Book clubs and bye!

Lee Murray (2)Have you ever belonged to a Book Club? My mum does. In my mum’s book club for grown-ups, members pay some money to belong, and then each month they read a book chosen for them by the library. Afterwards, they get together to answer comprehension questions about the book. Oh dear! That sounds so boring!  But Book Clubs don’t have to be official with lots of prickly rules, and they definitely don’t have to be boring. It can just be you and a group of your friends, say three to six people. You could give your club a quirky name, and agree to read a book each month, or fortnight, or week, depending on how quickly you all read. Then comes the fun bit: choosing some books to read. There are lots of ways to do this. You might decide to read an entire series, like the Hunger Games books or the Harry Potter books. If you like spies and adventure you might compare Zac Power books with the Jane Blonde spy-let series by Jill Marshall. Enjoy fantasy stories whose main characters are rodents? Then why not compare the Tale of Despereaux (Kate de Camillo), Geronimo Stilton and Time Stops for No Mouse (Michael Hoepe)? If you’re finding it difficult to choose a theme, ask your librarian who’ll be happy to help you. When you have chosen your book(s) and everyone has had time to read it, make a plan to meet at school interval or at lunchtime to talk about what you liked, or didn’t like, about the book, or whether the film version was better. If this sounds too nerdy, just open your ears and have a have a listen at lunchtime. You’ll find there are lots of people already talking about books and films. As a Book Club member, you’ll be certain to have an interesting book in mind to discuss. And if you’ve just moved to a new school and you haven’t had time to get to know anyone yet, then opening a conversation with a comment about a book you’ve read lately is a terrific way break the ice and make a new friend.

Well, the month has flown past and suddenly it’s my last day as your Star Author here on the Christchurch Kids’ Blog. I can’t believe it’s already over, especially as I still have a whole list of topics I want to discuss with you. Things like:

  • What makes a good book film trailer?
  • What’s the best position for reading: lying on the floor with your feet on the sofa, with your knees tucked up on a squashy armchair, snuggled in bed?
  • The best place for reading: in a hammock, on a window seat, at the beach?
  • What exactly is an ebook?
  • How does writing for TV and stage differ from writing books?
  • Working with an illustrator: who is the boss?
  • Writers’ block: does it really exist?
  • What is plagiarism?
  • Graphic novels: the new comics
  • My new YA book, Misplaced, coming out later this year…

Sadly, there just wasn’t enough time, but perhaps I’ll be able to come back one day. In the meantime, even though New Zealand Book Month is over for this year, I hope you’ll keep reading and recommending books by our New Zealand authors. Thanks for having me! Lee

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