Mother Daughter Books Clubs are a simple, fun way to share reading with your school-aged and teen girls and they offer so much more than just a social event around a book.
They inspire a love of reading and help girls gain confidence in sharing their opinions, evaluating how they feel about a topic, weighing characters’ decisions and pondering how they’d handle that situation.
My oldest daughter and I joined an established Mother Daughter book club, The Book Girls, several years ago and we have enjoyed connecting by reading the same book and having this time together. We Moms have seen such growth in the girls discussions, books selections and interpretations of the stories we read. It’s developed from basic plot discussion to in-depth explorations about ethics, the meaning of gratitude, differences in people and cultures, dystopian worlds and human nature, among other thought-provoking topics.
Last summer, when my youngest daughter was seven, we were reading a book and the main character went to a book club. She asked me, “What do you do at book club?” and that’s when I knew it was time to initiate a Mother Daughter book club with her friends.
We started out with second grade girls and the classic James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl which had been celebrating it’s 50th anniversary. The girls dove into the story and while at younger ages it’s predominantly about learning to love reading and encouraging girls to feel confident in sharing their own ideas about a book; the girls also talked about how it would feel to be James, what their reactions would be to huge talking insects and even to think about comparing and contrasting James with themselves and their lives. That first night together, the five friends named themselves the “Book Bugs.”
From the start and as we continue, it’s important to let them know it’s not school and that there’s no right or wrong answer; we needed to give them “permission” to say what they really feel about a book. They’re learning to trust their interpretations and evaluations at their age level.