Upper Elementary Book Club Launches with “Harriet The Spy”
Three members of Upper Elementary Book Club—Ally S., Veronika H., and Audrey K.— share how the club operates and insights from their first first meeting to discuss Harriet the Spy.
Book Club is a group of kids in Upper Elementary that get together to discuss the book they’re reading. This semester there are 18 kids in the club reading Harriet the Spy. On Friday during recess we get together and listen to Ms. Mbaye read while we enjoy a fun, healthy snack. Before Ms. Mbaye starts reading we discuss what we have read the week before. We’ve talked about characters, plots, and social issues that come up in the story. We’ve learned that Harriet lives in a brownstone on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She has a “nurse,” a chef, and a maid, so we’ve all come to the conclusion that she is really rich. Harriet is also a very particular girl: She has been eating the same exact tomato sandwich for lunch for years; she wears the same thing everyday; she has snack at the same time everyday, and she must write in a green notebook. Harriet aspires to be a real life spy when she grows up. We think she is a good spy because she stays hidden from the people she spies on, but she writes very mean things in her notebook.
At the end of the meeting Ms. Mbaye assigns the chapters that we are to read before next class. Book Club started because last year the fourth graders started asking for a time when kids could get together and talk about a book that they were reading. Ms. Mbaye would give up her lunch, and we would give up our recess. Every semester the book changes, and new kids are allowed to sign up. During the course of reading the book, everyone that signed up has to come to the meetings! It is something that you have to commit to.
Book club happens rain or shine, so even if it is a really nice day outside you still have to come to Book Club. Ms. Mbaye gives us the opportunity to choose which type of book we’ll be reading. This time, we chose a book that has been adapted into a movie. Once we are finished with the book, we’ll watch the movie together during a club meeting. What we really like about book club is that we get to have fun while reading and learn things about characters and plots.