Guest Posting on Ingrid Law’s Blog

November 23, 2009

I’m a big fan of Ingrid Law, author of Savvy (read my review). So I was thrilled when she agreed to feature a guest post I wrote for her blog about some of the major benefits of being in a mother-daughter book club. I read Savvy with my daughter Catherine when she was 14, and we both liked it a lot.

Savvy has been named a Newbery Honor book, and it was chosen as the October read for Al Roker’s Book Club on the Today Show. It’s a wonderful coming of age story about  a girl discovering her special talent. I highly recommend it for readers aged 9 to 13.

Check out my post on Ingrid’s blog, and visit her website too, where you can find more information about Ingrid, Savvy, and her new book due out next year, Scumble. I can’t wait to read it.

Author Kaycee Jane Offers Advice to Girls About Boyfriends

November 17, 2009

When I started to date in high school I didn’t know anything about what to expect from a boyfriend, which meant that determining what was good and not so good in a relationship wasn’t all that easy. Thank heavens I’ve learned a lot since then, and I’ve spent time talking with my daughters about healthy relationships. Even so, I think it’s too easy for them to tune their mom out sometimes. That’s why I was happy to learn about this blog post by Kaycee Jane, author of Frog or Prince? The Smart Girl’s Guide to Boyfriends. In her post “Healthy Relationship?—how to tell,” Kaycee discusses signs of a healthy relationship using the frog and prince analogy. It’s worth reading and sending the link to your teenage daughter. A gentle nudge with another voice may just help her see relationships for what they are—good or bad.

Laura Whitcomb’s Blog

November 16, 2009

Laura Whitcomb

Today Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs is featured on author Laura Whitcomb’s blog. I’m fortunate to live in the same area as Laura, and she was the first author my mother-daughter book club connected with. We invited her to our meeting where we would discuss her book, A Certain Slant of Light, and she accepted the invitation. It just blew us all away that an author was actually going to be at our meeting. Then we got nervous. Would she think we didn’t know what we were talking about when we said what we thought of her book? What if we didn’t like it? Would there be awkward silence as we thought of questions to ask her?

There was no need to worry at all. Laura joined us for dinner before the discussion, and by the time we settled down to discuss the book we had gotten over our pre-meeting jitters.We did like A Certain Slant of Light, and Laura was able to answer several questions the moms and girls had about what we had read. We also talked to her about the process of writing a book and getting it published. It was a memorable evening that we wish we could have repeated more often. Here’s an interview with Laura I scheduled after we met:

I recently learned that Laura has written a sequel to A Certain Slant of Light, which I can’t wait to read as soon as it’s in print. You may also be interested in checking out another book she’s published called The Fetch, which I’ve previously reviewed here.

Author Kirby Larson Talks About Mother-Daughter Book Clubs

November 12, 2009

Kirby Larson


Just over a year ago I met author Kirby Larson while we were attending a Kidlit Blogging Conference here in Portland. I had interviewed Kirby about her writing life and her book, Hattie Big Sky, by email before that, but we hadn’t met in person until then. We got to know each other a bit over lunch, then finished out the conference.

Fast forward a few months to when I was writing Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs. I was searching for a book club mom of a group that had met with an author. I remembered a story Kirby told about meeting with a mother-daughter book club near her home in person. She put me in touch with Sheila, who not only shared a great story about meeting with Kirby, but who also talked about a service project her club had performed. I featured Sheila’s group and their projects in a few places in Book by Book as examples of clubs who were doing out-of-the-ordinary activities.

Connecting with authors like Kirby and moms like Sheila is one of the reasons I had a lot of fun writing Book by Book. Their stories are so interesting that I knew other moms would be able to take away great ideas for their own clubs after reading about them.

Hattie Big Sky gets my highest recommendation as a mother-daughter book club selection for groups with girls aged 11 and older. Kirby posted a blog post about mother-daughter book clubs and my book today. I look forward to visiting her blog with a guest post at the end of the month. She also has a great website with information about her books, Hattie Big Sky, and Two Bobbies, A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival. Her latest book, Nubs, is sure to be up there soon. Until then, Kirby is posting information about Nubs on her blog.

Tanya Egan Gibson, Author of How to Buy a Love of Reading, Asks “What’s Your Reading Story?”

April 22, 2009

Tanya Egan Gibson has a novel coming out next month called How to Buy a Love of Reading.  It’s about a high school girl who has never loved books, and her parents commission a book to be written just for her.

Gibson has added a feature to her novel’s website where anyone can share a story about how reading changed their lives. Gibson says she envisions “this as a community of stories about the power of stories.” She also says that “all submissions will be posted (subject to approval to weed out spam and profanity), and between now and the novel’s release date on May 14th, three of them will also be chosen to be made into flash-animated ‘books’ on the site’s virtual bookshelf.  (The winners will also each receive a signed copy of HTBALOR.)”

