Hosting a Children’s Book Club – Jacky Ha-Ha by James Patterson
As an avid reader myself, I was very excited to host a book club for my niece and three daughters of friends of mine. They’re all aged between 7 and 10 and love reading but had never taken part in a book club so they were very excited too!
We were chosen to take part in a Mumsnet project to host a mini mother-daughter book club event for James Patterson’s book Jacky Ha-ha so we had a little help getting everything ready and organising the activities for the event.
“With her irresistible urge to tell a joke in every situation – even when she really, really shouldn’t – twelve-year-old Jacky Ha-Ha loves to make people laugh. And cracking wise helps distract her from thinking about not-so-funny things in her life, like her mum serving in a dangerous, faraway war, and a dad who’s hardly ever home.
But no matter how much fun Jacky has, she can’t seem to escape her worries. So one starlit night, she makes a promise to keep her family together… even if she has to give up the one thing that makes her happy. But can she stop being Jacky Ha-Ha, if that’s who she really is?”
Before, I’d only taken part in book discussion at school and book clubs online but I’d never hosted a book club and never attended one in real life before so I was pleased to receive a booklet with activities, ideas for questions to discuss and party suggestions for this fun event.
Each girl received a copy of Jacky Ha-Ha and just under two weeks later we met up at our house joined by my two daughters too. My kids are too young for these books but my eldest loved joining in with the activities and listening the big girls chat away!
The girls sat around the kitchen table and enjoyed some sweeties and we started the book club by going through the questions in the booklet. The questions were really good and helped get a conversation going — not just about the book but the girls’ own lives too as many of the questions also asked about them.
- “Why is Jacky so impressed my Ms. O’Mara? Who are some of your female role models? Why are they important to you?”
- “Have you ever stuck up for a friend the way Jacky sticks up for Meredith? Have you ever had a friend stick up for you?”
They’re really great questions that made the girls think more deeply about what happens in the book and investigate their own thoughts and relationships.
After the discussion, we played with the photo props and photo booth kit and did the activities. This girl gang especially loved the Wordsearch game and designing their own book covers. Each girl took a Jacky Ha-Ha poster back home with them to remind them of their very first book club!
All the girls enjoyed the book and they said having a book club made reading even more fun and exciting. They loved that reading became a social activity through the book club.
We’re planning to continue this activity and take turns hosting a book club for the girls. What should we read next?
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I will receive a voucher in return for writing this post. We were provided with the books, the items needed for the activities and some sweets for the book club.