November 11, 2009
Last night I had the privilege of appearing with Heather Vogel Frederick at A Children’s Place bookstore in Portland to talk about mother-daughter book clubs. Heather is the author of the novels, The Mother-Daughter Book Club, Much Ado About Anne and the recently released Dear Pen Pal.
I’ve only spoken at a couple of bookstores before now, and this was the first time appearing with another author. What a treat it was. Of course, Heather’s an old pro at speaking, since she’s been on speaking tours in different parts of the country. So she made it easy for the newbie to feel comfortable. And it helps to have a receptive audience, which we did.
We talked about some of the ways fiction and non-fiction can enhance each other. For instance, in Heather’s book Dear Pen Pal, the girls in her mother-daughter book club (who live in Concord, Massachusetts) become Pen Pals with another group in Wyoming. What a great idea for real life book clubs! After reading Heather’s book I started a Pen Pal exchange at MotherDaughterBookClub.com that now has clubs from different parts of the country, and even one international group, making connections.
Real life mother-daughter book clubs also are increasingly making connections with the authors who write the books they read. Heather visits with clubs often, both electronically and in person when she can. Another author at the event, Rosanne Parry (Heart of a Shepherd) talked of her experience with a book club. Meeting with an author is a great way for the girls to feel truly connected with what they read.
After the reading I talked with a mom there who is considering starting a new club even though her daughter is only six. I’ve said before the ideal age—if there is one—to start a club is nine, but really if your daughter is motivated and you have friends who want to join with you, then it’s never really too early or too late to start. You may have to adjust your meetings for shorter attention spans if you start early, but it’s not too difficult to put together a format that will work.
October 26, 2009
If you’ve ever felt pressured to pick the perfect read for your book club, particularly for the intergenerational challenges of a mother-daughter book clubs, you may want to check out my guest post at Booking Mama.
Here’s an excerpt:
“You would think that choosing books for my book clubs would be easy for me. After all, I’m in two long-running mother-daughter book clubs—one that’s been meeting for eight years and the other for five—and I blog about books at motherdaughterbookclub.wordpress.com. Yet deciding what everyone else is going to read for the next book club selection can sometimes be paralyzing. I want to find the perfect book, the one that will appeal to both the moms and girls in my group. The one my daughter will want to read as much as I do. The one we’ll call our favorite for years to come.
That’s a pretty tall order. Especially when you’re choosing books that will appeal to two generations. The good news is that there are a lot of books out there that are good reads for both the older and the younger set. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you search for them.” Continue reading….
Booking Mama is featuring mother-daughter book clubs all week, and she’ll be giving away two copies of my guidebook—Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs—along with five complete sets of Heather Vogel Frederick‘s mother-daughter book club novels called The Mother-Daughter Book Club, Much Ado About Anne and Dear Pen Pal. It’s a great opportunity for someone interested in starting a new club.
I’ve been following Booking Mama for a little over a year now, and I really like the candid book reviews she gives. I feel very fortunate that she’s featuring my book, Heather’s books, and mother-daughter book clubs all week. Stop by each day to take a look.
October 20, 2009
Emma, Jess, Megan and Cassidy are back for another year of reading in their mother-daughter book club in Heather Vogel Frederick’s new book, Dear Pen Pal. Cracking this third book in the mother-daughter book club series is like reconnecting with old friends. The girls are in eighth grade this year, and they’ve learned a lot about friendship and family relationships.
In their ever-evolving lives, as it is with most of us, just when they figure out how to handle one challenge, another pops up. This time the challenges include dealing with a mean-spirited boarding school roommate, changing family dynamics when new family members move in and others move out, and navigating relationships with boys.
The girls are reading Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster, and Frederick once again seamlessly weaves in storylines that somewhat match those of Webster’s classic. The girls and moms learn fun facts about Jean Webster as they gather for book club discussions. The book club members also connect with a pen pal club in Gopher Hole, Wyoming, and it’s fun to read little snippets about the lives of these new girls and their moms through their letters.
I can’t wait to see what the whole gang will be up to in the fourth book of the series when the girls start high school. I highly recommend this whole series for members of mother-daughter book clubs with girls who are 9 to 13.
P.S.—Reading Dear Pen Pal got me to thinking that real life mother-daughter book clubs may enjoy connecting with pen pals too. It seems like a fun way to learn about girls and moms in a different part of the country. So I’ve started a pen pal registry at Mother Daughter Book Club.com, where club members can sign up if they wish to meet members of another club.
See the website page or my previous blog posting for all the details. You can also read what Heather Vogel Frederick has to say on the topic at her blog.
December 15, 2008
Heather Vogel Frederick continues her delightful mother-daughter book club series with Much Ado About Anne. This time the book club is reading the Anne of Green Gables series, and the girls are totally committed to their book club and to each other when the new reading year starts for their group. There are new challenges—can the moms really have invited Calliope and Becca Chadwick into their book club without asking the girls?—and new events arise that test their friendship in ways they don’t expect. But Frederick does a great job of continuing the saga and bringing us even more into the lives of these book club members that readers grew to know and love in her first book in the series, The Mother-Daughter Book Club.
The historic town of Concord, Mass., where Frederick herself group up, is once again a prominent feature in the story. So is Lucy Maud Montgomery, who wrote the Anne of Green Gables books. Frederick weaves facts about the classical author into the story seamlessly and helps readers learn about another classic series in the process.
You’ll worry with Jess about losing her family’s historic farm, cheer for Emma as she grows more confident, worry for Cassie as she struggles to accept her mom’s new boyfriend, and stress right along with Megan as she crunches to design clothes for her fashion show. And they all experience a few blips in their friendship in ways that will ring true for girls in upper elementary and middle school.
Much Ado About Anne will most certainly satisfy readers of the series while leaving them happily anticipating the next book up.
February 14, 2008
I just finished reading The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick, and I found it delightful. The structure of the fictional book club was very different from either of the clubs I’m in with my daughters, and I liked reading about how the girls and their moms worked to help their group gel. The book is told from the perspective of the four different girls who are in the club, Megan, Jess, Cassidy and Emma. The girls don’t all have good opinions of each other when their moms “force” them to create the group, and it’s very interesting to watch the girls and the moms deal with conflicts as the club continues. I found myself thinking, “I don’t know if I could ever handle conflict as directly at these girls and their moms do. And I liked the fact that the club chose one book to read for their first year, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. By reading a few chapters at a time, the book club members were able to go more in-depth into the book as they went along.
The stories relating events in Little Women to similarities in the lives of people in the group tied in really well, illustrating how timeless Little Women is. And I loved the setting—Concord, Massachusetts, where Louisa May Alcott lived and wrote. It made me want to pack my bags and drive through little towns all over New England.
The Mother-Daughter Book Club would be great to read with your own book club, because you can discuss similarities and differences between the fictional club and yours, as well as possibly find things you’d like to incorporate into your own group.