The Spaghetti Book Club Library Program

About the Spaghetti Book Club | About the Library Program | How it Works | Membership Fees 

Testimonials | SRI International's report on the success of Spaghetti Book Club

"Part of the success of the Spaghetti Book Club owes to how much it draws from what we know about how young children learn how to read and write. In this early literacy program, students get to pick their own children's book to review. The students' book reviews call for them not just to summarize their books as in a book report but also to provide their own opinion of the book and make recommendations to others about the book."  
(SRI International)

About the Spaghetti Book Club:

The Spaghetti Book Club is a fun and engaging literacy program that teaches students how to write and illustrate book reviews that are published online. The Spaghetti Book Club is a meaningful way to encourage students of any age to think critically about literature and engage in meaningful book discussions while providing them with the unique opportunity to publish their thoughts and opinions for a world-wide audience. Publishing online is a huge motivator and reward for students. It is a thrill for students to see their work published online! 

About the Library Program:

The Spaghetti Book Club provides public libraries with a meaningful and fun way for kids to engage with their children's book collections and technology resources. Children participating in the program become actively involved in discussing and writing about books, and experience the excitement of publishing their book reviews online. The children's book reviews become a valuable resource for library visitors, increasing awareness of the library's children's book collection. Libraries can easily create links from their web site to the children's reviews for other kids to read. Kids often want to read books that other children from their library have reviewed. 

Hosting "Publishing Celebrations", for children to share their reviews with family and friends, is an exciting way to recognize the children's hard work and accomplishments and a wonderful way to bring the community into the library.

The Spaghetti Book Club Library Program consists of three components. First, all kids participate in a Book Review Workshop during which children learn about book reviews and their essential parts. Then kids can then write and publish group book reviews as part of the Group Book Review Club or individual reviews as part of the Individual Book Review Club.

Book Review Workshop: During this 60-minute workshop children learn about book reviews and their essential parts by reading and discussing strong examples from our site. They also "join" the Club by creating self-portraits that are uploaded to the library's home page on the Spaghetti Book Club website. At the end of the workshop, kids receive a "Spaghetti Book Club Member Certificate" which entitles them to publish book reviews through either of the options below. 

Group Book Review Club* (Whole Group Reviews):  This 90-minute program guides small groups of children through the book review writing process. During the program, kids review the components of a book review, have a book read aloud and then write a book review together as a group. The children's review is then published on the Spaghetti Book Club web site along with a selected illustration. This program is a natural add-on to a Read-Aloud for younger children or book club discussion for older children. This program can be offered weekly or monthly for both younger and older children. 

Individual Book Review Club* (Individual Reviews): Kids may submit individual reviews after completing the Book Review Workshop (see above). Children may write their reviews as part of a tween/teen book club meeting, during scheduled sessions, or independently on their own time in the library. Kids working independently use the Spaghetti Book Club Book Review Guide (Power Point slideshow) to help them write their reviews. The Guide is intended for use by older children working independently or for younger children working one-on-one with an adult (parent, care-giver, staff or volunteer).

We work with individual libraries to help create a program that works best for them. 

*The Book Review Workshop is a prerequisite for participation in these programs.


During the program, children:

  • read books
  • engage in book talks
  • read and discuss strong examples of book reviews from the Spaghetti Book Club web site
  • discuss the elements of a book review: summaries, opinions and recommendations
  • collaborate on group reviews or write individual reviews
  • publish reviews on the Spaghetti Book Club website
  • have fun!!

By participating in the Spaghetti Book Club, children learn:

  • essential elements of a book review (establishing publishing criteria)
  • how to write a strong summary
  • how to formulate opinions
  • how to make recommendations
  • how to use evidence from text to support ideas
  • how to get a reader's attention
  • how to make a "good" review "great" - (revising reviews by adding details, descriptions and examples)

reading together

discussing sample reviews

writing drafts

looking for evidence

revising reviews

kids' self-portraits

publishing celebrations

proud students

Membership Components:

Spaghetti Book Club Membership includes all the material needed to implement the "Workshop", "Group Book Review Club" and "Individual Book Review Club" programs including:

  • Curriculum: Easy-to-follow lesson plans for each of the program components: The Spaghetti Book Club Workshop, Group Book Review Club and Individual Book Reviewer Club.
  • Spaghetti Book Club Slide Show: An engaging Power Point slideshow to supplement the lessons and guide children through learning about book reviews and how to write them.  
  • Spaghetti Book Club Guide: A Power Point slideshow to assist children in writing reviews independently. 
  • "Spaghetti Book Club Member Certificate": A certificate given to all children who complete the Workshop, which entitles them to submit group or individual book reviews (and makes them feel proud to be a member).
  • Spaghetti Book Club Checklist: A checklist to ensure that reviews written independently meet the Spaghetti Book Club publishing criteria. 
  • Consent Forms: A form for parent/guardian to sign for their child to participate.
  • Book Review Publishing: See details below.

