October 2016 Mother Daughter Book Club Newsletter

In This Issue

  • 10 Just-Right Scary Stories for Kids Aged 11 and up
  • Reel Kids Into Reading With True Stories
  • Reading Tips From Kids
  • New Masterpiece Series Set in Greece

Scary Stories: Not Just About Fright

Serafina and the Twisted Staff cover image
Fairy tales from the brothers Grimm, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. For centuries, people, including children, have been fascinated by stories meant to scare and warn readers. But parents may wonder if it’s a good idea to let their kids read them, a concern that ramps up around Halloween when scary books and movies are more prominent.

Experts say, however, that exposing children to frightening tales, in an age-appropriate manner, actually helps prepare them for life. These types of stories also tend to highlight traits parents want to help their children develop, like courage, problem solving, and helping the weak triumph over the strong. Author Jonathon Maberry put it well when he said, “Dracula was not a book about a vampire, it was a book about people fighting vampires.”

The trick is to keep the scary stories age-appropriate, so kids may get a creepy feeling but not be truly disturbed by frightening tales. Here’s a list of 10 books I believe have just the right amount of creepiness while telling a story readers 11 and older will love. Click on the links to read my review of each book.

The Clockwork Scarab and The Spirit Spyglass by Colleen Gleeson
Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen
Ghostlight by Sonia Gensler
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh
Serafina and the Black Cloak and it’s sequel Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty
Tombstone Tea by Joanne Dahme
Under Shifting Glass by Nicky Singer

True Stories Appeal to All Types of Readers

Survival: True Stories cover imageWho can resist a true story from history that tells of real people overcoming hardships or surviving despite difficulties? Many of us are drawn to these kinds of tales and kids are no exception. Reluctant readers especially may be interested in reading books with true stories, and I have two new books releasing in October from Nomad Press to recommend. They’re part of the Mystery and Mayhem series, and they are called
Survival, and
Pirates and Shipwrecks. Here are my reviews:

Survival: True Stories by Tom McCarthy

Some kids are drawn to history, some are not. But most are probably fascinated with real-life stories about events that happened to adventurers and regular people in days gone by. The Mystery and Mayhem series does a great job of finding bits about people from history and turning them into page-turners for the younger set. Survival: True Stories by Tom McCarthy is another in the series sure to appeal to readers aged 9 to 12.

Survival focuses on people who faced extreme circumstances and came out of them alive, even when many others in the group perished. (Continue reading…)

Pirates and Shipwrecks cover image Pirates and Shipwrecks: True Stories by Tom McCarthy

Readers aged 9 to 12 are often attracted to stories about pirates and shipwrecks, and that may be especially true when those stories are about events that happened to real people. That’s the appeal of Pirates and Shipwrecks: True Stories by Tom McCarthy, a title in the Mystery & Mayhem series.

McCarthy features three shipwrecks and two pirates in this quick read that is sure to keep the pages turning. (Continue reading…)

Kids Give Parents Tips on How to Encourage Reading

Reading Rockets image“Book choice is a strong motivation for readers young and old. Let kids pick out books at the library or bookstore. It’s almost a sure thing they’ll want to read them.”

That’s part of the advice to be found in a great article from Reading Rockets called “What Parents Can Do: Reading Tips From Kids.” Other ideas include setting goals and rewarding reading and making sure reading is fun. To find out more about what’s recommended, read the whole article at the Reading Rockets website.

New Masterpiece Series Debuts October 16

The Durrells in Corfu image

Pictured:CALLUM WOODHOUSE as Leslie Durrell, KEELY HAWES as Louisa Durrell, MILO PARKER as Gerry Durrell,DAISY WATERSTONE as Margo Durrell and JOSH O’CONNOR as Larry Durrell.

There’s lots of buzz around the new Masterpiece series coming to PBS on Sunday, October 16. “The Durrells in Corfu” is the story of an English widow who leaves her home to move with her four children to sun-dappled Corfu, Greece in the 1930s. The show is based on the memoir, My Family and Other Animals (and its two sequels).

From the trailer it seems like a charming show, with six episodes scheduled for the series. I’ve already set my DVR.

I am always grateful to everyone who connects in some way, whether it is to share a favorite book, suggest an activity for book clubs, or recommend a favorite author. Please feel free to email ideas and other thoughts to


Cindy Hudson   
Mother Daughter Book
Author of Book by Book: The Complete Guide
to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs

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