The Reading Pros

The Reading Pros is a group of young library patrons who are passionate about reading.  We currently have members in grades 3-6.  We meet once a month to discuss the book selection, play games, do activities centered around the book, and eat themed snacks.  My goal for the group is to encourage reading in a fun environment.  I plan to post a short recap of the meetings each month.

(The Reading Pros building Lego houses for the movie)

In January, we met to discuss The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson.  Most of the meeting was devoted to working on our long-term project:  a short film that the students wrote.  Originally, it was meant to be a stop-motion movie using Legos, but due to time constraints, we have had to change the plan a little.  The movie will probably be a combination of Lego stills and live action, but we are still in the planning stages, so who knows what the final cut will look like.  So, the book club members spent time going over the story outline and working on the backgrounds.

(From left to right:  Some Reading Pros working on the pool set for the movie; the mountain set; and the Lego mountain)

For the last half hour, it was back to normal book club business.  We discussed what we liked and didn’t like about the book.  There were nine book club members in attendance for this meeting.  To stay focused and allow everyone a chance to say something, I usually ask each person, ” What was your high for the book?” (meaning, their favorite part) and “What was your low?”  (the least favorite part).  This seems to work well because everyone knows that they will eventually get a chance to share something.  We ate our (high anticipated) snack of ice cream sundaes and hot chocolate.  This is more sugar than I would usually give them, but ice cream sundaes are featured in the book and after working hard for the first hour on the movie project, I figured they deserved a treat.

The next two book club meetings will be devoted to filming and editing our movie (which I will hopefully be able to share with you on the blog!)  In April, we will return to our regular structure (which has more emphasis on the book of the month).

Youth Librarians:  do you have a book club for kids, tweens, or teens?  Which books have you used in your groups?  Do you have any brilliant ideas for activities that you would be willing to share?  If so, please leave a comment.  I am always looking for ways to enhance our group.



Filed under book club, The Reading Pros

5 responses to “The Reading Pros

  1. Sheila Kelly Welch


    I’m an author of several books for tweens and wonder if you’d be interested in a free Skype visit with me for your Reading Pros book club. My most recent book , WAITING TO FORGET (namelos 2011), might have content that’s too mature for that age group, but I have other books that are just right. A HORSE FOR ALL SEASONS, THE SHADOWED UNICORN, DON’T CALL ME MARDA , and LAND OF ANOTHER SUN have all gotten good reviews. For more information about me and my work, please go to: http//
    For information about WAITING TO FORGET, please check out:
    Sheila Welch

    • Hi Sheila,

      Sorry it took so long to get back to you! I am on vacation and have limited internet access. I definitely will look into those titles for the upcoming school year (I have it planned out already until June). I´m sure that the kids would be thrilled to talk to an author.

      Thanks for checking out the site. We will be in touch!


  2. Sheila Kelly Welch

    Hello, Abby,
    I just discovered your reply and also did some poking about on your blog. I’m a huge Hilary McKay fan (even have a granddaughter named Saffron), love DANDELION WINE, and I now plan to reread it. I was delighted to discover that you work at the Ellsworth Public Library in Maine. My husband and I have close relatives and dear friends who live very near Ellsworth, so I might meet you in person someday. In the meantime, I am enjoying your blog and will be happy to Skype with your book club whenever it works for you.


  3. Hi Sheila,

    Thanks for checking out the blog! I love to hear from fellow Hilary McKay fans…she doesn’t seem to be extremely well-known in my area, but the people who have read her work definitely rave about it. In fact, The Reading Pros will be reading Saffy’s Angel for next month 🙂

    If you are ever in the Ellsworth area, we should meet up for tea. Have you visited our library before?

    Take care!

  4. Sheila Kelly Welch


    Tea sounds lovely! I don’t know when I’ll be in Maine again, but when I am, we will have that “cuppa.” No, I haven’t been to your library; it looks very inviting on the website.

    I bet The Reading Pros will love Saffy’s Angel! If you ever have a reading club for slightly older kids, my publisher offers clubs a 25% discount on trade paperbacks of my new book. A whole class of 6th graders in NE just read it, and I did four Skype visits with them. By the way, I live west of Chicago, in Illinois but grew up in Pennsylvania.

    See you someday–

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