Monday, September 7, 2009

Mother Daughter Book Club Meeting #14

Summary: Ten-year-old Comfort Snowberger has attended 247 funerals. But that's not surprising, considering that her family runs the town funeral home. And even though Great-uncle Edisto keeled over with a heart attack and Great-great-aunt Florentine dropped dead--just like that--six months later, Comfort knows how to deal with loss, or so she thinks. She's more concerned with avoiding her crazy cousin Peach and trying to figure out why her best friend, Declaration, suddenly won't talk to her. Life is full of surprises. And the biggest one of all is learning what it takes to handle them.

Deborah Wiles has created a unique, funny, and utterly real cast of characters in this heartfelt, and quintessentially Southern coming-of-age novel. Comfort will charm young readers with her wit, her warmth, and her struggles as she learns about life, loss, and ultimately, triumph. -- Harcourt

Yesterday, our Mother Daughter Book Club met to discuss EACH LITTLE BIRD THAT SINGS by Deborah Wiles. Because of the holiday weekend, we had a smaller group than normal; however, I think we still managed to have a fantastic discussion about this novel. Both the mothers and the daughters sat down together and talked about this book for well over an hour. I was blown away by how great our discussion was and how well all of the girls participated in it. If you read my review yesterday, you know I was a little concerned about how the girls would react to a book that deals with so much sadness.

I was very glad that the paperback version of the book included some discussion questions since it kept us on track. However, I have to say that the moms and daughters came up with some excellent questions on our own. The girls were clearly moved by this book and it was obvious that they had all thought about this story even after they were finished reading it.

While some of the topics in this novel were difficult to talk about, I think this was one of our best discussion books ever. I really felt as if there were so many ways to interpret this novel and the actions of the characters. And, it was so nice to have the moms discuss their thoughts and feelings about the book since we had a slightly different take on it than the girls. I thought this book was a great opportunity to not only talk about death and dying with our children, but it also allowed us to talk about friendship, family and life in general.

It was my daughter's turn to pick next month's Mother Daughter Book Club selection. It was a difficult decision for her because she wanted to have her friends read a few Betsy-Tacy books, but she also really wanted to share an Allie Finkle book with them! She is a huge fan of both series and I think she was a little bit stressed about having to pick just one. At one point, she told me to just decide for her. After a month of going back and forth, she decided to go with ALLIE FINKLE'S RULES FOR GIRLS: MOVING DAY by Meg Cabot. This is the first book in the series, but Booking Daughter has read all four of them already. You might remember how she had to have Book 4 when I went to BEA -- you can read about it here.

I am also a little excited to read an Allie Finkle book because I have heard so much about them. I almost feel like I know Allie already. I have a feeling that the young girls in our book club are going to enjoy them too. I had the opportunity to hear Ms. Cabot speak at BEA and she was a hoot. I thought it was interesting to learn that the character of Allie is based on Ms. Cabot and her childhood. If Ms. Cabot's books have even half the personality and humor that she has, I'm pretty sure they will be a lot of fun.

Summary: When nine-year-old Allie Finkle's parents announce that they are moving her and her brothers from their suburban split-level into an ancient Victorian in town, Allie's sure her life is over. She's not at all happy about having to give up her pretty pink wall-to-wall carpeting for creaky floorboards and creepy secret passageways-not to mention leaving her modern, state-of-the-art suburban school for a rundown, old-fashioned school just two blocks from her new house. With a room she's half-scared to go into, the burden of being "the new girl," and her old friends all a half-hour car ride away, how will Allie ever learn to fit in? -- Scholastic


Beth F said...

I'm so glad the discussion went well. I had a feeling that the Wiles book would make for a good meeting. Next month you'll be on to lighter topics!

bermudaonion said...

I'm so impressed that these young girls have stuck with this book club for this long. They're obviously a smart bunch. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at a meeting.

Anonymous said...

I'll be looking forward to what you have to say about Allie Finkle.