BOOK CLUB IDEAS
If a public library is thinking of starting a book club for tweens, Summer can be a great time since kids will be coming for all the summer reading and learning programs. For example, a once a month club for those entering 6th, 7th, and 8th grades will give kids who like to read something fun to do.
Publicize the club to local middle school librarians and English teachers, who can recommend it to their avid readers. Below is an outline of a club meeting on Aida Salazar’s A Seed in the Sun, (Dial, 2022), a novel in verse set in 1965 during the United Farmworkers Strike in Delano, CA.
With summer club meetings, you can sometimes offer a movie showing if there is a film based on the book being discussed. I always offer refreshments and hands-on activities related to the book. If possible, obtain paperback copies to give out to club members, or borrow extra copies through interlibrary loan.
Need more ideas? Try this resource: TeachingBooks | A Seed in the Sun.
Salazar, Aida. A Seed in the Sun. Dial, 2022.
Lula is the middle child in a large family of Mexican-American farmworkers, who live in California in 1965. This novel in verse describes the farmworkers’ strike for better wages and conditions, and shows a quiet but strong main character who helps with the activities. This story shows that a 12-year-old can really make a difference.
- Have you ever read a novel in verse, like this one? Can you remember the title? What did you think of this format?
- Have you ever participated in a protest? What is an issue or topic that you think is worth protesting about?
- Lula is a middle child, with older and younger brothers and sisters. Where do you fall in your family – are you the oldest, youngest, middle, or an only child? How does that affect how you are treated by others?
- There are some real people featured in the story, such as Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and Larry Itliong. Have you ever heard of any of them? What do you know about them?
- Lula wants to perform with El Teatro Campesino, even though she is shy, and has a quiet voice and a cough. What would you like to do but don’t feel you have the talent or skill to try it?
- Offer fresh fruit as a snack to celebrate the work of Farmworkers.
- Since this is a novel in verse, have students write and recite short poems about social issues that interest them, such as civil rights, climate change, etc.
- Make protest posters about issues important to you, and display them in the library.
- Hold a canned food drive to help those dealing with food insecurity.
- Make pencil holders that represent fruit: Summer Pencil Holders – Red Ted Art – Kids Crafts.
- Celebrate Mexican culture by making tissue paper flowers: Mexican Paper Flowers : 8 Steps (with Pictures) – Instructables, or papel picado: Make Your Own Colorful Papel Picado | Crafts… | PBS KIDS for Parents.
Penny Peck, SJSU iSchool