Health Action Book Club™

Introducing the Health Action Book Club

How It Works | Recommended Reading | Activities

Hudson School District elementary students are invited to join a book club that celebrates healthy living and serves the community at the same time!

In October 2017, public elementary schools in Hudson, Wisconsin, launched an exciting new health-literacy initiative in partnership with the Hudson Hospital Foundation and Little Free Library, a Hudson-based nonprofit organization.

The Health Action Book Club,™ invites students to read books on health topics, talk about important issues, then carry out a related project to benefit their community. It is the first program of its kind in the country.

By taking part in the Health Action Book Club, not only will students learn healthy-living skills—they’ll improve the health and well-being of the Hudson community, too!

Book Club Reading

How It Works

It’s easy to start a Health Action Book Club with a small group of students or an entire classroom.

1. Sign up your club. Health Action Book Clubs can be facilitated by media specialists, teachers, parents, or other volunteers. Email Margret at to sign up your club.

2. Read a book. Select a book from the list of recommendations, or choose a different book with a health-related theme. Read, enjoy, and discuss it.

3. Take action. Carry out a positive community service project with your group. Select an activity from our list or get creative.

4. Share your story. After you’ve finished your project, tell us about it here. By sharing your experience, you will inspire a ripple effect of healthy actions!


Hudson is home to the country’s first Action Book Club focused on health. Other Action Book Clubs have completed a number of general community-betterment projects:

  • An elementary school in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, read the book Last Stop on Market Street then collected new socks for a local homeless shelter.
  • A third-grade classroom in Cleveland, Ohio, read the book Look Where We Live! A First Book of Community Building then started a school recycling program.
  • Another club in Ventura, California, read What’s the Buzz, Honeybee? then gave away wildflower seeds to help restore bee populations.

We can’t wait to hear what Hudson’s Health Action Book Clubs accomplish! Tell us about your Action Book Club experience.

Get ready to read! Here is a list of recommended books that address the Hudson School District’s Health Action Book Club theme: Healthy Living. These books focus on exercise, nutrition, and other topics that help boost health literacy in young readers.

Kindergarten | First Grade | Second Grade | Third Grade | Fourth and Fifth Grades


The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food by Stan and Jan Berenstain. Come for a visit in Bear Country with this classic First Time Book® from Stan and Jan Berenstain. Papa, Brother, and Sister are eating way too much junk food, and it’s up to Mama and Dr. Grizzly to help them understand the importance of nutritious foods and exercise. Ages 3-7

Get Up and Go! By Nancy Carlson. A colorful cast of active animals demonstrate many excellent ways to exercise. You can stay healthy and have fun when you hit a home run, hike in the woods, help your mom in the garden, or “just walk around the neighborhood.” Ages 3-6

Good for Me and You by Mercer Mayer. At school, Little Critter learns all about having a healthy lifestyle—from a balanced diet and the food pyramid to exercises that keep him in shape. Now Little Critter can show his family how to stay fit and have fun doing it! Ages 4-8

The Busy Body Book: A Kid’s Guide to Fitness by Lizzy Rockwell. An easy-to-understand overview of all the body’s systems and how they work together to enable you to “move fast, lift heavy things and walk or run for miles.” Ages 4-9

My Amazing Body: A First Look at Health and Fitness by Pat Thomas. Many aspects of health and physical fitness are explained in a way that younger children can readily understand. This lively picture book explores the importance of a good diet and plenty of exercise, and encourages kids to make positive decisions about caring for themselves. Ages 4-7

Take a Bath! My Tips for Keeping Clean by Gina Bellisario. Caleb is playing Mud Monsters. He’s a muddy mess. Time for Bubble Trouble! He takes a soapy bath to chase dirt and germs away. Caleb also makes a No Germ Zone at the dinner table. And he brushes and flosses his teeth before bed. Goodbye, germs! Ages 5-7

What’s So Yummy? All About Eating Well and Feeling Good by Robie Harris. Gus, Nellie, and baby Jake can’t wait to go on a picnic! In the morning the family heads to their community garden, then to the farmer’s market and the grocery store to gather vegetables, fruit, meat, and other fresh and delicious foods. Readers follow them through the day as they go home to prepare, cook, and pack up the goodies, then cap their day by eating a yummy meal in the park and flying a kite together. Funny, accessible, family-filled illustrations; conversations between Gus and Nellie; and matter-of-fact text combine to show young children how food fuels our bodies — and help them see how healthy eating and drinking, and being active, can make them feel their best for a day full of fun. Ages 2-5

First Grade

Come Clean for School by Jan and Mike Berenstain. Germs are everywhere! With everyone coughing and spluttering around them, Brother and Sister learn an important lesson about how to stop germs and colds from spreading. Now they just have to teach Papa! Ages 4-8

Curious George Visits the Dentist by H.A. Rey. Curious George bites into a shiny apple made of wax and his tooth begins to hurt. When George shows his wiggly tooth to the man with the yellow hat, he takes George to the dentist. It’s his first time, and George is nervous, but he overcomes his fear and learns about better dental hygiene—with a little good-natured mayhem on the side! Ages 4-7

Digger and Daisy Go to the Doctor  by Judy Young. Meet Digger and Daisy! They are brother and sister. These dogs like to explore their world and see new things. Sometimes they agree with each other. Sometimes they disagree. But no matter the situation, one thing always stays the same–their love and concern for each other. In playful, simple stories written especially for the K-1 audience, author Judy Young explores the dynamics and nuances of the sibling relationship. In Digger and Daisy Go to the Doctor, Digger feels unwell and Daisy takes him to the doctor. But the checkup doesn’t go as Daisy had planned.

Me and My Amazing Body by Joan Sweeney. What is under your skin? Why do you have bones? What do your muscles do? Where does the food that you eat go? Me and My Amazing Body can show you! From your head to your toes and everything in between, this playful introduction to anatomy explains all the important parts of your body.

Picky Peggy by Jennifer Dussing. Peggy, who is known for being a picky eater, decides to become “Peggy the bold eater” after learning a lesson from her pet duckling. This is an entertaining tale that includes scientific information in sidebars and within the story itself. Ages 5-8

Mr. Putter & Tabby Run the Race by Cynthia Rylant. Mr. Putter is convinced to run in a senior marathon with his neighbor, Mrs. Teaberry, when he learns that second prize is a train set. Ages 5-8

Oh, The Things You Can Do That Are Good for You: All About Staying Healthy by Tish Rabe. In this newly revised edition—with 16 pages of bonus materials—the Cat in the Hat takes young readers to a Seussian Spa where they learn the basics of healthy living. Updated with the assistance of the Partnership for a Healthier America, the Cat explains the importance of eating right (based on the latest USDA MyPlate recommendations); staying active; getting enough sleep; handwashing; brushing and flossing; wearing protective gear when playing sports–even the best way to sneeze when you don’t have a tissue handy!

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead. Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.

Wash Your Hands! By Margaret McNamara. The first-grade class at Robin Hill School learns the best way to get rid of germs in this all-new story of the best-selling series! Ages 4-6

Second Grade

A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon. Camilla Cream loves lima beans, but she never eats them. Why? Because the other kids in her school don’t like them. And Camilla Cream is very, very worried about what other people think of her. In fact, she’s so worried that she’s about to break out in…a bad case of stripes! K-3

Do Your Bit to Be Physically Fit! By Rebecca Sjonger. Sixty minutes of exercise a day is a habit children should get into at an early age. Not only does exercise build the body’s strength and endurance, it helps prevent injury and improves concentration and mood. This engaging book explains the benefits of regular exercise and offers simple activities and advice on fitting fitness in during the day. Grade 2

Good Enough to Eat by Lizzy Rockwell. Good Enough to Eat is one of a kind: the only guide to kids’ nutrition written especially for kids. A practical, hands-on tool for families who want to eat a healthy diet, this book explains nutrition from carrots to cookies. Ages 4-8

Gregory the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat. Gregory isn’t like most goats. Instead of indulging in delicacies like old shoes, boxes, and bottle caps, he prefers to eat fruits, vegetables, eggs, and fish. Mother Goat and Father Goat are disgusted, and after several attempts to get Gregory to eat like a proper goat, they finally take him to see Dr. Ram. But when Gregory finally develops a taste for flat tires and broken violins, he’s not just eating like a goat—he’s eating like a pig! Will Gregory be able to find a healthy balance before he eats everything in the house? Ages 4-8

Germs Make Me Sick! By Melvin Berger and Marylin Hafner. Germs are all around us, but they’re too small to see. Many germs are harmless, but two kinds, viruses and bacteria, can make you sick! How? Read and find out! This classic Level 2 Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out picture book is all about germs, how they can make you sick, and how your body works to fight them off. Ages 4-8

