Wow -- what a difference a year makes!
Last year when we started our book group, the girls were pensive and shy and at a loss for what to do during a book discussion. This year, they were bold and prepared and very opinionated! I was so proud of them! I can't believe we've made it. I mentioned in a previous post that I'm not sure I've done any good as a mother...but at least I know I've done good with this! Now if I could just solve my yelling problem. :)
As far as the book -- I think the girls enjoyed it for the most part. Daisy daughter was by far the biggest cheerleader -- the others were not nearly as crazy about it -- but they had a great discussion nonetheless (sounds like my adult book club -- even when the book isn't overly popular, the discussion usually makes up for it). They liked discussing the different personalities of the girls -- Emma, Cassidy, Jess and Megan. I was concerned about the "mean girls" and the name calling -- so I asked them how they dealt with girls like that at school. They seemed nonplussed about mean girls. Some tried to play peacemakers, others just turned away. Glad we are raising girls who ignore the taunts of others -- I wasn't so lucky. I was the brunt of many mean girl antics and remember being despondent.
I also think they appreciated the Louisa May Alcott/Little Women theme. Many wanted to read it, but thought it was "way too long!" Daisy daughter picked up a Barnes & Noble abridged version and she loved it, but was furious when she found out that they didn't include Beth dying! How is that possible? That's the apex of the novel!
From an adults' perspective -- I thought the novel was just OK. Not sure I'm eager to read the others in the series, even though Daisy daughter insists they get better. I wasn't particularly fond of how the mothers were portrayed and some of the name calling they exhibited. I'd like to think my peers wouldn't behave in such a manner, but I'm probably living in a bubble.
But, it was great night and I'm so glad to get back in the groove.
Our next two selections are:
October: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
November: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
We decided to do these books in tandem -- considering one is an homage to the other. And be careful what you wish for -- when I reviewed the latter earlier this year I mentioned that I hadn't heard ANY feedback from the audience for which this book was intended -- I am about to find out! It will be interesting to see how these are received -- we have a wide range of reading levels, and some of the "ideas" of time travel may be over our girls' heads. We shall see.
Book source: personal copy