Family Book Club

Reading aloud to your school-aged children helps them develop a love of reading, while strengthening family relationships. Learn why it's so important and how to run your own book club at home.

Did you participate in our 2022 Family Book Club from April 4-25? Complete the survey!, opens a new window

The Basics

Did you participate in our 2022 Family Book Club? Complete the survey!, opens a new window


Family Book Club runs from April 4-25 and this year, we've made some exciting changes. Now, families can:

Here’s how it works:

Using Libby and Overdrive

Libby and OverDrive are available for your Apple or Android device. You can access the book directly from the app on your phone.

  • If using Libby, log in then click the magnifying glass icon to search for the title.
  • If using Overdrive, log in then click the plus (+) sign to add a title. Type the name of the book in the search bar.

Access Bonus Content

Frequently Asked Questions

Family Book Club - FAQs

  • Between April 4 and April 25, the eBook and eAudiobook versions of Willa the Wisp (grades K-3) and Odd and The Frost Giant (Grades 4-6) will be instantly available through Overdrive. No waiting!  Outside of the Family Book Club dates, limited digital copies of the book are available. 
  • We are using digital formats (eBook and eAudiobook) so that as many families as possible can participate. We have limited copies of the physical book, but unlimited access to the digital formats for three weeks.

  • EPL will host a live virtual Family Book Club meeting on Saturday, April 23 at 1:00pm where you will have the opportunity to connect with other families to talk about what you read. 

  • Not a fan of the book? Not a problem! Set the book aside and visit our website to learn more about supporting your child’s reading journey and how to find your next great read.

  • There are no deadlines that you're required to keep in order to get the most out of Family Book Club. It is self-paced and self-directed so follow the schedule that works best for your family.

    However, after April 25, only limited copies of the book (in various formats) will be available to borrow.

Grades 1-3

About Willa the Wisp

In Willa the Wisp, opens a new window, the first book in a magical chapter-book adventure series, eight-year-old Auggie Pound has the greatest job of all time: he’s the caretaker of the mysterious Professor Cake’s Fabled Stables, home to magical creatures of all kinds. One day, Auggie is called on to venture into a moonlit swamp and rescue a newborn shape-shifting Wisp named Willa. It’s up to Auggie to confront nasty hunters keen on using one-of-a-kind creatures for evil plans, before it’s too late. 

About the Author

Jonathan Auxier was born in Canada and now lives in the United States. He is an award-winning author of fiction for young readers, including his most recent novel, Sweep, which won the 2018 Governor General’s Award and was a 2021 nominee for the Young Reader’s Choice Award.

Meet Jonathan Auxier and learn more about him on Book Connections.

Grades 4-6

About Odd and the Frost Giants

In Odd and the Frost Giants, opens a new window, a fantasy fiction novel inspired by Norse mythology, twelve-year-old boy named Odd faces a harsh life and an endless winter in the Norwegian woods. His luck changes when he meets an eagle, bear and fox who turn out to be Nordic gods, Loki, Thor and Odin, trapped in animal form by evil Frost Giants. Young Odd becomes an unlikely leader in a quest to reclaim Asgard, the city of the gods, and return the gods to their original form. 

About the Author

Neil Gaiman was born in England but now lives in the United States. He is an award-winning author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, nonfiction, audio theatre, and film. He writes for readers of all ages and has written over 35 books for young readers, including picture books, story collections and novels.

Meet Neil Gaiman and learn more about him on Book Connections.

Resources in Other Languages

The best way to help your child develop strong language and reading skills is to talk and read to them in your home language. This will also help them learn English! Choose books in your home language or dual language books, which have text in both the home language and English. Then read together and talk about what you read. Use discussion questions to help start the conversation.

Here are materials in different languages to help you read together at home. Learn about our world language collections at epl.ca/world-languages.

How to Read Aloud

Children’s literacy advocates encourage families to create a book club culture at home. 1 The aim is to share the love of reading with children by setting aside time for reading and talking about books. While the book itself plays a big part in whether your family reading time is fun, it isn’t the only factor.

As Mem Fox puts it: 2

“The fire of literacy is created by the emotional sparks between a child, a book, and the person reading. It isn’t achieved by the book alone, nor by the child, nor by the adult who’s reading aloud – it’s the relationship winding between all three, bringing them together in easy harmony.”

Tips for a Fun Family Book Club

Remember:

Reading aloud to your child is not the only way to read together. Teachers use other strategies and encourage families have their child read out loud to them. Parents help with sounding out words and running their fingers along the page, while their child turns the pages and sets the pace.

Learning to read is demanding brainwork. Reading aloud with your child helps them experience reading as gratifying and fun, not just work.

Why Read Aloud

Research shows that academic success comes to students who spend more time reading. 5 That's why experts tell us that one of most important things parents can do for children is read to them and continue into their teen years. 6

As noted in Jim Trelease’s Read-Aloud Handbook: 7

“we read to children for the same reasons we talk with them: to reassure, entertain, bond, inform or explain, arouse curiosity and inspire”.

