Our mother-daughter book club is meeting this Sunday, and the assignment is Call of the Wild. A bit strong for a group of 5th and 6th graders (and Snuggler, who is in 3rd). I'll be interested to see what the girls think. Last month we did Witch of Blackbird Pond, which was just about perfect for that age group.
No one would have dreamed of doing Call of the Wild, except it's given as an example in Deconstructing Penguins. If you have school-age kids and don't own Deconstructing Penguins, you need to buy it. It is the best, most insightful book there is on how to run a book group for kids and adults. (Not that I feel strongly about it, or anything.) Even if you don't want to have a book group, it's worth reading for ideas on how to talk about chapter books with children.
On a separate educational note, I've decided we can probably skip all the sections of Little Guy's math books that cover measurement. He has been toting a retractable measuring tape around for the past few days, measuring everything in both inches and centimeters, and trying to convert from inches to feet. It helps that the measuring tape is soft (rather than metal), so we haven't had any sliced fingers from that nifty zippy snap when the retraction button is pushed.