Weekly Nibble: September 20, 2019

If you follow the Much Hamsters Instagram, you know that I mentioned starting a brand new program series this week. When I first took over school age programming, the book club structure had been the same for a while. The staff person running the book clubs would select one chapter book that the kids would read in advance and then come together to discuss. This format had worked for a little while and I continued it when I took over. It was a great way to incorporate author Skype visits into the program rotation and I tried to plan other fun extension activities since discussion questions didn’t seem to go over too well, but slowly, as the original batch of kids aged out, I saw that we just didn’t have new kids coming in. My theory is that with busy schedules and no real say in the books that were picked, kids viewed this format as too academic and homework-y.

This year, I wanted to change that. I came up with the idea to instead do a book talk sort of program, where I would pull a variety of books on different themes, etc. and share them with the kids while doing fun craft projects and activities related to the theme. In this way, kids had no obligations beforehand and they could just come, relax, and have fun while finding new books to enjoy.

At my husband’s suggestion, I decided to name the program Book Scouts and (with the invaluable help of a friend’s mother’s button maker), I designed a “badge” for each program’s theme that the children can earn when they come. My hope is that the badges will be a little extra incentive to come to every program they can! =)

Yesterday was Talk Like a Pirate Day, so we explored Swashbuckling Reads while making Perler Bead pirates. Below is the list of books I pulled for the children to explore. Many of them left with a handful of titles, so I was very pleased!

Picture Books

Off & Away by Cale Atkinson
Fluffy, Scourge of the Sea by Teresa Bateman
Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo
Walt Disney’s Peter Pan by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
South by Daniel Duncan
Pirates by C. Drew Lamm
The Old Pirate of Central Park by Robert Priest
Robinson by Peter Sis
Small Saul by Ashley Spires

Chapter Books & Graphic Novels

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates (series) by Caroline Carlson
Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eager
The Accidental Pirates (series) by Claire Fayers
Jack Black & the Ship of Thieves by Carol Hughes
The Jolly Regina by Kara LaReau
Drift House (series) by Dale Peck
Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue by Jeff Seymour
Worse Things Happen at Sea! by Alan Snow
Four Points (series) by Hope Larson


What If You Met a Pirate? by Jan Adkins
Pirate Treasure by Nick Hunter
Lives of the Pirates by Kathleen Krull
Everything I Know About Pirates by Tom Lichtenheld
The Pirate’s Handbook: How to Become a Rogue of the High Seas by Margarette Lincoln
Eyewitness Pirate by Richard Platt
The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found by Martin Sandler
The Ballad of the Pirate Queens by Jane Yolen

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