I plan to post my story in the next week, and I would love to read other stories from readers at mother-daughter book club as well. Here’s the Web site where you can check it out and post a story: Just click on the icons to read other stories and find a link to submit your own.

Special Opportunity to Speak with Author Kenn Nesbitt

March 11, 2009

Kenn Nesbitt is the author of many beloved books of poetry for children. They’re also fun for adults too. If your mother-daughter book club is considering a poetry meeting soon, you may want to look at this special offer from Nesbitt to celebrate the launch of his new book. Here’s what he has to say:

“I am offering a free 30-minute ‘online author visit’-meaning that kids can see, hear, and chat with me right on their computers-to any group that buys 10 or more copies of my new book, My Hippo Has the Hiccups. Just purchase the books through my website, and we’ll set up the visit at that time.

These free visits will be available on a first-come basis, during the weeks of April 6-10, April 20-24, May 11-15, June 1-5, and June 8-12. Programs will start at 9am PST, and run on-the-hour, and there will be no more than 2 participating groups (or classes for school groups) in each online session. Kids will be allowed to ask me questions through an online chat, which will be controlled by the moderator.

Technical requirements are:
* A computer with a high-speed Internet connection
* Windows, Mac, or Linux
* A Flash-enabled browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari
* Speakers!
* Projector (optional)

For more information, or to sign up online, please go to Once your time-slot is scheduled and the book order has been confirmed, we will send you a link to the online meeting room, as well as a link where you can run a test to ensure that your software (Flash-enabled browser, etc.) is compatible. ”

April is National Poetry Month, and it may be fun for you to schedule a meeting around reading and writing poetry. Reading Nesbitt’s new book and chatting with him online would make a great combination meeting.

Claire Dean Essay on Girlwood

August 21, 2008

Claire Dean is the author of Girlwood, a book that’s part reality, part fantasy and very interesting to read. (Read my review.)

Today I got the chance to read an essay by Dean, posted by Powell’s Books. In it she talks about some of the things that happened in her earlier life that had an influence on what she wrote about in Girlwood. You can read the essay at Powell’s by clicking here.

I also think Dean’s Web site,, is very interesting. On the books tab, Dean talks about visiting a mother-daughter book club, and she says she’s willing to connect with other clubs if they contact her at the email address listed. Her other pages are also very interesting, many with subjects related to themes you’ll find in Girlwood. They include pages on edible plants, wilderness survival and auras. I took the quiz to find out what color my aura is, and found out it’s blue. I like her ideas for coming of age ceremonies that parents can create for their children, and there’s a reading guide for Girlwood. It’s fascinating!

Shannon Hale’s Website

February 28, 2008

Fans of Shannon Hale’s books (Goose Girl, Enna Burning, Book of a Thousand Days) will find a lot to like on her website, where she shares great information about her books and herself. Just like with a DVD, you can find deleted scenes from several of her titles and discussion guides. There are also quizzes for the books that may be fun for your mother-daughter book club to take. Set it up like a Jeopardy quiz show with a bell to ring when someone has the answer.

Also on Shannon’s site is a list of her book recommendations broken down by categories like fantasy, adult, younger readers, and recommendations by her husband. Here’s the link to The Official Site of Shannon Hale so you can check it out.

Author’s Website—Sharon Creech

October 23, 2007

My mother-daughter book clubs have read two of Sharon Creech’s books: Bloomability and Granny Torrelli Makes Soup. We had great discussions about both books, and we also had fun coming up with food ideas for our meetings.

My daughters and I both like Sharon’s writing so much, we’ve also read several book on our own, including Chasing Redbird, Walk Two Moons, and The WandererRuby Holler.

Sharon has a great Web site with information about her books that would be helpful background if you’re reading one of them for your book club. She also includes teaching guides for Bloomability and Chasing Redbird that may add to your discussions.

Check out Sharon’s site at

Yikes! October Already?

September 26, 2007

I can’t believe we’ve reached the end of September and I’ve barely had time to sit at my desk for the past few weeks. With school starting again, soccer starting up, doctor visits for my daughter who fractured her arm, and work and volunteer projects topping my list as well, I’ve had little time to write a post on this blog.

Plus, both of the mother-daughter book clubs I’m a member of have not yet met for the year! But fear not, an interview with Gennifer Choldenko, author of the well-loved Al Capone Does My Shirts and a new book, If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period, will be posted here next week. In the meantime, look at Gennifer’s Web site,, for interesting information. While you’re there, check out her fall schedule to see if she’ll be appearing at a bookstore near you. When you look for her new book on the shelves, here’s what you’ll see: