Book Talk: The Power of Book Clubs in the Middle Grades
by Ann Brailsford and Jan Coles
Scholastic Canada, 2008
$72.50, 312 pp, adult
This comprehensive guide is designed for teachers of grades 6 to 9 to help them implement school-based book clubs as part of their Language Arts programs. The rationale for book clubs in schools is that book clubs take advantage of social interests of middle graders, allowing these students to talk (which we know they love to do) and to share ideas, encouraging them to be active participants in the reading process. Just as in adult book clubs, school-based clubs stimulate reflection and deepen understanding of what is read, helping readers to refine and revise their ideas and opinions and to broaden their comprehension. In Book Talk, the authors outline organizational frameworks, practical teaching strategies, levelled book lists for relevant themes for the target ages, examples of how teachers have used book clubs successfully in their classrooms, and assessment tools including blackline masters. Book Talk is a highly usable and practical guide for teachers who would like to develop book clubs as a teaching/learning strategy.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s January 2009 issue.