Benefits for Children

The Impact on Family Relationships

One way to communicate love and respect to children is by showing an interest in what they are interested in. Sharing beloved stories by reading aloud is a great way to spend quality time together, spark important discussions and remind children that reading is fun.

As noted in Jim Trelease’s Read-Aloud Handbook: 15

All the reasons we read to young children – the gift of uninterrupted time, the message the reading is valued, and the shared experience of responding to a book together – are the very same reasons we should continue reading aloud to teenagers.

Benefits for Families

Remember:

Children do not age out of reading together. Reading with them for fun motivates them to read on their own and develop a love of reading. That's why it's important to balance the time your older child or teen reads on their own and the time you spend reading together, no matter how often. 18

How to Choose Books

Choosing what to read next is not always an easy or quick task. Here are tips to find your next favourite read, whether you're looking for another read aloud or books for your beginning and independent readers:

Read Alouds for Family Reading

Books for Independent Reading

Family Book Club - Independent Reading

Parent’s Guide to Reading Levels

Confused about reading levels? Find out what they mean, the different systems and how to support school-aged children learning to read.

How EPL Helps You Find Books

EPL has many recommending resources and services to save families time and help get the right book into a child’s hands.

Here are three ways to find your next favourite book:

Booklists to Support your Family's Reading Journey

Family Book Club - Booklists

Remember:

Children who are frequent readers are more likely to have parents who read books 5–7 days per week. While the focus of Family Book Club is on growing your child’s love of reading, what about your own? 23

References

  1. Mackenzie, Sarah. The Read-aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids. Zondervan, 2018. p. 120.
  2. Fox, Mem. Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. Harcourt, 2008. p. 10.
  3. Mackenzie, Sarah. The Read-aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids. Zondervan, 2018, p. 125.
  4. Paul, Pamela, and Maria Russo. How to Raise a Reader. Workman Publishing Company, 2019, p. 70.
  5. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, PISA 2009 Results: Overcoming Social Background: Equity in Learning Opportunities and Outcomes, Vol. II, PISA. Paris: OECD Publishing, 2010). p. 95, https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264091504-en
  6. Richard C. Anderson, Elfrieda H. Hiebert, Judith A. Scott, and Ian A.G. Wilkinson, Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading, U.S. Department of Education (Champaign-Urbana, IL: Centre for the Study of Reading, 1985). p. 23 and 51.
  7. Giorgis, Cyndi, editor. Jim Trelease's Read-Aloud Book. 8th ed., Penguin Books, 2017, p. 6.
  8. Giorgis, Cyndi, editor. Jim Trelease's Read-Aloud Book. 8th ed., Penguin Books, 2019, p. 8.
  9. Gurdon, Meghan Cox. The Enchanted Hour: the miraculous power of reading aloud in the age of distraction. HarperCollins, 2019, p. 110.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Paul, Pamela, and Maria Russo. How to Raise a Reader. Workman Publishing Company, 2019, p. 58.
  12. Paul, Pamela, and Maria Russo. How to Raise a Reader. Workman Publishing Company, 2019, p. 59.
  13. Scholastic Canada. Kids & Family Reading Report, Canadian Edition. Scholastic Canada, 2017, p. 53.  www.scholastic.ca/readingreport
  14. Goldstone, Lawrence and Nancy. Deconstructing Penguins: Parents, kids and the bond of Reading. Ballentine, 2005, p. 189.
  15. Giorgis, Cyndi, editor. Jim Trelease's Read-Aloud Book. 8th ed., Penguin Books, 2017, p. 37.
  16. Scholastic Canada. Kids & Family Reading Report, Canadian Edition. Scholastic Canada, 2017, p .59.  www.scholastic.ca/readingreport
  17. Scholastic Canada. Kids & Family Reading Report, Canadian Edition. Scholastic Canada, 2017, p. 13.  www.scholastic.ca/readingreport
  18. Paul, Pamela, and Maria Russo. How to Raise a Reader. Workman Publishing Company, 2019, p. 69.
  19. Paul, Pamela, and Maria Russo. How to Raise a Reader. Workman Publishing Company, 2019, p. 90-91.
  20. Paul, Pamela, and Maria Russo. How to Raise a Reader. Workman Publishing Company, 2019, p. 72.
  21. Paul, Pamela, and Maria Russo. How to Raise a Reader. Workman Publishing Company, 2019, p. 69.
  22. ”Opinion | Your Kids Aren’t Too Old for Picture Books, and Neither Are You.” The New York Times, 20 Feb. 2021, www.nytimes.com/2021/02/20/opinion/sunday/picture-books-reading.html
  23. Scholastic Canada. Kids & Family Reading Report, Canadian Edition. Scholastic Canada, 2017, p. 14. www.scholastic.ca/readingreport
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