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THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOOK CLUB by Heather Vogel Frederick


by Heather Vogel Frederick

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: April 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-689-86412-4
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Four moms meet at yoga class and decide to create a book club for their very individual sixth-grade daughters. Emma’s mom, a librarian, orchestrates the year-long monthly discussions of Little Women. Jess, Emma’s best friend, misses her actress mom, who is away in New York City. Cassidy, daughter of a retired supermodel, misses her dad, who was killed in a car accident. Megan feels pressure to stay with the rivaling “Fab Four” clique rather than the book-club girls but really wants to pursue her interest in fashion design despite her mom’s Ivy League expectations. Parallels between the classic novel’s characters and the girls are interspersed as the mothers and daughters pursue their monthly meetings despite a continual display of bullying, if not nasty, behaviors and attitudes from adults, kids and Queen Bee moms. Told in alternating voices from the girls’ viewpoints, some issues are addressed and resolved in an all-too-conveniently glamorous trip to New York City. Certain imagery Frederick provides seems cliché and even vexing. The popular crowd constantly chastises Emma for wearing thrift store hand-me-downs, while her mother dresses in her own thrifty choices. Are librarians really that poor? Still, possibility for discussion exists here, though the novel itself is a negative model for a parent/child book group. (Fiction. 9-12)