Book Review Publishing:

The Spaghetti Book Club publishes children's book reviews, illustrations, and self-portraits on the Spaghetti Book Club web site. Library staff do not need to create their own web pages. Staff members simply submit the children's reviews and illustrations though our online forms, and fax or email consent forms to the Spaghetti Book Club. If reviews meet the Spaghetti Book Club publishing criteria and consent forms are received, completed reviews are published within 3-5 business days of submission.

Publishing services include:

  • Publishing of book reviews and illustrations on the Spaghetti Book Club web site
  • A group home page with children's self-portraits and a list of their reviews
  • Individual home pages for each child with links to his/her reviews

We recommend hosting "Publishing Celebrations", where children share their reviews with family, friends and members of the community. Publishing celebrations are an exciting way to recognize the children's hard work and accomplishments, and a wonderful way to bring the community into the library.

How the Program Works:


Libraries can register online by completing this registration form, or by phone by calling us at: 203.226.1010. 

After registering, you will receive an invoice. Upon receipt of payment, your account will be activated. At that time, you will use your user name and password to gain access our online curriculum and our online forms to submit your reviews. Library staff may schedule a telephone or Skype-based training session to review the program components and have any questions answered. 


Once your account is activated, you may begin offering the Spaghetti Book Club program and submitting children's book reviews. The program can be offered in a variety of ways depending on how many reviews are purchased. 


Submitting reviews and illustrations is easy through our online forms.  Here's how it works:

  • Reviews are submitted though our online forms. 
  • Artwork is scanned and submitted online as attachments with the reviews.
  • Consent forms are email or faxed to the Spaghetti Book Club.


After reviews are submitted to the Spaghetti Book Club, they are read by our staff. Book reviews must meet the Spaghetti Book Club criteria as stated in the curriculum. If reviews do not meet our criteria, the library staff will be notified and children will be given an opportunity to revise and resubmit their reviews. 

Because all reviews must meet our publishing criteria, we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that children do not attempt to write reviews without participating in the Book Review Workshop first.

Reviews that meet the criteria will be published within three business days of receipt of submitted reviews, artwork, and signed consent forms.


We recommend hosting "Publishing Celebrations", during which children share their reviews with family members, friends and members of the community. Publishing celebrations are an exciting way to recognize the children's hard work and accomplishments, and a wonderful way to bring the community into the library.

Publishing Celebrations are exciting events for the children involved in the program and the whole community. Children who have participated in the program often express that they feel "famous" having their reviews published online. Seeing the faces of the children beaming with pride as they share their reviews is a thrill for all who attend.

Publishing celebrations can be hosted in many different ways. We recommend allowing each child to read his/her review to the invited guests. Guests are encouraged to ask questions and/or make comments to the reviewers.  

We recommend putting all the reviews in a binder for library visitors to read. Libraries can also display the reviews in the library for visitors to enjoy. Libraries can create a link from their web site to their home page on the Spaghetti Book Club so that visitors can easily access the reviews written by children in their community. 

Membership Fees:

10 review membership (trial only)
20 review membership
50 review membership
100 review membership

A one-time registration fee of $75 will be charged to all new after school programs. One telephone-based or internet-based (Skype) training session is included with this fee. 

Each home page can list up to 40 children and 40 reviews. Additional home pages must be created for additional children and reviews.

For more information about membershipplease send an email to: or call 203.226.1010.

What will my library need to provide?

  • books, of course!
  • a computer with internet access and monitor to display reviews and slideshow
  • chart paper, smart board, or some overhead projection device for kids to read and discuss reviews, and to see group reviews as they are written
  • paper and crayons to create the illustrations or a drawing software program
  • library staff or volunteer to facilitate the program 
  • a scanner to scan artwork
  • staff member or volunteer to enter reviews and attach scanned artwork

for more information:

Spaghetti Book Club
606 Post Road East, Suite 715
Westport, CT 06880
phone: 203.226.1010 fax: 203.226.1005

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