How I Started Our Mother Daughter Book Club

One chilly fall morning last year, my neighbor and I stumbled upon the idea of having a neighborhood mother daughter book club.  Both our daughters weren’t very enthusiastic readers. We thought that the social aspect of the book club would get them motivated to read. At least we hoped.

So, in first grade, we started a neighborhood book club. And, it worked! Now my daughter looks forward to seeing her friends, she’s reading for a purpose, we’re spending time together reading – although sometimes she wants to read on her own and discuss with me later.  It’s wonderful!

Are you considering it yet?

Mother Daughter Book Club

Like our book club, most parent-child book clubs share two things in common – age and gender.  (We started when my daughter was six.) Grouping by age to keeps the reading level similar.  Grouping by gender means the interest in book choices is similar.

From an educational perspective, parent-child book clubs are rich with skill building. Debbie Milner, Literacy Coordinator for the Denver Public Schools, says “Besides building a love of reading, book clubs develop an abundance of literacy skills: the ability to use comprehension strategies; to compare and contrast authors, themes, concepts and ideas; the ability to understand how reading can help you learn about the world; and the ability to learn how to be a good writer from reading good writing.”

Not only skill building, parent-child book clubs show children that their parent values reading. “The parent is modeling reading (yippee!) so the child recognizes that the parent values the printed word,” says author and parenting expert, Michele Borba, Ed.D.

Some clubs tie-in activities to the book. “For How to Train Your Dragon, we ate cake in the shape of a Viking helmet and played our version of “Thor’sday Thursday Celebration” from the book,” says Lori Diggory, a mom in a mother-son book club. “We have done some other tie-in activities such as going to see a movie when one of the books we’ve read comes out on film such as Millions, Eragon and Freaky Friday.”

You’re ready to jump on the parent-child book club wagon aren’t you?

Book Club Resources

Starting Your  Parent Child Book Club!

Ultimate Book Club Guide

Book by Book

The Kids’ Book Club Book

The Mother – Daughter Book Club series

1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up

Are you already in a parent-child book club?  Comment here and tell us all about it!  We’d love to know.

Not, yet in a book club – what are your questions or ideas?  Comment and tell me!

*Read my recent article on parent-child book clubs for Colorado Parent Magazine.

* Read a guest post about starting a preschool parent-child book club.

SHARE-A-STORY!  Check out all the blogs contributing this week here.


  1. says

    I’d heard about them from Terry at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, but not experienced them. It is obvious from your passion and enthusiasm here that they work great. I specially like the idea of activity tie-ins – that can make even more connections from literature to everyday life for a youngster.

  2. says

    I run a library club for children as an after school club. However I think that after reading this I might try changing it to a Book Club next term!
    I really like the way you link activities to the text, it’s a great way to engage young readers and forms connections!

  3. says

    It is a great idea and one that I think I will entertain more in the summer.

    Thank you for the useful information!

    We are movie buffs and we love seeing the movie after we read the book like the Lightning Thief, although that one I wouldn’t recommend since the movie was a complete departure from the book. I wonder what those film directors are thinking sometimes.

  4. says

    What a fabulous presentation, Melissa! We do Mommy-daughter picnics, just my 8YO and me, but I’m thinking I want to expand beyond that this summer. I love the idea of adding activities … something easily done this summer if we add a cookbook!

  5. says

    Love this idea!! I recently did a book party for my kids, inviting friends, reading a book, having activities around the book or theme, etc. It was so much fun and after reading this, it makes me wonder if there is a way I can pull something off more than just once or twice a year! Thanks!!

  6. says

    I’ve routinely talked books with my oldest — we’re constantly handing books back and forth and gabbing about them — but I hadn’t ever thought about a *book group* until the librarian at my 2nd daughter’s school proposed starting up a mother-daughter book group. Daughter #2 is all excited; our first meeting is in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait to see how it goes.

  7. says

    Loved this post, Melissa! I can’t wait till my three year old is old enough for a mother-son book club. I did an author visit to an amazing mother-daughter book club earlier this year. They have a fun ritual of serving food from the book they’re discussing at the meeting. (For Red Glass, it was delicious Mexican food with an entire bowl of limes to squeeze over everything!) Here’s a blogpost about the visit, complete with pictures:

    • sharon says

      Laura, very excited to see your post on here…I am a mom and LIbrarian and Love your books!

  8. says

    My daughters (ages 9 and 11) have a little book club together. After reading the book, we make a dinner or breakfast date to discuss the book over yummy food! We also like to read books that tie in with movies, so we can contrast the book and film versions. (See my blog for more details.)

    I would love to start a mother-daughter book club with other parents and kids, but find it difficult to find parents able to commit. Any suggestions?

    I loved your post, and especially like the idea of tying in activities to the books.


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