Sunday, October 25, 2009

Review: The Mother Daughter Book Club

Summary: The book club is about to get a makeover....

Even if Megan would rather be at the mall, Cassidy is late for hockey practice, Emma's already read every book in existence, and Jess is missing her mother too much to care, the new book club is scheduled to meet every month.

But what begins as a mom-imposed ritual of reading Little Women soon helps four unlikely friends navigate the drama of middle school. From stolen journals, to secret crushes, to a fashion-fiasco first dance, the girls are up to their Wellie boots in drama. They can't help but wonder: What would Jo March do? -- Simon and Schuster

About a year and a half, ago my daughter and I decided to start a Mother-Daughter book club with some of our friends. It has been a wonderful experience for me because I have had the opportunity to read books with my daughter and hear her thoughts. I also think it's been a great experience for my daughter because she is learning to delve a little deeper into books, and she is also getting much better at expressing her ideas. Needless to say, we are very passionate about our Mother-Daughter book club!

Now given that I am pretty involved in our mother-daughter book club and I read a lot of middle grade books because I have a daughter in that age range, I have no idea why I hadn't read THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB by Heather Vogel Frederick. This book is absolutely perfect for my daughter and me (and our book group.) I am so glad that I finally did because I was sure missing out on a wonderful middle grade book. I absolutely loved this book and its characters!

THE MOTHER -DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB tells the story of four young girls whose mothers (and one father) decide to start a mother-daughter book club. Since girls will be girls, there are many misunderstandings and mishaps (some intentional) along the way. I don't think I will ever get used to how catty girls can be to each other! The story is told from each of the girl's perspectives in alternating chapters. I loved that the author wrote the book this way because it allowed me to understand and appreciate each of the four girls. And, I have no doubt that young girls will definitely relate to at least one of the characters.

Another thing I really liked about this story was that it followed a mother-daughter book club. I loved getting some insight into another book group (even if it was fictional) and seeing how their meetings were held. Our group reads a different book each month, but the club in the story decided to read LITTLE WOMEN over the course of an entire school year. (I happen to love this idea, but I'm not sure it would fly in our group.) I really appreciated how the author incorporated the story and characters of LITTLE WOMEN into the book. The book takes place in the town where Louisa May Alcott lived; and the girls not only visit her home, but they also dress as their favorite character. After reading THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB, my daughter and I both are ready to read LITTLE WOMEN!

I enjoyed this book so much that I didn't want it to end -- I still think these girls have a lot more stories in them. I was very happy to learn that THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB is the first book in a series. Two more books are available -- MUCH ADO ABOUT ANNE (the girls read and discuss ANNE OF GREEN GABLES) and the recently released DEAR PEN PAL (the girls read DADDY-LONG-LEGS.) I can't wait to read these two books too!

Booking Daughter and I both agree that our group needs to read and discuss THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB. I think all of the girls (and the moms) will enjoy it as much as we did. Since Ms. Frederick likes to "meet" with book clubs that are reading her book, I am hoping that we could arrange that as well. I can't imagine how excited our girls would be to talk with a real-live author!

THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB is ideal for young girls because it deals with many of the same issues that they face everyday -- peer pressure, mother/daughter relationships, jealousy, insecurity, etc. I was so excited to find that there is a reading guide available in the back of the paperback version. There is also a section on recommended future reading and a worksheet to help the girls come up with some of their personal goals. And since book club wouldn't be complete without yummy food, the author has included some recipes of snacks that they girls in the book served at their own meetings. I really do think this book is ideal for mother-daughter book clubs, and I can't recommend it enough!

When Booking Daughter caught a glimpse of this adorable cover (and the title), she couldn't wait to read it. I told her she could have it when I finished; but every time I went to read the book, I had to look for it -- I kept finding it in her room! She loved it as much as I did, but I'll let you read what she thought:

I really enjoyed THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB. All of the characters were so different from each other, but I think I was most like Emma. Emma loved to read and sometimes she felt left out as school from the popular girls (The Fab Four.) Some of the girls in my book club are like the other characters, but we are all like Emma because we love to read.

One thing I wish is that I had read LITTLE WOMEN before reading this book. Some of the book's secrets were revealed in THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB, and I am disappointed that I won't be surprised when I read the book. I still want to read LITTLE WOMEN this year, and I included it on my reading goal bookmark.

I definitely, definitely, definitely recommend THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB to my friends, and I'd even like to read it for my book club one month. I hope the other two books in the series are as good as this one.

Make sure you come back and visit tomorrow and Tuesday because I will be having a Mother-Daughter Book Club Festival! Tomorrow Cindy Hudson, author of the new book BOOK BY BOOK: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO CREATING MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUBS will be stopping by with a guest post; and on Tuesday, Heather Vogel Frederick will be answering a few of my questions. Plus, there is a fabulous giveaway that I will be posting tomorrow! Here's a little hint... it's a big one!

Thanks to the author for sending me a signed copy of this book.


Deborah said...

i read this book tonight for the readathon!!! it's just FAB isn't it???!! you'll LOVE the second book as well!

bermudaonion said...

This sounds like a wonderful book. Little Women is one of my all time favorite books and reading it with a young girl over a year sounds like a marvelous idea to me.

Lea said...

This seems to be a perfect book for me to read. I'm having a lot of problems in my life as a teen and hope i can get some lessons from this book. Thanks for the review. Might consider getting this.

Pam said...

I keep seeing this book everywhere! It looks so cute. I'm the mom of son but I'm the daughter of a mother and this sounds like something we would have enjoyed. Thanks for the review!

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

Yes, you were right - sounds like this book belongs on our bookshelf (after being read my me and the girls); thanks for letting me know about it!

Amy said...

This does sound right up your alley. :) I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Raspberry said... already announce the winner for You Can't Drink all Day if you Don't Start in the Morning?

Chris said...

I am so jealous of your book club! This sounds like a good one.

carolsnotebook said...

This sounds like a wonderful series. I'm with Chris in being jealous of your book club.