Boys, Crafts

Mother-Son book club

My friend Joulie is a supermom.

That needs to be said right off the bat. There is no way to live up to the things that Joulie does with her kids. And for the kids at the school. And for the neighbourhood kids.

Luckily, I don’t have to be as good as Joulie – I can just wait until she organizes something, and jump right in. (And now thanks to this post you can, too.)

Her latest venture is a mother-son book club. It’s a fantastic way to get kids reading. It’s also a boy-celebration of books and of reading.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from a mother-son book club. The book clubs I’ve been to have been calm, thoughtful, philosophical affairs (with wine). This was not that kind of book club.

About a dozen boys and their moms (and one dad) gathered in a room in our local library. Each boy was given a T-shirt with a Star Wars character on it with the caption, “Reading is strong in this one.” Their first task was to colour the shirt with fabric markers.
I love this shot of Joulie as she tries to say something over the
din of boys drawing, and eating, and laughing – in short,
celebrating books in a way that only boys can!
At the same time, a boy was asked to come to the front and talk about his favourite book. My son gave a heartfelt speech about Rick Riordan’s “The Red Pyramid.”

After that came the trivia questions about Diary of A Wimpy Kid. “What was the main character’s father’s name?” Hands go up. “Frank!” Correct.
Fun, fun, fun.
Then, each boy and each mom made a shrinkey-dink name tag, which Joulie (of course supermom has a shrinkey-dink machine, it’s one of the many things we love about her) will shrink down for next month’s club meeting.

While we drew our name tags, another boy presented his book and more trivia questions were read out. We kept going that way until each boy had presented. The list of books presented was varied and interesting: How to Train Your Dragon; Hamish X and the Cheese Pirates; The Hardy Boys; and Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief, among others.

While the presentations were being made, some kids were listening attentively. Some were eating cupcakes. Some were drawing. Some were wandering around, listening but moving. That’s boys! A boy book club is not going to be about perfect silence, waiting turns, putting hands up. No, a boy book club is about doing, and calling out, and giggling, and moving around, and challenging each other. And that’s perfectly fine.

Our boy book club had everything that boys like – including poop jokes, and stories that end with “and then he died,” and swords and questions and laughter and physicality.

It was by far the noisiest book club meeting I’ve ever been to. And probably the most fun.

After the presentations and name tags and cupcakes and t-shirts, Joulie handed each child and each parent an 8×10 envelope. She instructed us to write the beginning of a story on one side of the envelope. Why an envelope? Why not? Next month we’ll use wood to write on, she said, or cloth or whatever else is an interesting medium for writing.

After everyone had started their story, Joulie shuffled them and everyone took someone else’s home. Our “homework assignment” is to continue the person’s story on the other side of the envelope.

Then each child submitted the title of a book they would like us all to read for next month. We chose one by random draw: The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book I. Next month we’ll all have read the book and Max’s mom will be the one to come up with the trivia questions and to bring the snacks. Joulie’s going to supply another craft, because she’s amazing at it.

The first meeting of our mother-son (and one father-son) book club was a noisy, lively, celebratory, exciting… success! We all gave Joulie a passionate round of applause and a big hug.

This book club is going to be the start of something big for our kids.

One Comment

  1. Melissa Taylor

    So glad to hear of another mother-son book club! There aren't very many. Yay for her!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *