THE DAUGHTER PERSPECTIVE
The Mother Daughter Book Club is a book my Mom said would be great to read together. We found it at the Library. It sounded fine. I did not yet know that it was a stunning book.
Friends. Books. Boys. It all starts when the moms decided to start a book club. Where did they decide this? Yoga class. That’s right, that’s where it all started. Some of the girls loved it, some of the girls hated it. Emma loves anything to do with books and studying. Jess, who is Emma’s best friend, adores animals because she live’s on a farm and also loves math. Megan wants to become a fashion designer but her mother has high hopes for Megan to become a lawyer. Cassidy is opposite of Megan. She loves hockey and sneaks onto the boys team because they do not have any hockey that girls could play.
When I sit down with this book I cannot wait to open it. I love how they have to straighten out friendships and figure out how they feel about boys. This book is great for girls who love having friends and talk about secrets no one else can know.
THE MOTHER PERSPECTIVE
I first heard about the The Mother Daughter Daughter Club from my 6th grade students last year. I made a mental note to look into it when Piper was a little older. Then, this past Christmas, Modern Mrs. Darcy blogged about racing through the series with her 10 year old daughter and I read up on them a bit more. I knew as soon as I showed them to Piper at the library that would be all she wrote!
The Mother Daughter Book Club is the first in a series of six books, with the seventh due out this summer. This first book follows the girls through their 6th grade year and delves into issues like friendships, bullies, following your passions and (yes) boys. In our house, I refer to books that are fun to read but shallow and not extremely well written as “candy” books. They are nice every once in awhile but a steady diet of them will rot your literary teeth! I would say that The Mother Daughter Book Club straddles the line between candy and quality literature.
On the candy side, the plot lines are a bit formulaic, the characters are mostly stereotypes (the tomboy who never thinks about anything but sports, the dowdy bookworm, the boy-obsessed mean girl, etc.) and the outcomes are unrealistically tidy. BUT...throughout all of these elements great pieces of classic literature are woven. In each book, the girls read a classic with the book club and then their stories are told through the lens of that book. Little Women is the book of choice in The Mother Daughter Book Club and the author does a great job of folding the characters and conflicts of Alcott’s classic into the stories of the Book Club girls.
The thing I most appreciate about this series is how it demonstrates the power of seeing our own stories through the lines of great literature. Finding a character with whom we identify or seeing a conflict resolved well or being inspired by a heroine’s actions, these are the gifts of great books that will stay with us for years. The series is also fantastic for inspiring young readers to pick up classics they might otherwise find intimidating or old fashioned. Hooray!
One final note- each book follows the girls through a year in school. So, in the first book they are in the sixth grade, in the second they are in the seventh grade, and so on. Obviously, as the girls mature they experience things like trying to decide what they want to do after high school, first boyfriends, and first kisses. I think the author deals with these issues in a lovely, innocent way and I have not come across anything in the first 5 books that would cause me to stop allowing Piper to read them. Lots of the situations have been fantastic conversation starters for us!
If you’ve read The Mother Daughter Book Club, what did you think? Any other great suggestions for books about girls reading books?