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Do you like Disney? Do you like to read? Then a Disney book club might be a fun idea for you! At least, it is for my friends and me. What exactly is a Disney book club? It’s pretty simple. It’s just like any other regular book club but you gather a group of Disney fans and read books that are related to Disney! Our first Disney book club meeting went surprisingly well, so I thought I’d share some tips in case anyone else wants to start one of their own!
Gather friends who are interested
The first step is finding a group of friends who are local and interested in Disney. The idea for ours actually came up when we were backstage for the last show I was in, Anything Goes. A bunch of Disney fans happened to be in the cast and somehow the idea was born!
I added the people who seemed interested to a facebook group so we could talk about what we wanted to do. The first thing we did was pick a date that we were all available. With around 10 people who have very busy schedules it wasn’t always easy, but we came up with a Sunday afternoon about a month away. You’ll also need to pick a meeting place. For this first one I volunteered my house. For our next meeting we are going to try and do brunch at a local restaurant!
Pick a book
The next step was to pick a book to read. I’ve read some Disney related books and know of others so I started a poll in the facebook group to pick one of them. There are non-fiction books, like biographies of Walt’s life or info about the theme parks, and then there are a bunch of fiction books. My group definitely leaned towards preferring fiction, so we went with one of those. Our choice was A Whole New World – A Twisted Tale, by Liz Braswell. It was a re-telling of Aladdin but instead of the original story it talks about what would have happened if Jafar got the lamp from the Cave of Wonders instead of Aladdin. It’s a YA level read so a quick one but pretty good! If you need some ideas here are some other Disney books and the links to buy them on Amazon:
- A Whole New World – A Twisted Tale
- Realityland – True life adventures at Walt Disney World
- Walt Disney: An American Original (biography)
- The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic
- A Frozen Heart
- Kindgom Keepers: Disney after Dark
- Before Tomorrowland
- The Beast Within – a Tale of Beauty’s Prince
- Poor Unfortunate Soul – a Tale of the Sea Witch
We’ve chosen the last one on this list, Poor Unfortunate Soul, as our next read in September!
It’s always a good idea to come up with some questions ahead of time. Luckily our group did really well with just diving in and talking about it – I think we had a 45 minute continuous discussion. But I had also come up with some questions in case we needed them. If you choose A Whole New World as your book for book club here are a couple of questions to get you started (keep in mind these will contain some spoilers if you plan to read the book):
- We briefly meet Aladdin’s mother in the beginning. How does this affect the story and give us perspective on Aladdin?
- The first couple of characters basically recap the movie. Do you like this technique?
- Why did Aladdin and Jasmine fall for each other so completely?
- In this version there are no lies between Aladdin and Jasmine. How does this change their relationship?
- Do you think it’s possible to be friends with someone you don’t agree with, like Aladdin and his childhood friends?
- What happened to Iago? The carpet?
Host your Meeting!
Set up chairs and maybe get a few snacks or drinks. We made a specialty cocktail from Cocktails by Cody to go with the Aladdin theme. The drink was called Rebel Royal and was inspired by Princess Jasmine. People also brought wine and hummus/chips. It was a great afternoon! Once you finish your discussion, see if you can pick a book/meeting time to do it again!
Have you ever been part of a book club? If you were in a Disney book club which book would you want to read?