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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

By Danielle Valente
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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 book stores 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

Photograph: Courtesy Books Are Magic

1. Books Are Magic

Shopping Bookstores Carroll Gardens

Emma Straub's literary oasis in Cobble Hill welcomes readers of all ages into its quaint and cozy outpost. The shop's newly instated kids' book club—in collaboration with READ 718 and Brooklyn Independent Middle School—helps kids in grades three to five explore a new story each month. Once your book club member has finished the chosen novel, make sure to check out BAM's children's books and YA subscription boxes. Learn more here

Thalia Kids Book Club
Photograph: Madeline Cohen

2. Thalia Kids Book Club

Things to do Camps Upper West Side

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). This year's upcoming events include R.J. Palacio's White Bird on Oct 20 at 1pm and Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce's Magic Tree House on Nov 10 at 1pm. Learn more about the events at symphonyspace.org

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astoria bookshop.jpg
Photograph: Courtesy Astoria Bookshop

3. Astoria Bookshop

Shopping Toys and games

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! Those who are interested can email christian@astoriabookshop.com. Learn more at astoriabookshop.com.

Rendering: Courtesy The Center for Fiction

4. The Center for Fiction

Shopping Bookstores Fort Greene

This new 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 at centerforfiction.org

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5. Greenlight Bookstore

4 out of 5 stars
Shopping Bookstores Fort Greene

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 fourth Tuesday of the month at 5:30pm in Fort Greene and the fourth Wednesday of the month at 5:30pm in Prospect Lefferts Gardens for those ages 9–12. While discussing chapter books and classics, little bibliophiles will get to munch on pizza (which certainly pairs well with a good book). Learn more here

Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

6. 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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7. WORD

4 out of 5 stars
Shopping Bookstores Greenpoint

WORD caters its book groups to fans across all genres, so of course YA is on the list of offerings. Readers of all ages are invited to explore that teen angst—crushes, drama, high school humiliation—with YA Oughta Book Group, which meets every third Wednesday at 6pm. Please note this takes place in the Jersey City location. Learn more here

8. BONUS: Book Culture

Shopping Bookstores Morningside Heights

Though technically for adults, Book Culture's offering caters to parents who want to discuss what it's like dealing with little readers of their own. The Raising Little Humans Book Club meets the last Monday of every month at 7pm. Learn more here

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