September 28, 2007
Here’s a link to an article about mother-daughter book clubs that appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel a couple of days ago. It’s great to read how high school girls see the value of being in a club with their moms. So often we think of how fun it is to be in a group with our younger daughters, but our older ones need our time and our feedback in so many important ways too.
Share your thoughts about benefits you have found by being a part of a mother daughter book club.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article
September 12, 2007
The kids are back in school, book club meetings are on the calendar again, and class reading assignments are being made. Fall may be a particularly difficult time for girls to find time to read book club books, because of all the new obligations that usually come when school starts. Sports, homework and music lessons often top the list of activities that keep everyone running during the week and on weekends.
If this is a problem for the girls in your club, check out the class reading assignment list, particularly if everyone in the club goes to the same school. Many of the books assigned in class are classics that are easy to get at the library. If your meeting is held before her book is due, she’ll have the advantage of having a group discussion on it already before she’s tested on what she learned.
Another option is to choose a light-hearted book that’s fun to read. My youngest daughter’s group just read All American Girl by Meg Cabot. Many girls will relate to the everyday problems Samantha has while they have fun thinking about how their lives would change if they did something heroic. Time spent reading it makes a great break from homework.
Other selections that make fun, light reads include A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck, Boy by Roald Dahl, Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen, The Princess Diaries, by Meg Cabot, and Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko. These books have lots to think about and discuss during book club meetings, but reading them won’t feel like an extra assignment to your daughters.
If you have other suggestions for the list, please comment and let us know about them.
September 7, 2007
Recently I’ve been getting feedback that many groups are starting at younger ages than before. There’s certainly no shortage of great literature aimed at younger readers, and starting when your daughter is in second or third grade is a great way to establish a group that can weather the ups and downs that may come in middle school.
One of my favorite books of all time is on the list I created for younger readers: The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White. I read it to each of my girls when they were younger, and we were all charmed by the story of Louis who so wanted to be independent and make his own way in life. It’s also the reason we had to ride on a Swan Boat on the lake at Boston Common when we visited some years ago. I highly recommend the book for group or individual reading.
If you have recommendations for seven- and eight-year-old readers, please comment here so I can add them to the list.
September 4, 2007
I only make recommendations on this site for media that I believe can be truly helpful to your book club group and for parenting in general. Here’s a magazine I use for ideas about things to cook and activities to do with your child or your book club. It’s called Family Fun, and its Web site, familyfun.com is a good companion. It’s great for recipes, and over the years I’ve cooked many selections from the magazine’s pages then served them to my book club members. Shepherd’s pie, bread popovers, broccoli cheese soup…they were all hits. And they’re usually easy to prepare too, since directions are written to make it easy for kids to help out.
My youngest daughter always checks the Family Fun pages and the Web site when she’s trying to decide on a Halloween costume. And I get quite a few helpful ideas that have been submitted by readers, too.
Check it out the next time you need a boost in creativity.