Better Book Clubs: Deepening Comprehension and Elevating Conversation

Stenhouse. Oct. 2022. 152p. Tr $37.33. ISBN 9781625313928.
Book clubs can make a big impact in the classroom; but as Kugler demonstrates, structured and scaffolded implementation is key for them to be successful. Kugler takes educators through all aspects of book clubs, showing how they differ from the traditional reading workshop and how to organize and use them effectively in the classroom. The author tackles teaching students how to discuss books with each other, and then gradually releasing them to work independently. She also explains how teachers can utilize book clubs for assessment outside the traditional test format. Using an engaging narrative style, Kugler takes readers with her as she prepares and implements book clubs; readers observe as she talks with students about their books and teaches them how to talk with each other. One of the most useful aspects of this title is the inclusion of charts throughout the chapters that summarize the most important points at-a-glance. Teaching tips are also presented throughout. The appendices consist of anchor charts and the connected lessons, as well as resources for planning and monitoring the clubs. A professional bibliography and another of the children’s literature used in the book are included, along with a thorough index.
VERDICT While anyone doing book discussions can find useful material here, this work is recommended for elementary and middle school teachers.

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