I wasn't sure if I was going to make it to our First Mother Daughter Book Club Meeting. My husband and son have been very sick with flu-like symptons, and I have been feeling terrible with a bad cold. Needless to say, we have major cooties in our household, but I was able to take a few hours yesterday afternoon to meet with my friends and their daughters to discuss SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL by Patricia MacLachlan.
I actually was pleasantly surprised how well the meeting went! We had four moms and four 7 and 8 year old daughters (2nd and 3rd graders.) Earlier this week, my friend and I talked about our expectations for the meeting. We were allowing 1 1/2 hours for the entire meeting -- the first 1/2 hour for a snack and the rest of the time would be to discuss the book and visit with each other. We figured we'd get about 15-20 minutes of discussion from the girls. Much to my surprise, they talked about the book for almost 40 minutes! I'm embarrassed to say that my grown-up book club doesn't always stay on track that long! All of the girls were very outspoken and willing to share their ideas about the book. There were lots of laughs and giggles; and everyone had a terrific time!
Both the girls and the moms really enjoyed reading SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL. None of us had ever read the book before -- I think the moms were all way past grade school when the book was first published. I wasn't sure how to "run" the meeting, but there is quite a bit of information on the internet including discussion questions. I used some of these questions to get the conversation going, but we really just ended up asking the girls our own questions about the book and their feelings. My 8 year old daughter also came up with some questions of her own last night (after we watched the Sarah, Plain and Tall Hallmark movie). I have to brag a little here because I'm so proud of her. Her first question was, "Is there something else you wanted to know in the book that the author didn't tell you?" I think I have a future book club leader in the making!!!
It does say something that all of the girls want to read the sequels to SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL -- SKYLARK and CALEB'S STORY. I have already reserved from the library a copy of SKYLARK for my daughter to read, as well as the Hallmark Movie of the same name.
Our next Mother Daughter Book Club selection is ANNE FRANK: LIFE IN HIDING by Johanna Hurwitz. I remember being fascinated by Anne Frank's story, and I read THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK many times. I have not read ANNE FRANK: LIFE IN HIDING yet, but I love that there is a book about her specifically geared to 8 year old girls.