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An Enjoyable Booklist for Our 7th and 8th Grade Book Club

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We made it!  

Our school year has wrapped up and with the exception of a few loose ends in math, we are relishing our free time.

Of course, my free time includes time spent reflecting on our completed school year.  It’s important for me to re-evaluate choices that didn’t work, while also celebrating our successful ones.

One of my favorite successful endeavors this year was the creation of a monthly book club for each of my daughters. After reading the books, they gathered with their friends for amazing book club celebrations.

7th and 8th grade book club

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What began as a simple idea to chat about books at Starbucks with my oldest daughter and her friends turned into a memorable monthly book club celebration.  I have no doubt that our experiences together carried us beyond reading comprehension into developing reading connections that won’t quickly be forgotten.

My daughter will have fond memories of her 7th grade “literature class” including memorable quotes, silly discussions, and delicious food.

And from a purely academic perspective, when I look back over our book choices this year it adds up to a pretty awesome list of literature.  So without further ado, here are the monthly selections we enjoyed during our 7th and 8th-grade girls book club this year:

September:  Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

I purposefully kicked off our book club with a title that most of the girls have read and loved. I wanted our first book club to revolve around a book that they would be familiar with and excited to discuss.

This is also the title that created our first book club celebration thanks to the creative host mom!

October: Little Women by Lousia May Alcott

Interestingly enough, the little women in our book club were not very excited about the Little Women in the book. There were a few girls who LOVED the book and had read it before, but most of them weren’t very fond of Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy

November: The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

Having never read this book myself, I was so thrilled to have the chance to experience this classic. Not only is the story one that transcends time, but the author has a unique story as she wrote this book while in high school. It was published after her graduation, but the majority was written during the year she received a “D” in creative writing in her high school class.

This book discussion included another book club celebration and was followed by the movie.

December:  Short Stories

I selected four short stories for this month with the idea that we could read 1-2 each week and then meet together for a Christmas party and brief discussion.  All four of these stories were accessible online.

The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant – another well-known story about pride.
Two Kinds by Amy Tan – a great introduction to Amy Tan and a discussion of the mother/daughter relationship.
Gift of the Magi by O’Henry – a classic, especially around the Christmas season.
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson – some of the moms remembered reading this in their school experience, although I never had.  It is a pretty shocking story and worthy of discussion.

Short stories should be an important part of a middle and high school literature study, so I was glad to include a few in our monthly selections.

January: Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

I have fond memories of Anne from my own middle school years. Sadly, my daughter did not share my love for her, though we did enjoy a book club celebration. Some of my favorite quotes came from this book and we all enjoyed sharing them at our tea party.

February: Lord of the Flies by William Holding

A classic.  This book is a great title to read and explore the use of symbolism as it is heavily used in this book. While many read this in high school, and that is certainly appropriate, it did work for our 7th and 8th-grade girls group.

They found it a strange story, as it is. But we had a great book club celebration (not yet on the blog) and even tried to meet around the fire pit, but the smoke got in the way.

March: What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau

This title was entirely new to me.

I think this was one of my favorite books this year.  It is a unique coming-of-age story that combines elements of family history (father from Mexico) and modern life as a child in America in a tale woven through two time periods.  I highly recommend this one for this age group.

April: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

A classic piece of literature that opens up a thoughtful discussion about life as a teenage girl as well as important historical events.  While I had read this book in school as a teenager, I enjoyed it so much more as an adult.  The insights into a teenage girl’s mind were delightful to read on the other side of that time period.

The girls in the group had a difficult time making it through this one.  It isn’t a story, but it is very much reading the scattered thoughts of a teenager in her diary.  We had a discussion that included some thoughts about a true journal vs. a story told through a created journal.  This title worked well in our book club.

May: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

(We used the “Shakespeare Made Easy” version that included a modern translation next to the original work.)

I wanted to build a strong foundation for a future understanding of Shakespeare in our house, so we began looking at his plays a little earlier than the traditional public school plan.

This title was requested by one of the girls in the book club and I was inclined to oblige any requests! Student interest is always helpful for learning and discussion.

Rather than have a traditional book discussion, we acted out five scenes from the book while we were together.   It’s amazing what a few scarves and swords can do for simple costuming!   After working through a few scenes, we enjoyed the movie version of this film with Leonardo DiCaprio.

That sums it up!  It’s going to be a fantastic year of challenging and fun literature.

The Outsiders Book Club for Kids

Anne of Green Gables Book Club for Kids

Green Ember Book Club

Ultimate Collection of Book Club Celebrations for KidsHomeschooling Teens: One Mom’s Transition


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