We offer community-based book clubs for adolescents and adults with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our members (including some who cannot read) love books for the same reasons most people do. They enjoy being transported to different worlds where they meet interesting characters and learn about exciting new things. Taking that journey with a group of friends makes it even more delightful and fun.
A growing number of organizations, including public libraries, social service agencies and parent groups – often working in collaboration with each other – are joining our Affiliate network and launching the low-cost / high-impact NCBC program in their communities. They recognize that Next Chapter Book Club is a simple premise with profound implications.
With hundreds of clubs meeting weekly in North America, Australia and Europe – Next Chapter Book Club is the largest community-based book club program of its kind in the world. We hope that every public library will consider offering this program (ideally in partnership with a disability organization) to their patrons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
What is the first step to joining a Next Chapter Book Club?
Complete and submit the registration by clicking on the link at the top of this page.
Who can join a Next Chapter Book Club?
Although there are some clubs for young children, the vast majority of our NCBC Affiliates offer clubs for adolescents and adults. Most have mixed age groups, so it would not be unusual for a 16-year-old and a 60-year-old to be members of the same club. There is also a wide range of reading abilities. A club member who reads at a third-grade level may be sitting next to someone who cannot read at all. Likewise, some members are very verbal and others are not. NCBC facilitators are trained to effectively engage everyone in a meaningful and fun book club experience.
Where and how often do the clubs meet? How do members get there?
Each club is held weekly in the designated area in the lobby (Look for the facilitator wearing the NCBC t-shirt). Clubs take breaks during the summer months and December. Club members or their legal guardians are responsible for arranging transportation to and from meetings.
What can a new member expect during club meetings?
Expect to have a lot of fun! Here is a description of a typical meeting: Club members (usually four to ten people) arrive and seat themselves around a table. If the club meets at a place that serves food, members usually buy something to eat or drink first. There are two facilitators who are trained to guide discussions about the book that is being read. Each member takes a turn reading (or “echo reading”) a paragraph aloud and then the group talks about the characters, the plot, and how the story might relate to something they have personally experienced. Expect a lot of laughter, and occasionally a tear or two, as club members share their thoughts, feelings and opinions. And most of all – expect to make new friends!
Is there a cost to join a Next Chapter Book Club?
Next Chapter Book Club-branded products, such as T-shirts and backpacks, are optional items that can be purchased online.