Mother-Daughter Book Club Reading List

Last week Madeleine and I went to the last official meeting of our mother-daughter book club. I think we’re all in denial because it was just like a regular ol’ meeting. No fanfare or anything out of the ordinary. We just can’t quite admit yet that our little girls are all grown up and will soon head off on their own.

The girls graduate soon, and then they’re all off to college. As a sign of just how much has changed since we all started out together when the girls were 9, we finished by reading an assortment of David Sedaris books. That’s a far cry from the sweet books we read back then.

We talked about a few of our favorites over the years. Many people said their favorite book of all was the one we started with: The Hermit Thrush Sings by Susan Butler. There was the time we went together as a group to hear Richard Peck talk about his books and writing and read from his yet to be published The Teacher’s Funeral. We read The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and went to see a theater production adapted from it. And of course, our weekends away have been great fun every time we’ve been able to schedule them.

We’re still trying to figure out how to keep our group together in some way. The moms are talking about signing up for a  series of author lectures. And we plan to have a reunion every year when the girls come home from college. We’re not all on Facebook yet, but that may be an option at some point.

Here’s the list of books we’ve read during our eight years together. Our favorites are followed by stars:


  • The Hermit Thrush Sings—Susan Butler*
  • Dealing with Dragons—Patricia Wrede*
  • Ginger Pye—Eleanor Estes
  • Julie of the Wolves—Jean Craighead George*
  • Our Only May Amelia—Jennifer Holm*
  • Ella Enchanted—Gail Carson Levine*
  • Nancy Drew Mysteries—Carolyn Keene
  • Bat 6—Virginia Euwer Wollf*
  • Stargirl—Jerry Spinelli*


  • The Heart of a Chief—Joseph Bruchac*
  • Jacob Have I Loved—Katherine Paterson
  • Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl—Anne Frank*
  • Boy—Roald Dahl*
  • Boston Jane—Jennifer Holm*
  • Walk Across the Sea—Susan Fletcher*
  • The Secret Garden—Frances Hodgson Burnett*
  • Joey Pigza Loses Control—Jack Gantos
  • Coraline—Neil Gaiman


  • Everything on a Waffle—Polly Horvath*
  • Goddesses:  Heaven Sent—Clea Hantman
  • Tangerine—Edward Bloor*
  • A Year Down Yonder—Richard Peck*
  • Going Solo—Roald Dahl*
  • Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging—Louise Rennison*
  • Fair Weather—Richard Peck*
  • A Step from Heaven—An Na
  • Mates, Dates and Inflatable Bras—Cathy Hopkins*
  • The Second Summer of the Sisterhood—Ann Brashares*


  • Biting the Moon—Martha Grimes
  • A Matter of Profit—Hilari Bell*
  • The Adrian Mole Diaries—Sara Thompson
  • The First Part Last—Angela Johnson
  • The Princess Diaries—Meg Cabot*
  • Hoot—Carl Hiassen*
  • Holding Up the Earth—Dianne Gray
  • Missing Persons:  The Rose Queen—M.E. Rabb
  • The Pearl—John Steinbeck


  • Hope Was Here—Joan Bauer*
  • West With the Night—Beryl Markham
  • Speak—Laurie Halse Anderson*
  • Search of the Moon King’s Daughter—Linda Holeman
  • Keeping the Moon—Sarah Dessen
  • The Secret Life of Bees—Sue Monk Kidd*
  • Ready or Not—Meg Cabot


  • Light Years—Tammar Stein*
  • A Certain Slant of Light—Laura Whitcomb*
  • The Kite Runner—Khaled Hosseini
  • The Life of Pi—Yann Martel
  • In the Time of the Butterflies—Julia Alvarez
  • Girls for Breakfast—Jimmy Woo


  • Millions—Frank Cottrell Boyce*
  • Driver’s Ed—Caroline Cooney
  • The Crucible—Arthur Miller
  • The Higher Power of Lucky—Susan Patron
  • The Pilot’s Wife—Anita Shreve
  • Uglies—Scott Westerfeld*
  • Voices from the Street—Jessica Morrell
  • Twilight—Stephenie Meyer*


  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape—Peter Hedges*
  • Water for Elephants—Sara Gruen*
  • Looking for Alaska—John Green
  • This Boy’s Life—Tobias Wolf
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest—Ken Kesey*
  • The Glass Castle—Jeannette Walls


  • Jane Austen novels*
  • Revolutionary Road—Richard Yates
  • The Bonesetter’s Daughter—Amy Tan*
  • Various titles—David Sedaris*
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