There are many motivators for students in their learning experiences, yet few compare to the desire to build relationships. Through book clubs students had opportunities to strengthen their learning and strengthen their relationships. The purpose of this qualitative research project was to describe the impact of voluntary book clubs on 5th grade voluntary participants. Data was triangulated from the teacher from informal conversations throughout each week, monthly conferences between the teacher and book club members, and the teacher’s journal. The findings included (a) informal conversations within the classroom aesthetically motivated students to join book clubs, (b) book clubs were sustained through a deepened analysis and understanding, (c) the social-emotional learning encouraged students to be engaged in their reading and engaged in their peers’ lives, and (d) through the celebrations and struggles within their conversations, students were inspired to be self-motivated in their individual thinking within communities of diverse perspectives. Limitations included the complexity and flexibility required to schedule a consistent time each week for all students in the book clubs to meet, the length of the study, and number of participants. Further research could explore different types and structures of book clubs.



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