The November book for our kids’ Check It Out book club was the first in Jessica Khoury’s Skyborn series, Sparrow Rising. In this book people are born with wings, and Ellie Meadows wants to compete in the Race of Ascension to become a Goldwing knight. For those curious about how to host a kids book club, we liked this book because it lends itself easily to discussion, there is both a girl and boy main character, and it’s easy to incorporate bird-themed activities!

Start with an Icebreaker Activity

We start with an icebreaker game to give kids a chance to interact and be silly. We handed out paper strips with various bird sounds on them (“Tweet,” “Caw,” “Squawk,” etc). Kids went around making their sound and trying to find who had their matching sound.

Discussing the Book

Next we chat about the book. Here are examples of discussion questions we used:

  • Ellie has a choice at the beginning: to help Nox or continue the race. What does she decide? Would you have made the same decision?
  • What do you think of Ellie and Zain’s friendship? How would a real friend act?
  • In this book, often people think you can only be a certain way because you’re part of a certain bird clan. What examples of that do we see? What do other people say about Ellie wanting to be a knight? What does she think of herself?
  • Shayn asks Nox what he will do with the magic skystone once they learn its powers. What would Ellie do with it? What does Nox want to do with it? What do you think the right thing to do is?

End with An Activity

After discussing the book, we proceeded to activity stations that kids can move freely between. This included a race where kids ran down the hall to retrieve a flag (like Ellie does in the Race of Ascension), folding wings out of butcher paper, and a food craft where kids added toppings to “nest” cookies (made from chow mein noodles and chocolate/butterscotch chips). A talented staff member drew large wings that look like Ellie’s from the book cover; the kids enjoyed posing with them for pictures.

Any kids looking to have their own book club would have plenty to enjoy with this book! We love our attendees’ awesome observations and ideas, and are excited for the next block of book clubs in 2023.

Written by Molly C. (Children’s Department)