Thursday, October 29, 2009

Review: Much Ado About Anne

Summary: This year the mothers have a big surprise in store for Emma, Jess, Cassidy, and Megan: They've invited snooty Becca Chadwick and her mother to join the book club!

But there are bigger problems when Jess finds out that her family may have to give up Half Moon Farm. In a year filled with skating parties, a disastrous mother-daughter camping trip, and a high-stakes fashion show, the girls realize that it's only through working together -- Becca included -- that they can save Half Moon Farm.

Acclaimed author Heather Vogel Frederick captures the magic of friendship and the scrapes along the way in this sequel to The Mother-Daughter Book Club, which will enchant daughters and mothers alike.-- Simon and Schuster

Welcome to Day 5 of Booking Mama's Mother Daughter Book Club Festival! I hope you've had a chance to read my prior posts -- Review: THE MOTHER DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB, Book Club Exchange: Cindy Hudson & Huge Giveaway and Book Club Exchange: Heather Vogel Frederick, and Review: Book by Book. In addition, make sure you check out my huge Mother-Daughter Book Club giveaway!

If you've seen my blog at all the past few days, you know what a big fan Booking Daughter and I are of The Mother Daughter Book Club series by Heather Vogel Frederick. I finished the second book in the series, MUCH ADO ABOUT ANNE; and I'm so happy that it was just as good as the first one! I absolutely love these books and can't rave enough about them!

MUCH ADO ABOUT ANNE picks right up where THE MOTHER DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB left off. The girls are now in 7th grade and looking forward to starting a new year of their mother-daughter book club. As part of their first meeting, the mothers have a surprise for them --they have invited Becca Chadwick, the girls' frenemy, and her mom to be part of their group! Needless to say, the girls aren't entirely sure that this is a good idea; and well... girls will be girls (especially 7th grade ones!)

I just love getting to know these girls and seeing them mature through their first two years of middle school. I remember fondly (and sometimes not so fondly) of all the changes that take place in those middle grade years such as discovering boys, learning about friendship, and developing a strong relationship with my mom. What I appreciate so much about these books is that Heather Vogel Frederick manages to take these themes that are so real to girls in today's society and show that her characters are experiencing those same issues. As a mom, I love that the girls in this story (while definitely not perfect) learn from their actions and are essentially nice, clean-cut girls.

In this story, the girls also learn to put others' needs before their own (not always an easy lesson when you are in 7th grade.) The realize that when they put their minds and talents together for a greater good, they can achieve almost anything. And that's another reason that I like these Mother-Daughter Book Club books so much -- they have valuable life lessons in them. I love that young girls can read about how these girls acted selflessly and possibly incorporate some of their ideas and actions into their own lives.

As was the case in THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB, I enjoyed that the author incorporated some classic books into this novel. This year, the girls decided to read ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. (I haven't read any of these books, but I downloaded them onto my Kindle last night because I definitely made me want to read all of them now!) Each chapter in MUCH ADO ABOUT ANNE begins with a quotation from ANNE OF GREEN GABLES which ties into the girls' personal stories. I also enjoyed how they girls realized that many of the general themes (and characters) in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES were pertinent in their current lives. I guess these Mother-Daughter Book Club books just remind me that books are classics because they have proven that they can stand the test of time!

MUCH ADO ABOUT ANNE can definitely be read and enjoyed without reading the prior novel in the series. I think the author does a wonderful job of providing the necessary background information to keep a new reader informed; however, I like that I read this series in order (but I always like to read a series in order.) In the case of MUCH ADO ABOUT ANNE, I felt as if I already knew the girls and their moms; and the references to their past were almost like fond memories for me.

I highly recommend MUCH ADO ABOUT ANNE for middle grade girls, but I think it would be an ideal selection for a mother-daughter book club. There is an entire "kit" for this book that you can see here. I loved all the features in the back of my paperback edition, and I was so excited to see that readers could get them on-line. This kit includes not only some discussion questions about the book, but it also book club activities, information about the author, recipes of foods that appeared in the story, and even some suggested books for mothers and daughters can enjoy together. The Mother-Daughter Book Club series definitely make it easy to put together a great book club meeting!

I just finished reading Book 3 in the series, DEAR PEN PAL; and I am so excited to that it's another winner -- I'll be posting my review tomorrow! I just love this cast of characters and the stories that surround them; and I'm so excited that there are at least two more books planned in this series!

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


Beth F said...

OMG, I wish I could start over and read the Anne books from scratch. You are in for a big treat!!

bermudaonion said...

I was going to say the same thing as Beth F. I envy you getting to experience Anne of Green Gables for the first time. The book sounds great - I'm glad the characters in it aren't perfect - no one would want to read it if they were!