Monday, October 5, 2015

The Cousins Club

When my children were young, I enjoyed purchasing autographed books at writers conferences and bringing them home for birthday or holiday presents. Fast forward a few years, and now I'm purchasing books signed for my grandkids.

At the mid-year SCBWI workshop in Florida, I complained to Kim Britt, proprietor of bookmark it, that I couldn't decide which grandchild I should buy books for. 

In a moment of inspiration she said, "Start a cousins club! Buy a book and then let them pass it around to each other."

Kim Britt, proprietor

She got excited explaining how I should create a pocket in the back of the book.  Each cousin could sign, date, and write what she thought about the book and leave her comments in the pocket before passing it along.

Kim's idea led to the first book dedicated to the Cousins Club by Sara Pennypacker, author of the Clementine books and The Summer of the Gypsy Moths.

And here is the first cousin to receive books:

Ebby Clark

At a recent SCBWI-Carolinas conference I asked Alan Gratz to sign The League of Seven to the cousins, which he was happy to do.

Using rubber cement, I glued this pocket into the back of the book:

Make sure the cement thoroughly dries before you insert a note (or index card) into the pocket.

If you also love sharing autographed books with the young readers in your family, I hope you start your own Cousins or Sibling Club. Send me pictures if you do. I'd love to run a follow-up post on more clubs, thanks to Kim Britt's novel idea. 


Vijaya said...

What a great idea. We shared books often with our family and friends when we lived in WA, but never made a club.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Vijaya. Maybe it's not too late to start!

Jean said...

I love it! A grand way to share books AND to give cousins something to talk about.

Way to do, Carol!


sheri levy said...

What a great idea! Very clever!!
Thanks, Carol

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Jean and Sheri. Pass it on!

Linda A. said...

Not enough cousins here, but I have read and then given a couple of books to my niece. I should follow up to hear her opinion of them. You've got me thinking. Also, I'm going to share a stack of Cobblestone magazines with my grandsons that I was given when I wrote teacher guides for them. Not current issues, but wonderful just the same. Thanks again for passing along the Cousins Club idea.

Carol Baldwin said...

Chatting with the young people in our lives about the books they're reading--great way to strengthen connections!

Rosi said...

Fun idea, Carol. We do this in our family with the adults. We don't have youngsters in the same age groups, but I do wish we'd had this when I was young. We had a boatload of cousins and we were pretty close. It would have been fun. That's a pretty happy girl holding the new books!

Rosi said...

Great idea, Carol. The young lady holding the new books looks pretty happy and excited.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Rosi. That's my oldest granddaughter!

Elena said...


Anonymous said...

That is such a fantastic idea!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Elena and Kathleen!

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Carol,
So glad you took up the Cousins Club! Wonderful idea! Spreads fellowship and great reading traditions for families! Brilliant!

Celebrate you and your love of reading
Never Give Up

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, Joan!

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