Themed Book Club Party Ideas

Illustration from The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield. Illustrated by Catty Flores. © Helbling Languages

Illustration from The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield. Illustrated by Catty Flores. © Helbling Languages

The seasons have changed, school events are building up, and special dates are still a while away. But just when maybe you felt like chilling, we are telling you it’s time to get inspired by the wonderful worlds in your favourite books and organise themed parties!

How many novels can you think of that would inspire a memorable party? You could have a Fiesta! The ‘Fun’ Also Rises party, a Catch-22 party or of course a Jazz Age party.

Organising any kind of party needs planning, enthusiastic organisers and a dedicated team.

General organisational ideas:

  1. Set the time and venue at least two weeks ahead.
  2. Prepare invitation cards, a Facebook event page, and a poster for your school.
  3. Get your team together.
  4. Decide who is responsible for what at a Book Club or Party Planners meeting!
  5. Think about decoration. Even if you want to keep costs low, decorate the room and pay attention to small details. Pinterest is an excellent resource site for crafty and easy party decoration ideas.
  6. Choose the theme together – ask your Book Club members which party they would love to attend.

Here are some more ideas.

1 One-book parties

You can base a whole party on a book. You can decide if you want it to be a costume party or if you’d just like to do book-related activities and decoration. Dressing up is always fun so try to recreate the era with its fashion, style, and if you are an advanced speaker, even with the language they spoke.

Film adaptations can provide resourceful inspiration. Here are some ideas.

  • Peter Pan Party with pirates and fairies
  • Sherlock Holmes Party with detectives, mysteries to solve and a journey to London
  • Alice in Wonderland Party with cards, tea, rabbits, queens and a Mad Hatter
  • The Great Gatsby Party with jazz, flappers, elegant suits and dancing
  • Emma Party with Regency period dresses and dances

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Of course you can turn these novel parties into Historical Era parties, and have Regency Era Party, a Victorian Party or a Jazz Age Party. Dress up as literary characters and real historical figures from the era, listen to the music of the age, eat typical desserts from those times and have fun!

2 Foodie parties

How many dishes can you name from famous novels? How about recreating the way and the meals people used to eat at the time of the novels? Have a tea party, make porridge, bake a cake. You can do it together in the Book Club session (if the recipe is simple), or you can prepare some samplers ahead and taste them at the meeting. Imagine that you can taste and smell these meals from the books to create reading and eating memories at the same time!

For more ideas on literary meals and some recipes, visit our blog posts Literary Meals Part 1: Cooking up a Reading Class and Literary Meals Part 2: Cooking up a Reading Class.

3 National literature parties

You can extend the idea of a themed party and combine it with some research projects focussing on geography, history and culture. In the months of the national days of English-speaking (or any other country whose language you learn), organise a themed party. Since we teach English, we have quite a few parties to organise.

Here are some dates:

  • 26th January – Australia
  • 6th February – New Zealand
  • 1st March – Wales
  • 17th March – Ireland
  • 23rd April – England
  • 1st July – Canada
  • 4th July – USA
  • 30th November – Scotland

Ideas for these themed parties:

  1. Have a presentation with pictures of and facts about the country. You can also have a quiz.
  2. Choose a poet and a writer whose works you will read.
  3. Find out about national traditions and talk about them.
  4. Learn a national dance or game.
  5. Have themed decorations.
  6. Dress up as famous people from the country you are celebrating.
  7. Learn about the art and culture of the country. Which are their most famous museums? Take a virtual trip to one of them on the Google Art Project website.

4 Halloween parties

In October and November Halloween parties are popular in many countries. Learn about the history of Halloween, and have a lesson about it. Then, organise a party. Dress up as famous literary monsters, learn scary songs, tell a ghost story. You can find some ideas in our blog post 8 Literary Costume Ideas for Halloween.

5 Season parties

You might feel like celebrating nature and the seasons. If you want to celebrate spring, summer, autumn or winter, you will definitely find colourful inspiration in the classics. You can read novels which are set in these seasons or which focus the changing of the seasons.

Read our ideas on a spring-themed party in our blog post Bring spring to your book club and reading class! for more resources.

An inspiring real example

Our favourite Book Party right now is this one organised by Cristina Toledano, who is responsible for the ASP – After-School Project at Colégio São José dos Padres de Sion in Brazil. Cristina has been an English teacher for 30 years now. She says she has always believed that language and culture cannot be dissociated, and teaching has to be inspiring. She told us that from the invitation to the food and decoration, everything has to be carefully planned to amaze your guests and mainly to make them feel special at your place at these tea parties.

Here are some stunning photos of the Alice in Wonderland Tea Party Cristina has organised.

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Which party would you like to organise? Send us pictures of your Themed Book Club Party and inspire other schools, teachers and students!

For more ideas, check out our blog posts which focus on literary time travel to learn about different eras.

Remember to look for book party ideas on Pinterest!

Which party would you like to organise? Send us pictures of your Themed Book Club Party and inspire other schools, teachers and students!

One Comment

  1. ho trovato interessantisssimo questo progetto del themed literary party.Insegno in un liceo scientifico per cui lo studio della letteratura è obbligatoria, utilizzare i vostri spunti mi consentira di rendere lo studio piu accattivante e coinvolgente, e credo, anche piu divertente-