Today I ran across the website for the Spaghetti Book Club. From the website:
"The Spaghetti Book Club is an innovative literacy program that integrates reading, writing, art and technology by teaching students how to write and illustrate book reviews. Much to their delight, the reviews are then published on the Spaghetti Book Club web site... The Spaghetti Book Club helps students develop critical reading and writing skills by providing them with a meaningful context in which they learn how to think critically about the books they read; engage in reflective dialogue with teachers and peers; express their opinions and reactions in conversation and writing; and write for an intended audience. At the end of the project, it is quite a thrill for the students to see their work published on the web!"
The Spaghetti Book Club sells memberships to classes, schools, districts, after-school programs, and libraries, and also offers some memberships through corporate sponsorship. A Spaghetti book club membership is something to consider for your library or school. (I don't know how much it costs, you'll have to contact the program.)
I support any program that gets kids more engaged in reading. The idea of allowing kids to publish book reviews on the internet (only the child's first name, list initial, and hand-drawn self-portrait are public) seems very empowering. I know that children I've talked with since starting this website are very interested in sharing their recommendations with me and with site visitors. I've been thinking of a way to make it easier on my own site to allow kids to make recommendations (while protecting their privacy). This personal experience makes me think that The Spaghetti Book Club is a great idea! Thanks for reading! -- Jen