St. Croix Valley kids dive between the pages of great Middle Grades titles each month with the Deep Blue Readers book club. Just make sure you’ve resurfaced in time to meet again!
When | 1:30 – 2:30pm, 4th Sunday each month
Where | Valley Bookseller, Downtown Stillwater, MN
Who are the Deep Blue Readers? Kids Who Find Adventure in Great Books
Deep Blue Readers is a monthly book club for St. Croix Valley area kids who choose titles from the Middle Grades shelf. While there is no fixed age limit, Dive Team members typically are in grades 4 – 7 and ready for books that appear on the American Library Association’s (ALA) Newbery Medal and Honor list. You’ll meet other kids who love meeting new characters and the excitement of diving deeper into a good story.
How did the book club get started? We launched in August 2012. Volunteer leaders Daphne and Margaret are Stillwater parents who find joy in bringing kids together for reviews, recommendations, and building connections with each other through books.
Think you might like to dive in? Email us with questions, requests, or just to let us know a new diver is on the way. Newcomers are welcome at any time and you can attend as your family / school obligations allow. Teachers and parents are welcome to dive, too — or browse in the background!
What do we read? Check our Dive Log for past titles — the Deep Blue Readers have covered a lot of territory, but the ocean of books is VAST. Suspense, adventure, fantasy, humor, realistic fiction, science fiction, historical fiction, magical realism, steampunk — we dive into all of them! We even invite local authors to dive in with us from time to time.
Each book is a chance to test the waters and make new discoveries. We have a lot of fun and aren’t afraid to pull some tough reads from the Middle Grade shelf — but that’s where you’ll find some of the best stories. There are no assignments, tests, or projects. There are no member dues. Just read the book and share your honest reactions when we meet at the end of the month.
Message for Parents
We respect the confidence you place in us to choose books informed by trusted sources. Making informed choices is part of each parent’s effort to guide kids’ growth as discerning readers, and we likewise respect that each family decides how and when to approach tough topics in meaningful ways.
Parents are welcome to read the book selection(s) and to sit in on and/or participate in our discussion. If you’ve wondered how to grow your child’s love of reading, book club is a wonderful source of enrichment or just a new way to make stories come alive — and to share those experiences with other kids.
- Advice from kids’ authors: How do you get kids excited to read? by Amy Joyce at The Washington Post, a conversation with a phenomenal array of writers, including Blue Balliet, Maggie Stiefvater, Varian Johnson, R.L. Stine, and many others
- What Motivates a Student’s Interest in Reading and Writing by Larry Ferlazzo, school teacher, author, and Education Week Teacher contributer via KQED Mind/Shift