“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’”
— C. S. Lewis
Regardless of the initial reason for joining a literature club, the outcome is the same, community. When parent and child share a meal, a book, and conversation with other parents and children, an intimacy emerges between the adults and children. The kids form lifelong friendships, and so do the parents. Members make friends, memories, and connections with books and with each other.
“When my daughters joined Ali’s LITClub I figured it would be similar to joining a book club: read, discuss, repeat. And, on the surface, that’s what happened. However, this was no “drop-off” event. Ali built in a relational piece to the club, which made the experience richer, deeper, and more satisfying than joining a book club. Not only did our family learn to relate to the books’ characters and stories, but we also grew closer as parent and child, friend to friend. The books became the excuse for gathering.”
—Bridgette Booth, LITClub parent
- Have fun with friends and family around books
- Build confidence to speak publically
- Learn to think and read critically
In short, a literature club supplies a fun and innovative opportunity to read, analyze, interpret and communicate effectively.
“My fourteen-year-old son has always been an avid reader, so when Ali invited us to LITClub I was both excited and apprehensive. Even though my son was a reader, he had never been challenged to read up to his ability. He had been reading whatever the “latest, greatest” book was, but never tackled the classics. Although he wasn’t immediately sold (Pride and Prejudice was our first book and he still believes it is the worst book ever written!), he quickly became a fan of the club. I took him to a used book sale at the end of the year, and he walked out with a stack of classics, which he happily paid for! He hasn’t completely given up the “latest, greatest” books, but he is much more balanced in his reading preferences and has a new appreciation for the great books.”
Literature club kids learn that communication is active; a partnership where the responsibility for success falls equally upon the listener and the speaker.
Literature club kids learn to listen with respect by applying these 6 techniques:
- Look into the eyes of the speaker. Eye contact is the number one way to impart value to another person.
- Stop your current activity. Strive to provide undivided, undistracted attention.
- Lean forward. This says, “I am interested.”
- Make gestures that prove you’re paying attention, like nodding your head, smiling or looking confused if you are. This gives the speaker courage to talk and signals to pause or keep going.
- Ask clarifying questions to make sure you understand the topic the same way the speaker does.
- Once you clarify the message you heard is the message that was sent, respond to what you both agree is being said.
Literature club kids learn to speak thoughtfully by exercising these 5 skills:
- Think before you speak.
- Form a clear idea of what you want the conversation to accomplish and choose your words to that end.
- Make your listener your primary concern. We all want to be understood, and that makes it easy to forget that our words may impact the listener differently than we intended. Tune into what your listener is saying without using words.
- After you make your point, ask questions to assure the message you intended is the message that was actually received.
- If your message wasn’t received as intended, don’t blame your listener. It’s your responsibility to rephrase your argument.
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