Last night I finished another book with my two older daughters (ages 8 and 10). My husband and I take turns reading to them at night (different books). After finishing the Chronicles of Narnia with them, my husband moved on to the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. I married a fantasy fan. I, on the other hand, have been sharing books with strong, brave young females as their main characters. The last three we have read have been really different from each other, but all such wonderful books.
I thought I’d share a few thoughts about each of them here in case you’re looking for some mother-daughter reading material.
I got this book for my second daughter for Christmas. We started reading it together Christmas night. When it began with a woman in labor on the very first page, I was sold. Especially when I saw these words:
“The fact was that Lovis liked to sing while she was having her baby. It made things easier, she insisted, and the baby would probably be all the jollier if it arrived on earth to the sound of a song.”
If I ever give birth again, I’m totally singing my baby out (see why HERE). This book is masterfully written. A beautiful coming-of-age story with strong themes of friendship, family, and forgiveness. It’s the kind of book where you feel like crying when it ends because you’ve grown to love the characters so much.
I first encountered this book in 2006 when I read it for a book club I (sort of) participated in. The book is based on the Brothers Grimm tale of the same name. I loved it then, and I loved reading it again with my daughters eight years later.
Princess Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee of Kindenree had been traveling with a group of guards to another country (Bayern) where Ani was being sent to wed the prince (to prevent a war). As they neared Bayern, the lady-in-waiting and a group of traitorous guards turned on Ani, stole her horse, and arrived at the prince’s castle claiming the lady-in-waiting to be the princess.
The Goose Girl is the story of Ani’s journey to reclaim her title, find her voice, come to terms with her many losses, and embrace Bayern as her new home. It would make a great film, if it weren’t for the whole speaking-goose-language thing. I’m not sure how they’d make that sound right in-real-life. The Goose Girl inspires me to nurture my own gifts and talents and makes me excited to watch my own daughters discover their own.
I bought this book at the kids’ school book fair. I love trees, gardens, and Garden of Eden symbolism, and the quote from the Booklist book review on the front said: “Symbolism abounds in this beautifully written book.” When the book began in a sort of dreary and morbid way (multiple deaths, a funeral, and a boy claiming he’s dead), I wasn’t so sure I was going to like it. But the book gained momentum and mystery and drew us in.
It’s a book about coming to grips with death and loss and choosing to live and move forward. It’s a book about believing that miraculous, mysterious, and magical things can happen. It’s a book about healing hearts, relationships, and barren land.
I’d recommend waiting until your daughters are at least eight years old (or older, the main character is 10-turning-11) before sharing this book with them. Some of the content may be too intense for younger children.
Another book we checked out from the library but haven’t started yet is The Porcupine Year by Louise Erdrich. I had read that it includes a 12-year-old girl experiencing menarche, so I wanted to read it with my daughters in preparation for menstruation. But then we lost it somewhere in the house. Hopefully we find it before I run out of renewals!
What are your mother-daughter book recommendations?