write these notes on a sticky note and put in their book. You may like to have students write in a special notebook, journal, or a created document. I have these pages already created that you can laminate and students can write names s well as, blank ones you can assign as an EASEL activity for groups to write responses or for them to write their own!
I have organizers in this Response and Record Book if you want to check it out! Organizers include: 14 graphic organizers on inferring, asking questions, making connections, or author's purpose. Use this Response Book all year for independent reading, as well as Book Clubs. 
Need ideas?! Here are some books that you may want to check out for Book Clubs!



Reading Level

Flora and Ulysses


Because of Winn Dixie


The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Kate DiCamillo

3rd/4th Grade



Roald Dahl

3rd/4th Grade

The Chocolate Touch

Patrick Skene Catling

3rd Grade

Any Magic Treehouse Book

Mary Pope Osborne

2nd/3rd Grade

The Little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

3rd Grade

Cam Jansen Series

David Adler

2nd/3rd Grade

Time Warp Trio Books

Jon Scieszka

3rd Grade

It's Raining Pigs and Poodles (poetry)

Jack Prelutsky

2nd/3rd Grade

The Year of Billy Miller

Kevin Henkes

2nd/3rd Grade



Clementine Series

Sara Pennypacker

2nd/3rd Grade

The Penderwicks

Jeanne Birdsall

4th/5th grade



Lunch Money

Andrew Clements

2nd/3rd Grade

The One and Only Ivan

Katherine Applegate

4th/5th/6th Grade

Where the Red Fern Grows

Wilson Rawls

5th/6th Grade


Gary Paulson

4th/5th Grade

The Giver

Lois Lowry

5th/6th Grade

11 Birthdays

Wendy Mass

5th Grade

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

C.S. Lewis

4th Grade


RJ Palacio

5th/6th Grade

Out of My Mind

Sharon Draper

5th/6th Grade

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Chris Grabenstein

5th/6th Grade

When you Reach Me

Rebecca Stead

4th/5th Grade


Carl Hiassen


Bridge to Terabithia

Katherine Paterson

4th/5th grade

Esperanza Rising               

Pam Munoz Ryan

5th/6th grade


Louis Sachar

5th/6th grade

I like to get Book Club books from Scholastic as they often have books for $2 or less per book. It's a great way to get a set of books without breaking the bank. You could also create a Wish List through Scholastic for parents. 
Have a great idea for Book Clubs?! I would love to hear what works for you or any amazing titles your kids are enjoying!