Family Book Club Week 1: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

It’s time to start round 3 of the Family Book Club. For the next 5 weeks we will be reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea from the Classic Starts™ Series.

I’ve had so much fun reading along with all of you, the comments and emails have been wonderful! Keep them coming. You can let us know what part of the book club you are enjoying the most, share additional questions or activities your family has come up with or just shout out “We’re READING!” Leave comments on any of the Family Book Club posts or email me directly at

If you haven’t done so already pick up your copy of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and get ready to READ! This is an affiliate link, but as always I encourage you to check your local library first.

Family book club 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Reading Goal

This week read chapters 1-5. Remember the idea of this book club is to make it work for your family. If sitting down to read all 5 chapters at once is what will work for you… do that. If reading a few pages here and there through the week works best… do that. If you only get through 2 1/2 chapters… that is OK! You’ll have weeks in the near future that will give you more time to catch up.

NOTE: For the first activity it’s really important that you stop at the end of chapter 2.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Discussion Questions & Activities

At our house the kids are close in age (9 and 7) but I know that’s not true for a lot of you. I try to mix the discussion questions with some for younger kids and some for older kids. I recommend you simplify any questions that you feel need it or expand on questions as you’re chatting away.

Use whichever questions you think will interest your kids and skip the ones you don’t want to ask. Let these questions be a guide, don’t be afraid to change them up or come up with your own questions. There are no right answers and the idea is to get your family talking.

Chapter 1 – Discussion Question

  • Mr. Aronnax receives an invitation to join the Abraham Lincoln in chapter 1. How might he have felt about the request? Talk about what the boat is about to do, where it might go and it’s reason for going there. Would you like to be on that boat? Why or why not?

Chapter 2 – Activity

  • Draw the monster. The first two chapters describe this incredible “monster who rules the sea”. After you have finished chapter 2 stop reading. Set out colored pencils, markers or crayons. Give the kids a piece of paper and ask them to draw the monster from the book. Talk about words and phrases from the book. Reread details as they work. When they are finished, read chapter 3 to find out what the monster actually is.
  • If you are looking to take this even further, create a story about the monster. What do you think it eats? Where do you think it lives? What type of animals are its prey? Does it have to protect itself from any predators?

Chapter 3 – Discussion Questions

  • In chapter 3 Mr. Aronnax falls overboard. Mr. Aronnax’s best friend and assistant jumps over board after him. What do you think about that? What might have happened if Conseil had not jumped in? What do you think you would have done if your best friend fell over the side of a ship? If you were Mr. Aronnax what would you want Conseil to do in that situation?
  • More details have been given about the monster. Do you know what it is now?

Chapter 4 – Discussion Question & Activity

  • When Mr. Aronnax, Conseil and Ned are greeted by strangers, they are not sure what language the men are speaking. Can you think of some ways to communicate without words?
  • Take turns “saying” something without words. Can your family guess what you are saying?

Chapter 5 – Discussion Question

  • What do you think of the Captain? Does he seem like someone you would like to get to know?
  • Imagine the library. What types of books do you think fill the shelves? What books would you fill the shelves with?

Leave ideas and discussion questions of your own in the comment section. Or just let us know you are reading along! Happy reading. 


  1. Ready to get started! I hope she likes this one as much as The Secret Garden!!! The drawing activity will be a hit, I’m sure!! 🙂

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