Magical Worlds Book Club


    NEW Course! “The Oz books were my absolute favorites as a kid. After that, I continued reading and watching so many beloved fantasy worlds. As an adult I still read these kids’ books all the time.” ~Prof. Valerie

    Enrollment Options

    Space Limited

    InstructorProf. Valerie Frankel
    Content LevelsGrades 5-6 • Upper Elementary
    Course Length8 Weeks
    Live Webinars Held OnThursdays, 4:00 - 4:50 PM Pacific - 6/02/22 - 7/24/22

    We love magical worlds, from Oz to Neverland. Sure, we’ve heard of the really big worlds like Middle Earth or Wonderland. And Rick Riordan Presents are filling the shelves with delightful multicultural fantasy worlds with their diverse magical beasts and demons.

    But which other ones are out there?

    Together let’s have a summer book club and enjoy some really stand-out bestsellers from recent years as well as delightful classics. We’ll analyze their messages and deeper meanings while learning the folklore behind them too.

    While reading a book each week, we’ll have a truly fantastical summer together.

    What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:

    • Reading: a full novel each week as listed in required materials.
    • Reading responses or class discussion assignments

    What to expect in the Highly Suggested & Optional sections in the classroom each week:

    • Curated resources, including websites & videos and book club guides, are provided to excite learners and to add depth to the subject matter.
    • Additional lessons and resources to help students get more out of the lessons and appreciate the novels.

    What to expect during the weekly webinar:

    • Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Webinars are recorded and are available for students with schedule conflicts.
    • Deep analysis and discussion of the novels along with background mythology and real-world history.
    • Active Participation (via the microphone and chat) is encouraged in online class discussions and also during lectures.

    Before taking this course, students should be able to: 

    • Read at a solid 4th-grade level or above.
    • Type fluently.
    • Write a paragraph independently.

    Students should be willing to:

    • Read a fantasy novel a week, including ones they haven’t heard of from different cultures
    • Actively participate (via the microphone) in the class discussion.
    • Encourage class discussion by adding their questions/ideas in the chat window during the webinar.
    • Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.

    Required books & materials (any format including paperback, ebook, audio book is acceptable):

    • The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
    • A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
    • The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta
    • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
    • The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer
    • The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
    • Girl Giant and the Monkey King by Van Hoang
    • Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera