Searching for a way to ``spend some special time'' with her nine-year-old daughter that would ``help us understand each other better,'' Dodson, the assistant director of the Smithsonian Institution's Center for African American History and Culture, hit upon the idea of forming a book club composed of mothers and their young daughters, who would work together to generate a reading list and then gather regularly to discuss what they had read. The idea was an immediate success. The group discussions, Dodson notes, ``offered a unique combination of intellectual and personal sharing,'' bringing mothers and daughters (whose ages ranged from 9 to 12) closer together and allowing them to discuss some difficult issues in a nonconfrontational manner. The book is both a record of Dodson's experiences and a detailed explanation of how to form such a club. It includes a number of brief essays by the children in Dodson's group, short pieces by authors and teachers stressing the value of such groups, and reading lists provided by a variety of noted authors.