CCBC Book Discussion Guidelines

Ginny Moore Kruse and Kathleen T. Horning
© 1989 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Look at each book for what it is, rather than what it is not.

  1. Make positive comments first. Try to express what you liked about the book and why. (e.g. “The illustrations are a perfect match for the story because….”)
  2. After everyone has had the opportunity to say what they appreciated about the book, you may talk about difficulties you had with a particular aspect of the book. Try to express difficulties as questions, rather than declarative judgments on the book as a whole. (e.g. “Would Max’s dinner really have still been warm?” rather than “That would never happen.”)
  3. Avoid recapping the story or booktalking the book. There is not time for a summary.
  4. Refrain from relating personal anecdotes. The discussion must focus on the book at hand.
  5. Try to compare the book with others on the discussion list, rather than other books by the same author or other books in your experience.

All perspectives and vocabularies are correct.
There is no “right” answer or single correct response.

  1. Listen openly to what is said, rather than who says it.
  2. Respond to the comments of others, rather than merely waiting for an opportunity to share your comments.
  3. Talk with each other, rather than to the discussion facilitator.
  4. Comment to the group as a whole, rather than to someone seated near you.