For middle school librarian Myra Paul and her 11 year old daughter, Sara, the transition to adolescence has been easier because they are part of a mother-daughter book club.
Every 6 weeks, four moms and their daughters get together. They talk about books of interest to middle school kids. The girls take turns choosing a book to be read by all.
Paul had two goals in mind when the club started. She hoped Sara would stay interested in reading “quality books.” She also saw the club as a way to keep the four young friends connected. This would be important as they faced the new friends and influences that come with junior high/middle school.
Along the way, some unexpected things happened. The girls started talking about serious issues raised in the stories. Discussions have been so lively that Paul admits, “We mothers have to hold back. We want to hear their opinions, not our own.”
These in-depth discussions have also made the girls more articulate in their classes.
The club has also become a support group where both parents and students can talk about having been—and being—a middle-schooler.
The student members say a club for fathers and sons would work just as well as theirs. But Paul suggests that first, interested students should be committed to reading for pleasure.
If you’re interested in starting a parent-child book club and you don’t know what to read, just ask an expert—your own school librarian.
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