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The best book clubs for kids

The best book clubs for kids allow youngsters to dive into children's lit one picture book at a time

Written by
Danielle Valente
&
Paulina Jayne Isaac
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So many stories, so little time. Our favorite book clubs for kids will ensure that your budding bibliophile is reading the coolest picks on the bestseller list (and beyond)! 

Venture to indie bookstores in NYC for a list of gatherings geared toward youngsters. Not only will they fall in love with new authors and genres, but they'll be able to chat with friends about those chapters they wish never came to an end. 

If your Matilda in the making can't get enough, don't just settle for the best book clubs for kids NYC families swear by. Be sure to also venture to our go-to kids' library branches and sit in on an engaging storytime for kids.

Who knows? The first stop for your moppet is a book club, and the next could be a publishing deal!

Book clubs for kids

  • Shopping
  • Bookshops
  • Carroll Gardens

Emma Straub's literary oasis in Cobble Hill welcomes readers of all ages into its quaint and cozy outpost. The author runs the store with her husband, Michael Fusco-Straub. The shop offers Monthly Magic Book Subscriptions where each month your child will receive a new release in the mail! There are categories for picture books, books for middle school-aged children, and young adult books. It’s the perfect way for kids to read the same books! Learn more here.

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  • Upper West Side
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Kids hobnob with best-selling authors and participate in writing workshops and literary excursions around the city thanks to Thalia Kids' Book Club. In the past, campers have met with big names like Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollboth) and Rebecca Stead (When You Reach Me). The 2021 campers met virtually due to the pandemic. Learn more about the events at symphonyspace.org.

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  • Toys and games
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Astoria Bookshop will usher in young readers one fantasy, otherworldly novel at a time. Although the shop's YA Book Club focuses on literature intended for those 12 and up, all ages are invited to participate in the gathering. In the past, the readers have tackled popular novels including Six of Crows, The Hate U Give, Ship It and To All The Boys I've Loved Before. Expect a large helping of romance and mysticism with this one! The shop is currently evaluating each book club's scheduled meeting on a case by case basis. Keep an eye on their social media channels and general events calendar to find a date. Learn more by  emailing christian@astoriabookshop.com.

Children’s book clubs aren’t one size fits all. Your kid might have unique reading interests, struggle with reading comprehension, or just not like big groups. Scholastic will equip you with the tools to create your own group. Plus, you can make it pandemic-friendly by hosting it via Zoom. Learn more here.

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  • Shopping
  • Bookshops
  • Fort Greene

This 18,000 square-foot space serves as a much-needed literary hub in Downtown Brooklyn. In an effort to add a personal touch to reading, The Center for Fiction offers its own take on a book club for schools in the area—completely free of charge. KidsRead invites NYC students to the Brooklyn outpost to meet the authors they've been reading in class and allows them to ask questions, learn about the stories and interact with others in a welcoming environment. Learn more here and email allison@centerforfiction.org to get involved.

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  • Shopping
  • Bookshops
  • Fort Greene
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Greenlight knows that even little ones can't resist a good story. In addition to hosting signings and story times, the store offers the Young Readers Book Club. The event meets quarterly on the third Tuesday of the month. The bookstore also hosts virtual events with children’s book authors. Learn more here.

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Calling all parents to history buffs and readers? If your kid bombards you with questions 24/7 about historical facts, it’s time to get them in a group with like-minded youngsters. The Dimenna’s Children’s History Museum provides a Reading Into History club for kids ages nine to 12. Families can discuss books about people in places from American history. The club is held virtually one Sunday each month during the school year. Learn more here.

Barnes & Noble
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

8. Barnes & Noble

In a nationwide effort to promote kids' love of reading, Barnes & Noble now offers Kids' Book Hangouts, an event where participants in grades one through six discuss stories, score free swag, participate in crafts and meet fellow bookworms along the way. Learn more here

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  • Shopping
  • Bookshops
  • Greenpoint
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WORD caters its book groups to fans across all genres, so of course YA is on the list of offerings. Readers ages eight to 12 are invited to explore new stories and meet with authors. The Born to Read! book club is  currently being hosted virtually. Learn more here.

  • Shopping
  • Bookshops
  • Morningside Heights
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Book Culture's young adult section code is 401, so it makes sense that they named the YA book club, What The 401!  Kids aged 13 to 17 can join to meet virtually very last Wednesday of the month at 7pm. If you are interested in this book club please email pittsfordbc@bookculture.com. Learn more here.

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If you’re more of a DIY person then why not create your own book club? Brightly gives you all the tools to make a book club for your kid (or kids!) to enjoy with their fellow students and friends. They choose the book, share the overall themes, and even provide you with discussion questions. All you have to do is buy the book—it doesn’t get simpler than that! Learn more here.

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