CLUB 4₂8 Virtual Book Club

Welcome to the Club 4₂8 Virtual Book Club for students grades 4th-8th!

Here you can find genre suggestions, discussion questions, and related activities for a virtual book club with family or with friends via group video chats!


Genre: Sci-Fi

How do you throw a party for an alien? You have to planet! Read or listen to a science fiction book from our digital library for exciting stories woven with elements of science and technology.


Talk about the book you read. Here are some questions to spark your discussion.

  • Why do you think the book you read falls into the science fiction genre? What science or technology does it include? What is real science and what is future or imaginary science in the story?
  • What things from your science fiction book do you think will never come true? Why?
  • Were there any non-human or mutant human characters in the book? If yes, how are they important to the plot? If no, would the story have been better with such a character? Why?
  • Share a favorite quote from your book. Why did this quote stand out to you?
  • Did your book have any fantasy features (magical or supernatural parts not based on science)? If yes, what are they and how are they important to the story?
Fun Activities:
  • Fizzing Foaming Fun – Take a look at this video to see how to create a fizzing and foaming environment that would make an alien feel right at home!
  • Take Me to Your Leader – Use one of these templates or find another on the internet to print out and construct your own paper robot or alien.
  • Blast Off! – Start the countdown and launch a plastic bottle rocket!
  • Get Your Game On – Play a board game with a sci-fi theme! There are a lot to choose from, whether it’s a peek into your future (The Game of Life, Careers, The Pursuit of Happiness), outer space (Battleship Outer Space, Star Realms, Space Escape: Mole Rats in Space), or time travel (Back to the Future: Dice Through Time, Chrononauts).


Genre: Movies

Numerous books have been adapted into movies or TV shows. Take a look at the digital titles in our From Page to Screen collection. Read (or listen to) the book and watch the screen version!


Talk about the book and the screen adaptation. Here are some questions to spark your discussion.

  • What’s your answer to the age-old debate: “Which is better – the book or the movie?” Give at least 3 reasons to support your choice.
  • What do think of the actors who played the characters in the screen version?
  • “What makes a good book and what makes a good movie are totally different things.” (Seth Grahame-Smith) Do you agree or disagree? What makes a good book? What makes a good movie?
  • Screen versions often make changes (sometimes minor, sometimes major) to a book’s story. Was this the case for the ones you read and watched? Why do you think those changes were made?
  • What’s your favorite book that has not yet been made into a movie but should be? Why would it make a good movie?
Fun Activities:
  • Movie Night Snack Attack – Make your favorite snacks and munch your way through movie night! Need recipe ideas? Check out our digital cookbooks.
  • It’s Okay to Act Out – Channel your inner actor as you play charades! Create your own list of titles, or take a look at book and movie lists online.
  • Movie Maker – Use a free app (such as Stop Motion Studio, TeleStory, Toontastic 3D) to create your own movie!


Genre: Humor

Life is better when you’re laughing! Our digital library has humorous books and audio books ready for you to borrow.


Talk about the book you read. Here are some questions to spark your discussion.

· What did you like best about the book you read? What did you like least?

· Did any part of the book make you guffaw or chuckle or smile? Describe that part of the story.

· Would you read another book by this author? Why or why not?

· If you could insert yourself as a character in the book, who would you be? Why?

· Were there any serious parts to the story, or was it all light and funny?

· Would you change any part of the story?

Fun Activities:

· Take turns telling jokes! Write or type jokes on strips of paper and ask family members to choose a strip and read a joke. Need jokes? Check out a digital book or this website.

· Watch YouTube comedy skits on channels such as Bored Shorts or Studio C.

· Play charades or minute- to-win-it games


Genre: Food

Go bananas for books! Whet your appetite with a food-themed book from our digital library.


Talk about the book you read. Here are some questions to spark your discussion.

· What character(s) did you like best in the book? What character(s) did you like least? Why?

· What do you think of the book’s cover? How well does it illustrate what the book is about?

· What was one of the problems that happened in the book? How was it solved?

· Who in the book would you like to meet? What would you ask or say to this character?

· What food in the book would you like to eat? What role did this food play in the story?

Fun Activities:

· Be a chef! – Many food-themed fiction stories include recipes. If the book you read has one, try making it. Digital cookbooks are also available to check-out.

· Marshmallow Masterpieces – Create sculptures, bridges, and towers using mini-marshmallows, uncooked spaghetti noodles, and pretzel sticks. How tall can you build a tower? How long can you make a bridge?

· Blindfold Taste Tests – Ask family members to feel, smell, then taste and guess different foods while blindfolded.

· Chopstick Challenge – How many small food pieces (raisins, M&Ms, cereal pieces, nuts) can you transfer from one bowl to another using chopsticks in one minute? Now repeat the challenge using your other hand!


