Spotlight on a Mother-Daughter Book Club

Featured mother-daughter book club
Eight moms and daughters from Brookfield, Wisconsin

The members of this mother-daughter book club in Brookfield generously took time during their last meeting to answer some questions about their group. Read on to find out how the group started on some of their favorite books.

How did your group get started, and what grade were your daughters in when you first formed?

Our group started at the beginning of the girls’ seventh grade. Several mothers had done similar clubs with older daughters and suggested we form a club for this group of girls. The girls have a relatively small class so we invited all of the girls in their class to join and decided we would form one or two groups depending on level of interest. Our original group was 7 mother daughter pairs so we elected to do a single book club. We will meet through the summer after 8th grade – we decided high school activities would preclude meeting in high school.

How many mother/daughter pairs are in your book club?

We are now up to 8 pairs – one mother/daughter joined us after a few months. They had originally declined due to other commitments but heard our discussions at other school events and decided they were missing out.

How often do you meet?

This varies depending on other school activities and holidays but is generally every 6 weeks.

Do you tend to read certain genre books?

Everyone brings suggestions of books they would like to read and we have had quite a variety. We generally get consensus on which book we will read next.

Tell us about the three books you’ve read that have been favorites with the group and what you liked about them.

  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd—a wonderful story of women and their diverse friendships. Teaches perseverance and acceptance of others. We have already talked about doing a book club reunion when the movie comes out next year.
  • Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick—Funny and sad story with a great boy lead character.
  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom—thought-provoking book that led to a great discussion and made us all think about the impact we have on others.

Do you have activities outside of book club?

We plan to go to a movie of one of the books we have read and then out for dinner where we can compare the movie and the book.

Can you offer any tips or advice to other mother/daughter book clubs?

Make it a fun, quality time for mothers and daughters – not one more chore for the girls, another assignment to finish, an attempt to improve reading skills, etc. To make it fun, each meeting was hosted by one mother-daughter pair and the discussion led by another pair. We always started with a game—often based on a TV game show – that “quizzed” us on some details of the book. We had inexpensive prizes which were theme based – for example Burt’s Bees Lip Balm for Secret Life of Bees. The hosts often served theme-based food—for example, Chinese food for the meeting to discuss Chinese Cinderella. The game and food made the meetings fun and helped lead to great discussions. We had prepared questions to prompt discussion—each one started by of the girls. Eight mother/daughter pairs was a good size—I don’t think you can go much bigger and have a discussion that includes everyone. Teach the girls to listen—at first everyone tried to talk at once but we eventually got to the point where one girl started the discussion and everyone contributed.

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