One of the biggest challenges many mother-daughter book club members face is how to choose books that appeal to two generations of readers. It’s easy to assume that the books girls like will be too frivolous for the moms and that moms will favor books with a message. And while there may be some truth to that, it’s also true that great books bridge that gap and bring the two together.What do books that appeal to both girls and moms have in common?
Timeless themes.. Friendships, family relationships, honor, self-reliance, moral dilemmas and love are some of the issues most of us deal with at some point in our lives.
Something to think about. It’s best not to hit girls over the head with a message, as they don’t want to feel they’re getting a lesson from their teacher or their parents. But, if the issue is relevant to what they may experience or hear about, they will be interested. Especially if the writer lets them draw their own conclusions about a character’s actions.
Layers of meaning. Girls may pick up on a meaning at one level, while moms may notice even more going on in the story. These sorts of books can be both humorous and poignant and generate great discussions for younger and older readers.
In the end, moms and daughters are both hoping to find the same thing every time their book club chooses something to read: a good story well written that doesn’t talk down to or above either one of them. They are likely to go back more than once to writers who give them what they are looking for.
Even if you’re not in a book club, you may want to check out these books that are likely to please readers aged 9 to 90.
Boy by Roald Dahl
Framed by Frnk Cottrell Boyce
The Healing Spell by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Kimchi and Calamari by Rose Kent
A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
Laugh With the Moon by Shana Burg
Trauma Queen by Barbara Dee
Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes