Now Find All Mother-Daughter Book Club News at Mother Daughter Book Club.com

March 10, 2010

Great news! All the content from Mother Daughter Book Club.com and Mother Daughter Book Club.Wordpress.com has been combined into one site. Now you can find regular blog posts as well as book reviews, author interviews, book lists and more in one convenient place: Mother Daughter Book Club.com.

Check out the new site and send me a note to let me know what you think. info@motherdaughterbookclub.com.

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BookLoons.com—Website to Check Out for Book Giveaways and Reviews

March 10, 2010

Book Loons.com boasts over 12,000 book reviews. Wow! There’s also a special section on the website with links to book giveaways going on at lots of different websites. I posted my latest giveaway of Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb there (don’t forget to comment for a chance to win). Managing Editor Hilary Williamson says she launched the site to share her love of reading books with others and to help people connect to the books they want to read.

When you click on the Teens page, you’ll find reviews, contests, articles, interviews and more. And Book Loons contest listings are easy to review also. I was happy to enter my daughter, Catherine, into a giveaway by James Patterson of his new book in the Maximum Ride series, Fang. Catherine has read the whole series so far, and I know she’s anxiously awaiting this new book. It would be so fun for her to win an advance copy. You may also find a book you’d like to win under the adult contest listings. There are lots to choose from.


Book Review and Giveaway: Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb

March 9, 2010

I’m so excited to be giving away a copy of Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb. I reviewed it here a year ago when it came out in hardbound format, and I really believe it’s a delightful book for mother-daughter book clubs to read. Today, to celebrate one year in print and the release of Autumn Winifred Oliver in paperback, the author is celebrating by giving away one signed copy of her book in paperback to a reader here at Mother Daughter Book Club. Just leave a comment after the review, and you’ll be entered into the drawing. The giveaway ends at midnight, Pacific Standard Time this Friday, March 12, 2010 and it is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. (Please note: the giveaway is closed.) Here’s the review:

Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb

Autumn Winifred Oliver has a lot going on for an 11-year-old living in the tiny, mountain settlement of Cades Cove, Tennessee. She’s waiting to move with her mom and big sister Katie to Knoxville, where her dad already lives and works. She’ll miss the beautiful mountains she lives in, but in the 1930s the “big city” offers the allure of indoor plumbing, movie theaters and automobiles, all nearly non-existent in her neck of the woods. Everybody says she does things different, and she keeps reminding herself of that as she gets herself in and out of several pickles.

First, she hears the church bells toll her reputed death—they always toll the number of years for the recently departed, and she’s the only one around who is 11 when she hears them ring. Then she finds out her grandpa almost died, and her mom has decided Knoxville can wait while she moves into his cabin in the woods to help care for him.

There’s also more activity than usual in Cades Cove, a settlement that’s totally cut off from the outside world each winter when the only road in gets covered in snow. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is being created right on the edge of town, and everyone is abuzz about raking in money from tourists. But Autumn Winifred Oliver suspects that everything is not as it seems with the park, and she won’t rest until she finds out the real story.

Autumn is a delightful character with a down to earth voice, and through her eyes we see the beauty of the mountains, streams, and countryside around her home. She is placed within the real story of Cades Cove, Tennessee, and the creation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You’ll be charmed by the  folk tales, old-time remedies and superstitions woven seamlessly by author Kristin O’Donnell Tubb throughout the story. This is Tubb’s debut novel, and I hope to see more books from her in the years to come. Moms and daughters alike will fall in love with Autumn and her way of looking at the world. I highly recommend it for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged nine and up.


Book Review: Beautiful Dead, Book 1—Jonas by Eden Maguire

March 8, 2010

Darina can hardly believe her eyes when she stumbles upon a gathering in an old barn near an abandoned home way out of town. Drawn to the area because of tales around town of strange sightings there, she is shocked to see Phoenix, her recently dead boyfriend, and three other teens from town who have died in the last year, looking very much alive. An older man is with them, and Darina runs when she thinks he’s about to discover her. But the possibility that Phoenix may still alive draws her back to learn the truth—they are all dead and brought back to earth by Hunter, who protects them. They all have unfinished business to set right before they can rest.

Beautiful Dead, Book 1—Jonas is the first in a new series by Eden Maguire. It imagines a realm where the dead can return, commune with the living, and solve a mystery surrounding their deaths. Anyone living who discovers them has his memory of the event wiped away. Except for Darina. Her strong connection with Phoenix, and her promise to help the group find the answers they’re looking for makes her a vital accomplice. She is under a strict vow of silence about what she knows.

Beautiful Dead is full of complex, conflicting relationships. Darina feels ostracized at home because she doesn’t get along with her stepfather. Caught in the middle, Darina’s mother mostly frets about the right thing to do. Darina is befriended by Phoenix’s brother, who has promised to look after her. But many in town question his motives. Darina’s old friends aren’t sure if they can trust her, and some lash out as she pulls away from them to keep her secret.

As the story evolves, we find that Darina must help each of the Beautiful Dead find out the mystery surrounding his or her death. The first is Jonas, who has been dead the longest. While Darina looks deeper into what happened the day he crashed his motorcycle, she must also deal with the grief, anguish and confusion of those closest to Jonas. And the outrage of one who has something to hide.

Beautiful Dead is imaginative and intriguing. Issues to talk about in a book group include personal feelings of spirituality and what happens after death, the bond between dating teens, jealousy, and mother-daughter relationships. While I found the descriptions of the rules that existed for the beautiful dead the least compelling part of the book, I was able to read past those and enjoy the mystery and the story enough to look forward to reading the second in the series.

Read an excerpt from the first chapter and learn more about the author at the Beautiful Dead page at Teen Fire.


Teen Tech Week—Check Out the Activities at Teen Fire and YALSA

March 8, 2010

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is promoting this week as Teen Tech Week. The emphasis is on ways teens can meld technology with reading and literacy. There’s a list of activities at the YALSA website, including book lists for both fiction and nonfiction books.

Sourcebooks is also hosting a whole list of activities for the week at their website, Teen Fire, including a Teen Fire Trailer Contest that goes on until March 19. Teens can make a book trailer for any Sourcebooks Fire title and be entered into a chance to win titles for themselves and their libraries.


Book/Movie Pairings Recommended from a Reader

March 5, 2010

Reader Traci Z. from Arcata, California has sent in more book/movie combinations to be considered by mother-daughter book clubs. Here’s what Traci has to say:

“My 2nd grade daughter and I just read Tuck Everlasting (by Natalie Babbitt) and then watched the movie and talked about the differences.

We also are reading The Story of Helen Keller (by Lorena A. Hickok) and has been a really great conversation piece. I know I saw the movie once when I was young but haven’t looked for it yet. Also Island of the Blue Dolphins (by Scott O’Dell) was a good one—lots of tears for us though, but so good.

We are so excited to try out your 2nd/3rd grade list and for some ideas from another mom who blogged about her mother daughter reading list. I didn’t realize I wasn’t the only one reading books with her daughter! It has been such a bonding experience for us and so empowering for my daughter. I’ve been trying to read female strength books and it seems to be having a posititive effect!”

Thanks to Traci for sending in the suggestions. I hadn’t thought about reading a book about Helen Keller then watching The Miracle Worker with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. There’s also the newer version with Patty Duke and Melissa Gilbert. I could only find Island of the Blue Dolphins in VHS, but there may be copies at the library too for anyone with VCR players.


Notes on Writing a Nonfiction Book—Northwest Author Series

March 4, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I spoke at the Northwest Author Series, which takes place at the Wilsonville Library near my home. Writing coach and teacher Christina Katz runs the series, and each month an author talks about something that may be helpful to other writers.

My talk was on The Nonfiction Book: From Idea to Publication, and my advice centered around my own experience of writing and publishing Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs. If you’re interested in the points I made, click on over to the Northwest Author Series site, where notes from my speech are now up.

Cindy Hudson, author of Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs. Photo by David Kinder


Book Group Sends In Fantasy Reading List

March 3, 2010

The Fantasy First book club is a group that meets in a Barnes & Noble store here in Portland, Oregon. While not officially a mother-daughter book club, the group is comprised of several mother-daughter pairs. The girls are in high school. They focus only on fantasy, and here’s what they’ve been reading:

2009

January:  City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (teen)

February:  Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (teen)

March:  Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris (adult)

April:  A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (teen)

May:  Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison (adult)

June:  Marked by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast (teen)

July:  Nightlife by Rob Thurman (adult)

August:  Sabriel by Garth Nix (teen)

September:  King Dork and Andromeda Klein by Frank Portman (teen)

October:  Dog Days by John Levitt (adult)

November:  Maximum Ride: Angel Experiment by James Patterson (teen)

December:  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (teen)

2010

January:  Witchling by Yasmine Galenorn (adult)

February:  Percy Jackson and The Olympians series by Rick Riordan (see The Last Olympian movie with the group + then discuss the series at the meeting)

March:  Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (adult)

April:  Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (adult)

May: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (teen)

June: Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan (teen)

July: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (teen)


Today is Read Across America Day

March 2, 2010

If Theodor Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) were alive today he’d be celebrating his 106th birthday. In honor of this day, the National Education Association established Read Across America Day, a time to celebrate reading for all ages. The NEA’s website has lots of links to help you find fun facts, activities and more. For instance, I found it interesting to click on the downloadable document that told me favorite books from members of Congress. I found out that my Congressman, David Wu, likes Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. That’s one of my favorites too! Reading the entire list reminded me of old favorites and new-for-me titles that I’d like to check out.

You’ll also find interesting activities and information at the NEA’s Read Across America partners:

Reading Rockets

Seussville

Read, Write, Think.org

A to Z Teachers

Adlit.org (for adolescent literacy)

While you’re deciding what to do, don’t forget to enjoy a piece of birthday cake.


Invite an Expert to Your Mother-Daughter Book Club Meeting

March 1, 2010

Have you ever thought of inviting someone other than the author of the book you read to your book club meeting? When you think about the topics covered in your book and who may be able to give you more information about them, you open up a world of possibilities for guests to invite. For instance, when the members of a mother-daughter book club near Chicago read the book Hoot by Carl Hiaasen, they invited a naturalist from a nearby forest preserve to attend their discussion. He brought a real, live owl, and was able to talk about owl habits and habitats.

Why would you want to bring in an expert? One reason is to learn more about a topic you found interesting when reading your book. It’s also a way to liven up your normal routine every now and then as well as keep your book club meetings dynamic. And there are typically many more experts to be found who can address a topic from your book than there are authors you can get in touch with.

A club in Arizona found that to be true when they read The New York Stories of Edith Wharton. Wharton died in 1937, but her words continue to inspire readers in many ways. The book club moms and girls took a topic from the book, formal manners popular in the late 1800s, and turned it into an opportunity to invite someone to their meeting who was an expert on manners. At their group meeting the girls and moms organized a formal tea party, and their guest had them play games that helped them learn manners, including how to set a formal table and how to introduce one another properly. Everyone in the group loved the meeting, and it brought more depth to the stories they had read.

Here are a few ideas for other book/expert match ups to help you get started on your own brainstorming exercise:

  • Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce—the curator of a local art museum
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George—someone who can teach wilderness survival skills
  • Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang—a history teacher who can talk about China’s Cultural Revolution

More ideas for how to find experts and invite them to your meetings can be found in Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs.

Cindy Hudson, author of Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs