Five Favorite Book Club Books

As I move into 2020 with at least 15 book clubs under my care, I’m always on the lookout for good book club books.  I like books with both strong male and female characters, some humor, and a few issues that will lead to some discussion.  I’ve already tested a few of these out, and hope to do more in the coming months.


The Next Great Paulie Fink by Ali Benjamin

Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

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I didn’t love Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish (although everyone else seemed to), so my expectations weren’t super high when I listened to the audiobook.  But I enjoyed all the characters, there was lots of humor, and Caitlyn learned a lot at her unique new school.  I’ve used this with three fifth grade book clubs, and most kids have given it positive reviews.


Eventown by Corey Haydu

Published by Katherine Tegen Books

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The premise of this book, with its slightly dystopian feel, made it an easy one to book talk.  Yes, I grew weary of books about grieving children this year, but this one had an interesting take on the theme.  I’ve got my eye on it for a sixth grade book club.


Sweeping Up the Heart by Kevin Henkes

Published by Greenwillow Books

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Master storyteller Kevin Henkes tells a funny, heartbreaking, and heartwarming tale in under 200 pages.  What more can I say?


Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

Published by Disney/Hyperion

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Carlos Hernandez packed so much into this book I kind of felt like he had to break the universe to fit it all in.  Lots of humor, strong male and female characters, and some cool physics make this a book club contender for sure.


A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry

Published by Greenwillow Books

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I’ve already used this for three book clubs to great acclaim, and plan to use it for at least one more.  Animal story? Check.  Lots of great illustrations?  Check.  Based on a true story?  Check.  Check it out yourself if you haven’t already.



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