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Years ago my daughter participated in a neighborhood homeschool book club. The girls met once a month to discuss a book, complete crafts, and socialize. The other parents and I realized that our children were more likely to read books we suggested if their friends were reading the same books. We gave the girls a few book choices and let them vote on what to read next. These homeschool book club books became family favorites.
These homeschool book club books are perfect for upper-elementary readers. Most of the main characters are about ten years old. Characters of a similar age to the reader help the reader connect to the story.
Homeschool Book Club Books
This hilarious novel will have your children laughing out loud! Pippi is a young girl of about 11 who lives alone while her father is at sea. As you would imagine, this kind of lifestyle gets Pippi into some interesting situations.
Island of the Blue Dolphin is the tale of Karana, a Native American girl from the early 1800’s. Karana lived alone on an island off the shore of California. She had to use her knowledge, strength, and perseverance to survive.
Related craft idea: Make a bracelet or necklace using sea life beads.
Ella is given an unusual gift at her birth – the gift of obedience. Normally we think of obedience as a good thing, but unquestioned obedience can be a curse, especially for someone as naturally strong-willed as Ella. Ella sets about to break her curse. Your children may come to recognize this character from another fairy tale by the end of the book.
Related craft idea: Make a fairy garden.
The One and Only Ivan is based on a true story of a shopping mall gorilla. He spends his days watching tv and painting. He is generally content with his situation until a new baby elephant arrives and he sees their living conditions through fresh eyes.
Related craft idea: Paint like Ivan.
Matilda is a fantastically bright young girl who has an unfortunate home life. She is ignored most of the day and uses that time to read. Her problems continue at school when she encounters a mean-spirited headmistress. Thankfully, she discovers she has a secret power that just might turn her life around.
Related craft idea: Create book marks.
Esperanza had a privileged young childhood, but that all changed in one night. Great tragedy has struck her family and she must flee to California with her mother. Her days of playing are over as she adjusts to life as a migrant worker. Will she ever adjust to this twist in her life?
Related craft idea: Make a simple yarn doll.
Ten year old India ‘Opal’ Buloni is new in town and not happy. She misses her old friends and her mother, who left when Opal was only three. One day she adopts a stray dog and her life begins to turn around. The dog is the perfect ice breaker and she begins to make new friends. The pup also helps her come to grips with her past.
Related craft idea: Make dog origami.
Have you ever wondered how a word is created? Nick decides to rename an everyday pen a frindle to see if he can get it to stick. The name quickly catches on and a new word is formed. This book explores the idea of how quickly information and ideas spread.
Related craft idea: Decorate a pen.
Auggie is making the transition from homeschool to private school with the added stress of a medical condition that causes his face to look different from his peers. He faces a few difficulties, but Auggie and his classmates come to realize it really is what’s inside that matters.
Related craft idea: Draw self portraits.
This 1945 classic tells the story of Wanda, a young Polish girl living in Connecticut. She is teased relentlessly for being poor and wearing the same dress every day, even though she claims to have 100 dresses in her closet. Eventually her family moves away and Wanda’s classmates feel horribly about how they treated her. This is a story of bullying, being kind, and forgiveness.
Related craft idea: Make magnetic paper doll kits.
Ten year old Winnie Foster has stumbled upon a magical stream that has the power to give eternal life. At the same time she meets the Tuck family, a family that drank from this stream many years ago. Eternal life on earth is not the gift some might believe. Can they work together to keep the stream a secret?
Related craft idea: Build a small ferris wheel.
Jess and Leslie become quick friends when they compete in a fifth grade race. They find an empty plot of land near Leslie’s backyard and decide to build ‘Terabithia’. Terabithia is their enchanted hide away. One day Leslie goes to Terabithia alone and tragedy strikes. Jess deals with his grief through the love of his family.
We loved this book, but I think a warning is fair. This book is quite the tearjerker.
Related craft idea: Build a structurally sound bridge.
What are your favorite homeschool book club books?
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