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The Mother-Daughter Book Club Paperback – April 22, 2008
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Four sixth-graders sign up for a book club, in which they'll read Little Women with their moms. In alternating chapters, each of the four girls describes a meeting. There is aspiring poet Emma, whose librarian mother started the group; Jess, Emma's best friend, who lives on an organic farm; hockey-playing Cassidy, daughter of a former supermodel; and popular Megan. Despite their initial resistance to the club, the girls experience joys and sorrows and develop a closer bond, just like the characters that they grow to love. Plenty of detail and musing about Little Women will entice readers to pick up the book if they have not yet read it, but familiarity with Alcott's classic isn't required to enjoy this story. The girls' relationships and feelings are complex; unfortunately, their typecast mothers are much less so, and a fairy-tale ending caps the story. Still, readers will be easily pulled along to find out how the four girls resolve their differences. A book discussion guide is included. Booth, Heather --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
About the Author
Heather Vogel Frederick is the award-winning author of the Mother-Daughter Book Club series, Absolutely Truly, the Patience Goodspeed books, the Spy Mice series, and Once Upon a Toad. An avid fan of all things maple, Heather and her husband have recently been transplanted from Portland, Oregon, back to New England, close to where Heather grew up. You can learn more about the author and her books at HeatherVogelFrederick.com.
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Cassidy is a tomboy who loves to play hockey and embarrasses her supermodel mother with every burp and outburst. Emma is the poor, pudgy daughter of intellectuals who named her and her brother after Jane Austen characters (Darcy?! No wonder the boy played hockey!). Jess is a shy, sweet farm girl battling her own issues on the home front since her mother moved to NY to be an actress while dealing with issues at school where everyone tells her she stinks and calls her Goat Girl. Megan is one of the popular girls and would sooner die than be caught hanging out with Cassidy, Emma, and Goat Girl. But when their mothers start a book club (sans Jess's mom who is MIA), they have no choice but to all get together once a month. They may have no choice about attendance, but they don't have to pretend they like it.
At first all the girls hate the idea, but slowly they begin to enjoy reading Little Women, especially since Louisa May Alcott lived and wrote the story in their town! Their mothers have made the club pretty fun and not hard, so they can live through the meetings once a month. But the book club is a constant reminder for Jess that her mother has left her family behind. It also reveals the tensions between the mothers and daughters themselves. But when Megan and her followers pull a prank that went way too far, the whole Book Club is threatened. Now the girls and their mothers must decide whether the Book Club can survive a betrayal as bad as Megans, but if the girls didn't want the club in the first place, what is going to make them try to save it?
I had a feeling this was going to be an adorable story, and I was right! These girls are a wonderful mix of characters from the Queen Bee to the target to the hockey playing tomboy/jock. It explores this mix of girls and how they interact when they must be on their best behavior in front of all their mothers. But more importantly, it explores their interactions when their moms aren't around, and it can get ugly! I think my favorite character had to be Cassidy who knew she could never live up to her model mother and just wanted to play hockey. In fact, when there was no hockey team for girls in the town, she didn't hesitate to hide her identity and try out for the boys' team! She was a real butt-kickin' girl, and she wasn't afraid to stand up to Megan and her cronies. I liked the other girls, even Megan eventually, but I loved Cassidy!
This also explores that sacred yet tenuous relationship between mother and daughter. Any of you daughters out there can admit that this relationship is always a little strained but devoted at the same time. I am 31 and my relationship with my mom is that exactly! So the different girls and their wildly different mothers all came together for one big lesson: mothers and daughters love each other, but sometimes they don't see each other enough to understand each other. I think this would be a great lesson for any young lady struggling at this age to traverse life with her mom (or her mom struggling to deal with a daughter this age!). This book is best for a high skilled 4th grader through about 7th grade. It is written in simple language, but the book is fun and has great characters. I look forward to the other books in the series, and might even have to read Little Women again!
She is now required to read The Mother-Daughter Book Club, much to her dismay. The book looks at four six grade girls all with different family structures, physical and social attributes, and financial differences, whose mothers, much to their dismay, have started a book club and will be reading Little Women. The author has a great understanding of 6th grade girls.
The book takes place in Concord, Massachusetes, the hometown of Louisa Alcott.
The book is very well written. I found myself longing to be part of the book club. Each chapter of the book is done by one of the four girls prospective. When I first started the book I was concerned that this would be confusing and cause the flow if the book to be disruptive;but, those concerns were quickly put to rest.
Also, each chapter has a quote from Little Women.
There are many questions to consider at the back of the book and there are many things to ponder throughout the book, wether you use it for a book club or just want do them on your own.
Read it for yourself or with your daughter, you will be enriched by it.
Told from all four girls' perspectives, this book has something to offer every reader looking for a character like herself. Emma struggles to fit in, Jessie's misses her mother who left the family, Megan's mother refuses to acknowledge her daughter's dreams, and Cassidy is still grieving her dad's death and her family's move from California. The typical struggles are included: boys, appearances, popularity, and dealing with family, and I think that's why tweens will enjoy this book--they'll be able to identify with the girls and their struggles.
As a librarian, I also love the parallels to the classic Little Women. Readers don't need to have read the book to follow this book, but hopefully some will go check out the Alcott's story of four girls.
sometimes i wish i could be in the story along with megan, jess, emma, and cassidy...who is my favorite character.
i would really recommend this series if you like fashion, drama, reading, animals, brainiacs, girl jocks, and a lot more! especially...THE MOTHER DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB!!!:)