This week's Because of A Book post is so timely for Children's Book Week. Today, I am joined by yet another WOW! author.
Cindy Hudson is the author of Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs (Seal Press, October 2009). She is the founder of two long-running mother-daughter book clubs, and she lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two daughters. Visit her online at www.MotherDaughterBookClub.com, or you can follow her on Twitter:
For the Love of Books
As far back as I can remember I’ve loved books. I used to sit on my mom’s lap while she read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss and Go, Dog. Go! by P. D. Eastman for the hundredth time.
My local library was housed in an old Victorian mansion, and summers I used to wander the tiny rooms and find armloads of new and old books to check out. Lying face down on my bed, slowly turning the pages, it was easy for me to get lost in the fictional worlds I read about.
So it’s probably no surprise that I began reading to my daughters as soon as they were born. And as soon as they were both old enough, we started a mother-daughter book club with other friends who loved to read. Suddenly I saw reading through a whole new light.
Reading books became more than a solitary endeavor. I read with my daughter, and we talked about the stories. We laughed, talked about people we knew who the characters reminded us of, guessed how the book would unfold, and learned a lot about each other.
We read classics like Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink, and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. We read books that creeped us out, like Coraline by Neil Gaiman, and The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer.
It was while reading Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath I first discovered my daughter Madeleine loved experimenting with food. Chicken pot pie on a waffle? She was all over it. If not for Red Scarf Girl by Ji Li Jiang, I wouldn’t have known that Catherine, who is normally quiet, had strong opinions about the Chinese Cultural Revolution and how it affected children and families.
Our mother-daughter book club discussions have broached every subject that you could imagine being awkward talking about with your daughter—teen sex, under-age drinking, adult sex, rape, suicide, eating disorders, and more. Reading books together gave us an entrée to bring those topics up while talking about characters and their actions.
Because of books, I know more about what makes my girls laugh; I know what is likely to make them cry. Because of books I have spent a lot of time snuggled up next to them on the couch, even when they outgrew more public displays of motherly affection.
Because we’ve always read together, I’m hoping that we always will, even if they live far away from me. And I can’t wait to discover new things to know about them the next time we fold back the cover and begin to read our next book.
Buy it at Amazon
Buy it at Powells
Buy it at Amazon