I love starting new book clubs for teens! They encourage teens to read something new and provide great enrichment by asking them to examine what they've read. Then the teens soak up new vocabulary words, figure out the storyline, and learn about the characters in the story.
I am also a firm believer that book clubs help teens build leadership skills and gain confidence. Joining a book club give teens a chance to speak up in a group and respectfully share their ideas and opinions, particularly since so many YA books delve into controversial topics. Teens that take the lead in book discussions will gain an extra edge that will help them in school and social settings.
Most of my teen book clubs have focused on a theme. I think having a theme adds a bit more excitement to the club and also offers you, as the facilitator, a chance to be creative and find great books for your teens to read. One of my first teen book clubs was called “Muggles and Magic,” and all the teens wanted to do was read "Harry Potter" over and over again. It was fun — and tricky — to find other books after we were done with the "Harry Potter" series, but my imagination took over, and I found quite a few books that blend magic and mystery for teens. We also played games like "'Harry Potter' Jeopardy" and dressed up as our favorite characters from the book at the end of the school year.
This book club was a great way to figure out how to get teens to read and discuss books. It also gave me the back-up I needed when I started working in a public library to continue to host book clubs. I am always looking for ideas to start a new book club, and since I have just recently started at a new library, I think it could be a great way to get to know the teens in my new community.
I read a great article about pairing books with desserts on Shari's Berries, and it totally gave me a great idea! It gave me a chance to explore the world of fiction and the food that is taken from the pages of some of my favorite books. You can find all kinds of recipe ideas in books. Many fandoms have created special web pages just for recipes and ideas. I’ve also seen blogs with resourceful recipes inspired by "Twilight," "Hunger Games" and "Harry Potter."
So, what do you think about planning a book club that focuses entirely on reading YA fiction books and making the food that is mentioned in the book? Sounds fun, right? It's also a great way to promote reading. Not only will the teens be reading, they will also be testing their cooking skills. It's so easy to do. Choose a book every month and have each member pick a treat to make and bring to the discussion meeting? I bet there will be some creative cooking happening! Check out some of these recipes that book club readers could easily recreate for a fun and interactive book discussion group.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner: “Beds were assigned, clothes and bathroom things were passed out, dinner was served. Pizza. Real, bona fide, greasy-fingers pizza.” Maze Runner - Tablespoon Pizza Rolls
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen: "Layla's crazy fry eating ritual will leave you wanting to test out the mystery blend method after completing your own french frey gathering trifecta." Layla - Homemade French Fry Seasoning Blend
Splintered series by A.G. Howard: "I need to get to that tea party and wake up the guests ... and how are you supposed to do that? Give a magical kiss to the half-baked hatmaker?" Allysa - Edible Tea Cups - YUM!