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Getting to Know the AIS East Family Book Club

Getting to Know the AIS East Family Book Club

During a recent Community and Business Leader Luncheon hosted by ACSC Superintendent Dr. Wyndham at AIS East, Sarah O'Brien and several of her students — Kendall, Brayden, Armaan, and Emmanuel — shared about their experiences in the Family Book Club. This club, which Sarah started just two years ago, has generated a huge amount of participation, placed more than 250 books in the homes of AIS East students and their families (at no cost to them), and garnered attention from other school districts hoping to replicate her success.

Every school should have a family book club. Brayden

The students did a great job impressing our community leaders with their poise and charisma. Their words illustrate the power of parents and guardians reading with their children. Sarah and her students have kindly allowed us to share their (lightly edited) comments here. Scroll all the way down to enjoy photos from the presentation.


I heard about the the book club from my teacher, Ms. O’Brien. I’ve been able to do all three of the book clubs so far—first we read ReStart, then Front Desk, and we just finished Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. I’m signed up for the one we are about to start and I am excited because this one is about sports. It’s a book called Bouncing Back.

Book Club has been great because since we started, my mom and I have been sitting and reading chapters together at night after school and work. This is also great because it is on your own timeline. If you have work or sports, you can read whenever you have time. I do lots of sports and I still get to participate because I can read at times that work for my family.

When we finish the book, we come and do a big party at school. I like that we get to make things that are related to the book. It helps me make connections. We planted a cactus at the last event after reading the cactus book. It was a lot of fun, but I learned a hard lesson that they really don’t like too much water. My cactus didn’t make it!

I love book club and definitely would encourage more people to join. I like the reminder to read together and it’s a nice thing to share with my mom.


Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus was the first family book club that I did at East. My mom and I would each read the chapters on our own and then we would sit and talk through discussion questions about what we read. We both loved the book and made sure that we read the end of it together. The quiz that we took at the celebration was super hard, but we were proud of how much we remembered! We even won a raffle ticket with all of our answers!

When I was little, before I could read big chapter books, my mom would sit in my bed and read chapter after chapter to me. Being in Family Book Club kind of felt like that again. I really enjoyed finding time to read with my mom.

I’m excited about the next book and I’ve already signed up. I heard we get our materials this weekend and I can’t wait. Every school should have a family book club.

Armaan and Emmanuel

We have two book clubs each year, one each semester. Once the book is announced, families have time to sign up on a digital form. Books get ordered and delivered to students so they can be taken home for each family. They also come with a cool bookmark, some activities, and an invitation to the final celebration. 

The great thing is that you get to read on your own calendar. That way, even if you have sports or clubs or if your parents work late, you can still join in. You make it work for your own calendar. 

Your whole family gets to come to the celebration. Local businesses donate items to help us put on a great party and we come together with all the families who read the book. Together, the kids lead book talks, we make items, we eat lots of good food, and we do activities that go along with the book we read. Most importantly, we celebrate reading together as a reading community.