If you’ve got a reluctant reader on your hands, a kid that loves to read or even a kid that can’t yet read — basically, if you have a kid, period — there’s a new club in town that promises plenty of literary adventures. Read on to hear about this cool new passion project that will inspire a lifelong love for words.

tate-readingphoto: courtesy of Maria Chambers

Enter the bold yellow doors of Wicker Park’s latest new kid space, BookClub and you’ll find a new take on the traditional book club. BookClub isn’t your average book club: it’s an artist’s studio, a community space and a literary hub wrapped up into one cool space, where a wall of books, reading nooks and even stairs painted with words let you know that books are treasures to be explored and shared.

bookclub-wicker-parkphoto: BookClub

Co-founders Amanda Love and Kyra Termini set out to create a community of art and book lovers, and BookClub draws upon their experiences as teachers, professional artists and lovers of books. “For us, the alchemy of the community is the greatest artwork,” commented Termini. “We love to see how people form different connections with themselves and what they are reading and expressing.

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A gathering place for little BookWorms
If your little one is a pre or emerging reader, you’ll want to check out the BookWorms club. Once a week, little bookworms (Preschool – 1st grade) are invited to enjoy story time, early literacy reading practices and art-making. A parent or caregiver is required to attend each one-hour session, and you can count on learning some valuable take-home tools for improving literacy. Small class sizes — just 4-6 participants per session — promise plenty of opportunities to make friends with your fellow bookclubbers.

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BookClubs: Not just for wine-sipping moms and dads
BookClub also invites reading kids in grades 1 – 12 to join one of their many BookClubs. Again the focus is on harnessing the power of the books and translating literary themes into art. Each weekly, one-hour session is designed with Common Core goals in mind, making the BookClubs a great fit for both kids that always have their nose in a book and the kids who could use a reading boost.

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Mindful Parenting BookClub
For the parents, BookClub offers a Mindful Parenting BookClub on Thursday evenings. Moderated by Chicago-based family therapist Dr. Monica Holiday, this is a book club that promises to dig into the nitty-gritty of parenting today. An artist at BookClub will also lead a practical craft/art item-making activity that will help reinforce the concept covered in the book. The 6-session club kicks off on Oct 13th, 6:30pm.

Mindful Parenting BookClub Book List:
Happy Kid Handbook, Kate Hurley
French Kids Eat Everything, Karen Le Billon
Whole-Brain Child, Dr. Dan Siegel
Raising Financially Fit Kids, Joline Godfrey
Siblings Without Rivalry, Faber and Mazlish
Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids/Siblings, Dr. Laura Markham
Taking Back Childhood, Nancy Carlsson-Paige
The Conscious Parent, Dr. Shefali Tsabery
The Secrets of Happy Families, Bruce Feiler

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BookClub Birthday Parties
Treat your birthday bookworm to a customized BookClub Birthday: Choose a favorite book, author, storybook character or theme, and the BookClub team with tailor a BookClub session with art making inspired by a book. Need some birthday book ideas? Check out BookClub’s awesome list of creative ideas. Birthday parties are limited to 12 kids, not including parents/caregivers.

BookClub at the Wicker Park & West Town Lit Fest
On Sunday, September 18, BookClub will have its very own CREATES Stage at the Wicker Park & West Town Lit Fest, four days of extravaganza celebrating the neighborhoods’ rich textural literary past and present. In addition to Borrowers-based creative fun, BookClub will host a moderated book club discussion of ‘The Secret World of Arrietty’, a Studio Ghilbli film based on The Borrowers. Also, joining BookClub will be the FrankenToyMobile, a pedal-powered maker space where attendees can reuse toys as raw material to create something new. The Read/Write Library will bring their BiblioTreka, a mobile Pop Up Library on a tricycle featuring books, newspapers, magazines, comics, zines, artist books, journals, neighborhood plans, novels, chapbooks and cookbooks by Chicago writers. Plus, get glitter tattoos and balloons thanks to Building Blocks Toy Store.

bookclub-6photo: BookClub


1211 N. Wood St.
Wicker Park
Online: bookclubchicago.net

Has your child cozied up with a book at BookClub? Tell us about your experience in the Comments!

— Amy Bizzarri