Friday Fun: Start a Lily Book Club!


Life with LilyAmazonCBDBarnes and Noble
A New Home for Lily: AmazonCBDBarnes and Noble
A Big Year for Lily: AmazonCBDBarnes and Noble
A Surprise for LilyAmazonCBDBarnes and Noble

I recently came across a mom who started a very hands-on approach to hosting a children’s book club, and I am so flattered she picked the Lily series to be a part of her club! Amy Bradsher, from A Nest in the Rocks, is here today to share about her creative approach to the Lily books and how you, too, can start your own book club with your kids! 

Two years ago we decided to homeschool – and that meant transitioning our daughter from public school to home. A social butterfly, she thrives on being surrounded by people, and I knew having some sort of group lesson would be right up her alley.

We decided to start a book club. An avid reader, she was excited about this from the start, and we began planning together. We carefully chose a few girls in her age range and sent invitations. Friendship and cooperation are vital to a solid group. We wanted the girls in this club to feel safe and confident enough to be crazy in love with reading – and so they needed to be able to work together well and encourage each other. The girls are great about taking turns, helping each other when one understands a concept that someone else doesn’t and being brave enough to try new things. This lets us be very hands-on with our activities and enables big projects in a fun way.

I choose the books for our monthly events, although I take into consideration the kids’ interests. I search for stories with realistic characters – people who are adventurous, willing to learn, and who learn from their mistakes – and whose actions we can duplicate. If the character sews, we sew. If the character churns butter, we make butter. Over the past two years, we’ve invented pizzas, sewn dresses, made ice cream, canoed around a lake, gone on safari, painted canvases, hunted treasure, eaten crickets, and designed our own shields.

Our best book clubs mimic the very best—or most exciting–moments in the story. To find out what those are, we begin each meeting by summarizing the story together. Then we talk through the major decisions made by the characters. Were they good ones? What could they have done better? How does this relate to our lives today? Then we take action.

This happens in a variety of ways each meeting. If a clothing theme is important to the story, then I ask the kids to come in costume. Those make for fun pictures and good memories, too! Food plays a role in most stories, so the kids either bring a type of something, like cheese, and we experience different varieties together, or we bake up our version of the dish ourselves. We always have at least one challenge, project, or activity. This is where the sewing, painting, or treasure hunting comes into play. This takes a bit of planning on my part, but the adventure is what really brings a character to life: recreating his/her actions makes the reader understand the character and his/her choices in ways that nothing else could. It’s walking a mile in someone else’s moccasins, and it’s exciting.

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Making cupcakes like Lily!

That’s why The Adventures with Lily Lapp make perfect book club selections. Lily is mischievious and fun, trying lots of new things within her family environment. Because she’s Amish, she does many things that are not commonly done by young people in our society today, and this provides great options for book clubs. From baking and sewing to boating and fishing, adventures abound within the Lily series – both for Lily herself and your book club kids.

When Life with Lily was released, I happily recommended it to my daughter’s book club and anxiously awaited their opinion. Though a fantastic book, it is at least twice as long as the books we had read up to that point, and I worried that these young readers would get too tired to enjoy it. Instead, they loved it so much that they eagerly asked to read the next book, too, and then each subsequent book as soon as it came on the market. Each book provided wise counsel from Lily’s parents and quality book club experiences as a whole.

The girls have now finished every single adventure with Lily, and the books led to such fun book club experiences that we’re all sad to have finished the series. Our fingers are crossed in the hopes that more Adventures with Lily Lapp books will come on the scene, and in the meantime, we continue to search for books with as much wisdom and adventure as Lily.

We’ve been hosting her book club for over two years, and now my son has one, too. Book clubs are a great way for kids to interact with good stories, solid characters, learn new information, and develop a love of learning. Both kids have developed quality friendships, learned new skills, tried new things, and learned to look at books in creative ways.

If you’d like to start your own kids’ book club, I have a free guide available for download here. There are some great book suggestions here and here to get you started, as well.

Happy reading – and happy book clubbing!

P.S. – I hope you enjoyed exploring Suzanne’s World in last week’s Friday Fun! Congratulations to the winner of a surprise set of books, KAREN HARDY! Please email, info {at} suzannewoodsfisher {dot} com to claim your prize.

Here are the answers to the scavenger hunt: 1. Nantucket Series, 2. Books of Stoney Ridge, 3. Lily Series, 4. Eagle Hill Series, 5. Eagle Hill Series, 6. Non Fiction, 7. Lily Series,  8. Books of Stoney Ridge, 9.Eagle Hill Series, 10. Stoney Ridge Series,  11.Non Fiction, 12. Lily Series, 13. Nantucket Series, 14. Non Fiction.


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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.