Girls, Moms, Form Bonds through Book Clubs

Charlotte Kugler ’14 and her mother, Lori Day, have written a book about the ways that mother-daughter book clubs can help girls grow into strong, self-confident women.

The book is called Her Next Chapter: How Mother-Daughter Book Clubs Can Help Girls Navigate Malicious Media, Risky Relationships, Girl Gossip, and So Much More. It is due out May 1. Publishers Weekly has included it on their list of best parenting books for 2014.

Her Next Chapter grew out of their experiences in a book group with four other mother-daughter pairs, which they belonged to for six years.

Kugler says that she and her mother, an educational psychologist, got the idea after passing a bookstore in her hometown, Concord, Massachusetts, when she was in third grade. Intrigued by a display about starting a mother-daughter book club, they went in, got information, and began their club.

The books the group chose “always focused on girls and women who were able to speak their mind,” Kugler says. The meetings were fun social gatherings, a way for mothers and daughters to spend time together, and also a safe place to discuss problems, such as bullying, that concerned them.

Her Next Chapter expands on materials listed in their websitesuch as age-appropriate books and movies for girls and teens, and girl-empowerment resources.

According to the website, “The goal is to raise girls who are more confident as young women in a culture that makes many girls and women feel insecure and disempowered about their looks and abilities and future roles in life.”

Kugler says that some of the books they read, and that are recommended in Her Next Chapter, differed from the classics that they read in school.

“We read a lot of multicultural literature,” she says. “We read about Muslim girls, girls escaping the Vietnam War, girls in the modern-day conflict in Afghanistan. We learned about history from the point of view of a child growing up through that. It gave us an appreciation for what we had and also gave us a desire to do more.”

—By Ronni Gordon