Friday, November 22, 2013

Fun Friday! The LitClub- Review and Giveaway

I love a good book, don't you?  I love curling up underneath a blanket and getting lost in the words.  I love learning about history and people and places I never heard of or could ever imagine.  And I want to share that love of books with my kids!  That is why when I was contacted by author Ali Dent about reviewing her new book The Lit Club-Transforming Reading Into an Experience, I wanted to know more.  
Wow!  This 230 page paperback book has all you need to start your own Lit Club.  More than just a book club, Ali has spent years creating and modeling what I would call a book experience.   How is it different from your typical book club?  First of all, I don't know about you, but I have checked out book clubs at some book stores, but also libraries in the past and have not been impressed.  Thanks, but no thanks! Not only do I not care to read that junk, but I sure do not want my kids to!  The LitClub reads and discusses the classics.  You know, books such as The Hobbit, Hamlet and Great Expectations.  The LitClub does even more than just talk about the books though.  They share ideas, do projects together and even have a themed meal based on each book.  I told you this was a whole experience!

Overwhelmed?  No need to worry, because Ali has it all laid out for you in the book!

The Lit Club-Transforming Reading Into an Experience is carefully laid out in three parts. 

Part 1 tells the whys of a LitClub and how exactly it is set up.  Here you will find out why and how Ali started the very first LitClub as well as how it can build community and help develop critical thinking in your young people.

Part 2 goes into details about all of the particular tools Ali uses to make LitClub successful.  This is where she will explain each of the areas of your study, from the historical context to the lessons, projects, focus papers, word studies and themed meals.

Part 3 includes four of the classics she recommends with ready made notes and other materials to help you get started immediately in facilitating.  Yes, facilitating.  Ali stresses throughout her book that this is not simply a class taught by you, but a group of friends that you help facilitate through a book.  Though no two LitClubs will look alike, Part 3 is a great way to get started slowly.  Ali has laid out all of the details for 4 books, one in each of the following time periods- Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Modern.

And then there is the appendix!  This is actually over half the book.  There are book recommendations, resources, definitions of literary words, vocabulary links and then a whole print package.

What we think!
I have really enjoyed reading this book.  While the concept seemed a little overwhelming to me at first, Ali does a fantastic job at laying it all out step by step.  One of the things I love the most is the excitement she shares when she talks about her personal experiences.  Her vision is catching and will want to make you get stared right away.  After years of running these clubs she has obviously gotten it down to a science.  For any of us that are still unsure if it is something we are capable to doing, her website and personal blog continue to add resources and information.

Have we started a LitClub yet?  No. But I have had fun letting my imagination run wild with possibilities of a group of middle schoolers or high schoolers, along with their parents, gathered in my living room deep in discussion.  Building community and friendships, eating together, laughing together and learning together.

What a better way to spend an evening!  What a better way to read a book!

Make sure you check out Ali's website!  There are a bunch more resources, including fun activities for additional books and some great little videos- some made by Lit Club students.

The Lit Club-Transforming Reading Into an Experience is currently on sale for $35.96 at Amazon!

Ali has graciously offered a copy of The Lit Club-Transforming Reading Into an Experience to one of our readers!  THANK YOU Ali!  Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win!
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Well folks, this ends our THREE months of Fun Friday Giveaways!  It has been loads of fun for us and we pray you have been blessed as well!  Keep an eye out for a December full of pictures and some thoughts on the holidays, as well as some changes on the blog starting in January!  


  1. My daughter's favorite is by far the Percy Jackson series. By FAR.

  2. That is a tough question since there are so many to pick from, but I would probably say Anne of Green Gables has been a favorite since childhood and one I still go back and visit quite often.

  3. My oldest son loves the Prydain Chronicles, my daughter--The Mysterious Benedict Society, and my next son--Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The five year old just likes to be read to!

    1. The Mysterious Benedict Society has been read about 100 times in this house! My girls LOVE it!

  4. I love anything Jane Austen. Absolute favorite is Sense and Sensibility.

  5. My sons love anything by C.S. Lewis and Tolkien.

  6. This is a really tough question I always hate it when someone asks me this because I'm liable to go on and on and bore them to death. I absolutely love "Till We Have Faces" by C.S. Lewis, but "The Silmarillion" (or anything by Tolkien, for that matter) is pretty high on my list too. And for YA lit, it'd have to be between "A Wrinkle in Time" or "The Bronze Bow."

  7. what an excellent idea. :) I wonder if this would work with the 8-10 year old crowd as well...


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