Friday, September 04, 2009

Read Together: The Mother-Daughter Bookclub

Last year sometime I read Much Ado About Anne by Heather Vogel Frederick (linked to my review). It's a tween/early teen novel, but I enjoyed it as a woman/reader and as the mother of a tween. Recently I was contacted by the publisher to let me know that the third book Dear Pen Pal was coming out later this month. When I told Amanda, she squealed, and when the first book arrived in the mail this week, Amanda asked me if I'd start reading it to her immediately. In spite of our enthusiasm over the book we read, we never did get around to reading the first one, The Mother-Daughter Bookclub.

Although I love sharing reading with each of my kids by reading aloud together, reading the same books side by side, and recommending books that I think that they will like (thank you kid lit bloggers!), it takes a lot for Amanda and I to finish a book that we are reading aloud in a timely fashion (that's why there's no way I'm undertaking the hefty Mysterious Benedict Society as a read-aloud, even though Amanda's asked and you all have encouraged me).

But with this book, we are having success. Reading at bedtime -- a tween bedtime -- just doesn't work for us. By 8:30pm, I'm ready to throw off the Mommy hat and wear the Wife and Selfish Slouch hats instead. So, just as I reported last year when I resurrected Read Together, I am reading to her in the mornings as she eats breakfast and packs her lunch and also after school or in the early evening before dinner. In two days, we've read 65 pages. I know that's no giant feat, but it's nice progress for us.

I'm really enjoying reading it aloud with Amanda. She read the other book a few months after I did, so it's fun to share this one together simultaneously as we anticipate Dear Pen Pal. So far I still prefer Much Ado About Anne, but I think it's because that's where I was first introduced to the characters. They each stand alone completely, so the order doesn't really matter.

A lovely side-effect of these books is that it can help interest girls in the classics. Amanda read Anne of Green Gables and then immediately read Heather Vogel Frederick's novel at my recommendation (linked to her review of both). They dovetailed nicely together for her. When we looked up Dear Pen Pal, she asked me, "What book are they reading in this one?" I told her that it was Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster (I haven't heard of it, but it is apparently a book of letters like The Guernsey One. Can anyone recommend it?).

"Do you think I should read it first?" she asked.

"Sure! Great idea," I affirmed, and made plans to pick it up at our library tomorrow.

Our other goal for this month is the hotly anticipated sequel to the Hunger Games, Catching Fire (Want to win a copy? Click through the link and enter!). I actually got a copy in the mail today, and gave it to Amanda with a little sticky note attached basically telling her that I loved her, and I'm proud of how she's growing up, and I trust her to read it first (The content of the first one was right on the edge of Mommy's comfort zone for her reading, so I had planned to sort of preview this one, but honestly at this point, it would be like torture NOT to let her read it, so I'm letting her go first). She told me that her friends would be "so jealous," and made sure that she knew that it couldn't be loaned out until I had a chance to read it.

There's no official sign-up, but I'll keep blogging monthly (around the first of the month) about what I am reading with my kids, and I invite you to do so as well. You can tell me about your plans in the comments, or link to a post on your blog where you make some goals or discuss your progress.


morninglight mama said...

It's so great to read about you guys reading together-- such a great bonding experience!! :)

And, you are basically the COOLEST mom EVER for letting her go first. No way could I have done that. Even hubby had to wait until I was done. ha!

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

I'm going to check out those books for me & CJ.

Right now, we're reading a non-fiction book by Elizabeth George at night. It's called A Young Woman's Guide to Making Right Choices. It's good reading/discussion time for us, and the perfect end to our day. I wish I had time in the morning to read together, but that just doesn't happen.

P.S. - I'm thoroughly impressed that Amanda packs her own lunch!

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

C. and I just started reading together again -- after pretty much taking all summer off. We re-started A Wind In the Door, which was had briefly begun last spring. With cooler and darker evenings, it just feels right to snuggle in and read together before bed.