Well, the slumber party book chat morphed into a full fledged book group!
That dinner conversation back in February got the boys so excited about the idea of a book group, that not only have they started reading monthly selections, they have also attended their first author event, and they are currently in the process of designing their own club t-shirts. I am blown away by their enthusiasm and never would have dreamed that a group of 11 year old boys would embrace this with such fervor. They are even spending their lunch periods creating lists of books to read in the next few months!
Their first read was the super creepy, but incredibly captivating The Screaming Staircase by the beloved British author, Jonathan Stroud. I knew that Jonathan was coming to town as part of his American tour and suggested that it might be fun for the boys to read his book and then attend the signing. On the afternoon of the author talk, the boys met at our house to discuss their thoughts on the book and prep a few questions. One of the most exciting parts of the afternoon was the discovery that one of the boys had e-mailed Jonathan the night before to express his admiration and within just a few hours he had gotten a very friendly response from Jonathan's publicist. The boys were all impressed with K's brilliant idea to contact the author AND the fact that he got an almost immediate reply.
After a quick pizza dinner, we piled the boys into cars and headed over to the local library for the event. It took me while to park and by the time I got inside, I was thrilled to discover that the boys had seated themselves on the very front row and were engaged in a private chat with Jonathan. Having spent the afternoon with him for An Open Book school visit, I already knew that Jonathan was a friendly guy, but to see him chatting in such a warm and genuine way with this little group of adoring fans really made me smile. The event was wonderful and the boys were giddy with excitement when it came time for the book signing. Needless to say, it was a GREAT way to kick start the book group and the boys even got a special post on Jonathan's blog.
Our April reading selections are in honor of Jon Scieszka. In addition to being a fabulous author and the first Children's Ambassador of Literature, Jon is also responsible for the Guys Read movement which is dedicated to promoting the joys of reading, especially for boys. The boys will be listening to Knucklehead,Jon's wildly funny memoir about growing up in a family full of boys. I am encouraging the boys listen to this on audio book for several reasons: 1) Jon is reading it and really brings it to life, 2) audio books are an important way to read , especially for boys and 3) it will be perfect for Spring Break road trips....our family has listened to Knucklehead on several trips and we always end up howling with laughter. In addition to Knucklehead, the boys will be reading Guys Read: Funny Business. AND to top it all of, Jon will be at the local library this month so the boys will have another opportunity to meet an amazing author.
Watch out world! There is a fierce pack of young bibliophiles on the loose and they are fired up about reading.