Meditate with Me by Mariam Gates (2017). Meditation does a body good, and can even help kids as young as four or five. This practical guide is gentle, clear, and a pleasure to use. Kids will learn how to focus on their breath, on the sensations in their body, and on the sounds around them to help them relax, settle their busy minds, and understand their emotions. Ages 4-8

On a Mission for Good Nutrition! By Rebecca Sjonger. Food is the fuel that gives our bodies energy, builds bones and muscles, and helps keep us healthy and happy. This informative book explains to children why our bodies need nutrition, how our bodies use it, and what they need to eat for a balanced diet. Grade 2

Splat the Cat Goes to the Doctor by Rob Scotton. Splat the Cat can’t wait to go to the doctor for a checkup! That is, until his friends start talking about all the scary things a doctor’s visit can mean. But Splat conquers his fear of the doctor’s office and learns it isn’t so bad after all—especially when you get a surprise at the end! Young readers will delight as they watch all the funny ways their favorite furry friend tries to avoid getting a checkup in this hilarious Splat the Cat storybook, complete with a sheet of stickers. Ages 4-8

Third Grade

ABCs of Yoga for Kids by Teresa Power. The ABCs of Yoga for Kids uses the alphabet, rhyming vignettes, and colorful illustrations to introduce children to yoga in a kid-friendly way. Each of the 56 different poses featured in the book delightfully promote flexibility, strength, and coordination while encouraging children to incorporate healthy activity into their daily lives.  Ages 8-12

The Monster Health Book: A Guide to Eating Healthy, Being Active & Feeling Great for Monsters & Kids! By Edward Miller. Beginning with concise discussions of each of the food groups, along with the newly redesigned food pyramid, Ed Miller looks at all aspects of health and nutrition in this accessible and informative book. Fun facts about different foods are included throughout to keep the reading upbeat and clear distinctions are made between healthy and not-so-healthy meal choices. Readers will learn about nutrients, how to read foods labels and what it means to count calories. Readers will also learn how to develop healthy habits, such as making time for breakfast, tips for packing the best lunch, and the benefits of having a sit down (versus fast food) dinner.

Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider (2014). James is a very picky eater. His dad has to get creative—very creative—in order to get James to eat foods he thinks he doesn’t like. He presents James with a series of outlandish scenarios packed with fanciful and gross kid-friendly details—like pre-chewed gum as an alternative to broccoli and lumpy oatmeal that grows so big it eats the dog—in an effort to get James to eat. But it is eventually James himself who discovers that some foods are not so bad, after all, if you’re willing to give them a try. Ages 6-9

Fourth and Fifth Grade

A Million Moves: Keeping Fit by John Burstein. Readers will learn the importance and benefits of regular physical activity in a healthy lifestyle. High school characters in this story learn routines for improving muscle strength and endurance, heart and lung endurance, and flexibility. Grade 4

The Giant Germ (Magic School Bus). When Keesha discovers mold on her sandwich, Mrs. Frizzle takes the class on a tour of the mini microbe world where the kids learn first hand that these tiny beings can have huge effects. Ages 8-10

The Truth About Food by Stephanie Paris. Encourage readers to discover which foods are healthy for them and how to make the best food choices with this nonfiction title. Featuring helpful charts and diagrams, interesting facts, informational text, and vibrant, detailed photos, readers are introduced to important concepts such as main food groups, proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, the recommended daily amounts, food allergies, and health concerns. With supportive and helpful language, readers are encouraged to make healthy eating choices to help keep them active, energetic, and strong. Grade 3-5

Activities: Healthy Living

Is your Health Action Book Club group ready to choose a project to benefit the health of your community? Be inspired by one of the activities below or dream up a project of your own!

  • Collect nonperishable, healthy food and donate it to a local food bank.
  • Learn to make a healthy snack and share it with your family or neighbors.
  • Organize a “fun run” to raise money for your health-related cause.
  • Collect pop tabs and donate them to the Ronald McDonald House of Western Wisconsin.
  • Make homemade soap and donate it to a local shelter.
  • Collect new, clean socks and donate them to a local shelter.
  • Make “healthy heart” artwork and decorate the hallways of a local hospital or assisted living facility.

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