Genre: Mystery 

Do you have what it takes to solve a case? Test your skills as you read a mystery book from our digital library.  


Talk about the book you read. Here are some questions to spark your discussion. 

  • Give your book a rating of 1 (not that great) to 5 (awesome). Why did you give it that rating? 
  • Was the title a good choice for the story? Does it hint at the mystery? If you could make up a different title, what would it be? 
  • What do you think about how the mystery was solved? Would you have ended it differently? 
  • Did the author include any hidden clues, red herrings (false clues), or twists and turns (surprising events)? At what point did you know the outcome of the mystery? Why? 
  • Think about one of the minor characters in the story. Why did the author include him/her? 
Fun Activities: 
  • Practice Your Powers of Observation – Ask a family member to place 30 items on a tray, which you will look at for 30 seconds before it is taken away. How many items can you remember? 
  • Guessing Games – Play Murder in the DarkI Spy, or the classic whodunit board game Clue
  • Clue Caper – Hide a household or clothing item and use a variety of ciphers to create clues which point to different locations inside and outside your home. The final clue leads to the hidden item. Invite a family member to go on the hunt. Cipher ideas: 
    • Jigsaw Puzzle – Write the clue on a piece of paper that is cut into various shapes. 
    • Reverse Alphabet – A is Z and Z is A! Write it out and solve away! TLG RG? 
    • Invisible Ink – Watch this YouTube video to see how to use common items from around the house to write a super secret clue! 
    • Backwards Message –Top to bottom and left to right are NOT the right ways to read this type of clue! (!eulc fo epyt siht daer ot syaw thgir eht TON era thgir ot tfel dna mottob ot poT) 
    • Pigpen Cipher – Use this key to write your clue. See example below. 


Genre: Sports & Games

What is an electric guitar’s favorite sport? Bass-ball! Take a look in our digital library for eBooks with a sports or game theme.


Talk about the book you read. Here are some questions to spark your discussion.

  • Are you a fan or a player of the sport (or game) described in the book? If yes, how well does the author capture the spirit of the game? If no, did reading this book give you enough information to understand the sport? Did it inspire you to try playing it?
  • What were the themes of the book (examples: never give up, cheaters never win, win or lose with grace, etc.)? How well did the author use a sport (or game) to bring those themes to life?
  • Many sports stories have been made into movies. Would the book you read be a good candidate to be made into a movie? Why or why not?
  • Would you recommend the book to a friend? How would you summarize the story if you were to recommend it?
  • Would you read another book by this author? If you could talk to the author, what question would you ask?
Fun Activities:
  • Hallway Bowling – Set up 6-10 empty water bottles (or other containers such as soda cans) at the end of the hallway and try knocking them down with a rolling ball. Try different balls, from a tennis ball to a basket ball. Can you knock them all down in 2 tries? Make it more challenging by bowling backwards!
  • Balloon Badminton – Make badminton rackets by taping paper plates (or cardboard circles) to paint stirrers (or 12 inch rulers). With a family member, volley a balloon back and forth using the rackets. Don’t let the balloon touch the ground!
  • Fly Swatter Hockey – Use fly swatters as hockey sticks and a light, small ball as the puck. If you don’t have a light ball, make one by forming a sheet of foil paper into a ball. Mark off goals with empty water bottles or plastic cups, and you’re ready to play!
  • Popcorn Push-up Challenge – Position a small plate with popcorn pieces on the floor so that it will be under your face when you lower your body in a push-up. Lower yourself down and stick out your tongue to get a popcorn piece with each thrust. How many pieces are you able to get? Challenge a family member to a contest!


Genre: Great Outdoors

From your own backyard to the great wide world, there are adventures to be had outside! Get ready for an exciting journey when you check out an outdoor adventure book from our digital library.


Talk about the book you read. Here are some questions to spark your discussion.

  • Whose point of view is the story told from? How would the story be different if it was told from another character’s point of view?
  • What made the setting unique or important? What place(s) mentioned would you most like to visit?
  • What events in the story stand out as memorable? Was the action believable?
  • Did you find the characters’ reactions to problems, their decisions, or their dialogue believable or realistic? Describe how you would respond to a situation which the main character faced.
  • If you could change the ending, what would you have happen? If there was a sequel to this book, what do you think would happen next?
Fun Activities:
  • Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt – How many of these items can you photograph on your next nature hike or neighborhood walk?
  • Grow a Garden – Spring and summer are the best growing seasons! Check out a gardening book from our digital library for tips and ideas.
  • Campfire CookingDinner and dessert cooked outdoors are delicious! Ask for a grown-up’s help to cook on a grill or fire pit.
  • Feed the Birds – Treat feathered backyard friends with a pine cone or toilet paper tube feeder.