Chatterbooks is our network of children's reading clubs run in libraries and schools to encourage reading for pleasure.
Chatterbooks clubs are run by library staff, teachers, teaching assistants and volunteers - people who are passionate about reading.
You can use Chatterbooks clubs with any children, to help them with their confidence through talking about books, and to encourage them to read more widely. You can also work with targeted groups, for example to engage reluctant readers, to sustain reading recovery, with gifted and talented children, or to support transition from primary to secondary school.
How to run a Chatterbooks reading club
You need a meeting space, a session plan, and books for the children to borrow. We offer free downloadable activity packs each month, full of ideas to use in Chatterbooks sessions, plus recommended book lists on different themes. Each session should last a minimum of 40 minutes (many Chatterbooks clubs meet for 1 to 1.5 hours). You could follow our suggested session outline.
There are typically 10 to 15 children in a Chatterbooks club. In a library setting, Chatterbooks reading clubs often meet monthly. In a school setting, the clubs meet weekly or fortnightly.
Chatterbooks materials to buy
In our shop you can buy materials that encourage children to feel part of the Chatterbooks network and support the activities, plus support materials for group leaders:
- Welcome packs - red book bag with reading diary, pen, wristband and bookmark - £50 per set of 10 packs
- Group leader's toolkit - handbook, scrapbook, stickers for recommending favourite reads, - £25 per pack
- Schools' starter packs - ten children's welcome packs plus a group leader's toolkit - £65.
Tips for your Chatterbooks club
Here are five top tips for when you're starting off your club:
- Buy a Chatterbooks group leader's toolkit, or invest in a training day for staff.
- Sign up to the Chatterbooks network: get the newsletter, share tips and ideas, find out about new children's books and publisher offers.
- If you're a school club contact your local library and School Library Service and plan what you can do together.
- Make sure you have a mix of activities available for each meeting (look out for our monthly themed activity packs and publisher promotions).
- Ask the children what they want to read and talk about - Chatterbooks is their club!