While everyone agrees that reading is great for kids - well, not if that's all they do; but as long as, like everything else, it's in moderation - be honest, parents: Don't you sometimes get tired of discussing the minutia of the latest series your little ones have grown obsessed with, be it Harry Potter, Little House on the Prairie, Ramona, Narnia, The Great Brain, The Hunger Games, The Mysterious Benedict Society or the works of Michael Crichton?
And parents of advanced readers have an even bigger problem: Finding reading material that's not just appropriate to your child's Lexile level, but also their age. Just because they can sound out and define all the words used in Lolita, Moll Flanders or Huckleberry Finn doesn't necessarily mean they ought to be reading about pedophilia, prostitution or racism before they're emotionally - rather than merely intellectually - ready. (In other words, 3rd graders reading Michael Crichton's books about islands of dinosaurs = okay. 3rd graders reading Michael Crichton books about sexual harassment and murder among the Yakuza... not so much.)
That's where book-clubs designed especially for kids come in! Not only do those in charge select material appropriate to the participating children's current stage(s) of development (and are experienced in dealing with the asynchronous aspects of gifted kids), but it's also a wonderful opportunity to make friends with similar interests (and not stand out as "that kid who's always got his nose stuck in a book") and - most importantly - interact with friendly adults who aren't family members or teachers as an equal; an enriching experience for any child.
Luckily, New York City offers an embarrassment of riches for budding bibliophiles, including book clubs at many public libraries, the Torly Kid Book Club, the Greenlight Young Readers Book Group, the Middle Grade Reading Club at Powerhouse on 8th, Symphony Space and the Children's History Museum.
Visit Red Tricycle for times, dates and details on all of the above.
Meanwhile, if you'd like to nurture a love of reading in your child from an early age, what better way to start than with a FREE book and corresponding stuffed animal from Nick Jr's Peppa Pig cartoon? Visit the NY Frugal Family Examiner for information on how to get yours!
And finally, if books and music are good for a developing mind, than a book WITH music must be the best! Check out The Worldwide Dessert Contest: Enhanced Multimedia Edition by Dan Elish, a middle grade fantasy novel of rhyming dragoons and roller-skating apple pies that comes with an original musical score by a Broadway veteran as part of the story! Available on Amazon and B&N, now!