To prepare for the Girls Leadership Parent & Daughter Book Club pilot, I collected heaps of children’s books. Books littered my desk, office floor, bedside table, and even my car. No library or bookstore was safe with me walking by.
But the most powerful book I read while thinking about this program was not a children’s book. It was Her Next Chapter by Lori Day.
I expected some book recommendations, and neat book club tips. But this book was so much more. Ms Day uses her experiences with her own mother-daughter book club as the basis for this book, and underscores how a mother-daughter book club is uniquely positioned to support girls through the challenges of modern childhood and beyond. Throughout the book, Ms Day’s grown daughter Charlotte Kugler provides her perspective on how being in a mother-daughter book club impacted her.
The first few chapters are rich with advice about all aspects of forming and maintaining a mother-daughter book club. Ms Day covers logistical topics ranging from where to meet to how many people make a good book club and what to do when members quit the group. I’m sure I’ll be referring back to these chapters as I get ready to host my first book club meetings.
Even for those not interested in a mother-daughter book club, the later chapters in the book are wonderfully helpful for anyone who cares for young girls. Ms Day devotes eight chapters to specific challenges that girls will face as they grow up today, such as harmful messages about body image, bullying, and gender stereotypes.
Ms Day gives advice not only for book club discussion, but ideas for family conversations and activities. And, in each chapter, she interviews an expert on that particular subject. (Our own Rachel Simmons provides an interview for the chapter Dealing with ‘Mean Girls’.)
These chapters also include lists of recommended books, movies, and media for a variety of ages, from 8 through the teen years. She highlights certain books that are her particular favorites and for these books she provides thoughtful discussion questions. Her lists and guides would serve as an excellent foundation on which to build a new book club, and could keep a club happily reading and discussing for many months.
More important even than Ms Day’s sound guidance or her book lists, Her Next Chapter got me excited about all the possibilities for our new book club project. It inspired and motivated me to make our club a dynamic and nurturing place for my daughter, our friends, and me.
Warning: Reading Her Next Chapter will make you want to start a book club with your daughter. Fortunately, we’ve got one for you. And, as you get ready for your first Girls Leadership Parent & Daughter book club meeting this October, Her Next Chapter would be a great one to share with all the club parents and parent figures.
Shannon blogs about her bookish life at www.shannonrigney.com