Last night my book club discussed “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio. Our book club is made up of a group of women and this is far from being the first time an adult book club I’ve been a part of has chosen to read a children’s book. I think children’s books are so often deeply profound in a different way from adult books. It got me thinking about all the children’s books that have made great discussions in the past or could be great options for a book club in the future.
All of these books could also be great for children to read on their own or for a family to read together and discuss.
If you click on the picture of the book or the title it will take you to Amazon where you can read a full description of the book. Disclosure: the links are all affiliate links. I get a small commission if you purchase an item from an affiliate.
Children’s Books I’ve Discussed in Book Club:
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
The book definitely has a juvenile tone, but I still think it’s worth reading as an adult- and especially if you have kids. In our book club it brought up a lot of parenting questions and discussion about what you’d do with your kids in various situations. If you or your kids enjoyed the book and are interested in expanding the story I think Auggie and Me is definitely worth reading. It shows stories from three different perspectives that aren’t shown in Wonder to give even more insight into the situation.
Also if you want a chance to discuss some of the ideas that the story brings up with your kids, but they’re not old enough for the actual book yet you can read the picture book We’re All Wonders that the author wrote and illustrated. When I got it from the library to read with my 4 year old son he said “It’s the blue eye kid from your book!” He was excited for a chance to read his own book that went along with mine. It doesn’t really tell the story of “Wonder” but rather it conveys the same message and sentiment of the novel.
I thought the movie based on it was pretty good, but it was disappointing in several aspects where it didn’t fully capture the emotions of different situations and when an important character’s role was greatly reduced.
The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
The book club meeting I went to for this book was one of the most insightful and meaningful that I’ve ever attended. There was a lot of religious discussion as well as just deeper aspects of life. I had previously read the book, but reread it for the meeting and found new insights that I never had before.
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
I didn’t read this book or watch the movie as a child so it was completely new to me when I read it as an adult. I was surprised by how much I loved it. There was so much about self worth, finding joy in all circumstances, and unconditional kindness that really struck a cord with me. I hosted a book club meeting for this one.
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
I wasn’t actually in the book club for this discussion as it was a pick shortly before I moved in to the area, but I bet it was a good discussion because I think there is plenty in the book to talk about. I read this one on my own and loved it! There were so many great characters with intriguing life stories. I found the interwoven stories of the two time periods really interesting and loved the way everything came together in the end. It was really neat to see all the pieces of the story fall in to place and discover everything along with the main character.
There have been other children’s books I’ve read in book club as well, but the ones listed above are the ones that stand out to me as leading to the most discussion. The following books I have read, but not discussed in a book club setting. I think they could make for great discussion.
Books I Think Would Be Good Choices:
Echo by Pam Munez Ryan
At just under 600 pages, this one is longer than most Middle Grade level novels and there is plenty of meaningful content that is worth discussing in it. I loved the unique storytelling of the book with the perspectives from different locations. Music is a central part of the story and my knowledge of music is very minimal, but I still really enjoyed it, so I’m guessing music lovers would appreciate it even more. I think I’ve seen this one pop on lists of book club ideas and I totally agree that it would be a good choice.
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
I read this one as a child and actually attended a little kid’s book club at the library about it. My mom had found out about it and I was kind of shy about going to the meeting, but I had loved the book so much that I was really happy I went. I have reread it a couple times since then and still love it. It may seem a little funny that I love a book about a dog so much when I’ve never even owned a dog, but the story is truly about human connections which the dog helps the little girl to find. Also, I thought the movie based on this book was very well done and a great adaption. I love both the book and the movie.
What books would you add to this list?