The Mad Hatters Middle Grade Book Club is made up of five kids aged 9 – 12. Every fortnight during the school term we explore both fiction and non-fiction targeted towards kids in upper primary school. We cover a range of genres and writing styles to broaden their variety of reading material as well as take into consideration what they do and do not like to read.
We welcomed one new member to book club this term! Our first term was affected by social gathering restrictions due to COVID-19 so we unfortunately we couldn’t continue after our second meeting.
Each fortnight the kids read a new book and rated it on a 3 star scale:
1 star = okay; 2 stars = good; 3 stars = great.
Our holiday read was Vincent and the Grandest Hotel, which was read by half the members (holiday activities got in the way of reading time which was understandable!) and very well liked for its imagination. There was a lively debate about which room we would stay in if we were at the hotel!
Rating: two ★★½ and one ★★ ratings.
Book #1: The Thing About Oliver by Deborah Kelly
Our first official book of the term was The Thing About Oliver by Deborah Kelly. This book was chosen as members have a preference for contemporary stories about kids, and this was no exception. They empathized with the characters in this story and had a great discussion about how the story could have been different if it was set from the perspective of Tilly’s brother, mother or aunt. They compared the book to Everything I’ve Never Said by Samantha Wheeler, which they’d read the previous year.
Rating: Three 🐟🐟🐟 and three 🐟🐟½.
Book #2: The Truth App (Liars #1) by Jack Heath
Our second book, The Truth App (Liars #1), is a mystery thriller. This was a slightly darker book than we normally read, and one of the members had reservations that it would be too scary for them. We decided to go ahead and read it (cautioning that if it felt too scary to skip the scene or stop reading). But we felt it was important to read as the members were getting older and it would be good to test the waters of a more upper age-appropriate read (the book itself is higher primary, lower YA appropriate).
Rating: Not rated – stay tuned for next term when we will be meeting again!