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Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com has commented on (393) products.

Home for Dinner: Mixing Food, Fun, and Conversation for a Happier Family and Healthier Kids by Anne K Fishel
Home for Dinner: Mixing Food, Fun, and Conversation for a Happier Family and Healthier Kids

Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, January 16, 2015

Anne Fishel believes in the positive impact family dinners can have on parents and children. She’s so passionate about the idea that she cofounded The Family Dinner Project and wrote a book called Home for Dinner: Mixing Food, Fun, and Conversation for a Happier Family and Healthier Kids. Fishel recognizes how difficult gathering everyone around the dinner table can be these days. Parents work, kids have sports, music lessons and other after-school activities.

But Fishel is also aware of the studies that tie “shared meals to increased resiliency and self-esteem in children, higher academic achievement, a healthier relationship to food, and even reduced risk of substance abuse and eating disorders.” With all of these benefits, connected to one simple activity, how can parents not make it a priority? The trouble is figuring out how to make it work.

Home for Dinner provides the blueprint. Certainly there are recipes for easy dinners in the book. But Fishel recognizes that the food is sometimes the least important part of a family meal. So she gives tips for conversation starters, ideas for making mealtime less stressful, and other suggestions to get the whole family on board with the concept.

Fishel doesn’t talk down to parents or scold them for not doing well enough; instead she gives them helpful support to make meaningful changes to daily family life. I highly recommend Home for Dinner for any parent who struggles to put healthy food on the table night after night.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a True Story by Josh Sundquist
We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a True Story

Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, January 16, 2015

Looking back on his relationships since middle school, 20-something Josh Sundquist realizes he’s never had a true girlfriend. He sets out to reconnect with the girls whom he almost connected with to help him discover what he’s doing wrong. Josh tells the story about what happened with each of his almost girlfriends in his memoir, We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a true story.

If you’ve ever felt as though you had a missed opportunity with someone you wanted to date, this book is for you. Sundquist’s story will take you back to your own awkward teen years, when it was hard to read clues from the opposite sex to know if they “liked you, liked you” or just “liked you.” Finding out often meant putting your pride on the line and facing rejection or always wondering “what if.”

Complicating the issue for Sundquist was the fact he is an amputee, and his leg prosthesis made it difficult for him to dance, play sports, walk, etc. like other people. He was never sure if relationships didn’t gel because girls were turned off by that fact or if they just didn’t like the person he was.

While I would have liked to know more about the final, current relationship Sundquist sums up at the end of the book, overall I thought it was a good look at the angst and joys of learning how to communicate and express interest to someone you would like to date.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery (Pumpkin Falls Mystery) by Heather Vogel Frederick
Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery (Pumpkin Falls Mystery)

Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, January 16, 2015

Twelve-year-old Truly Lovejoy is truly unhappy to move from Texas to New Hampshire so her dad can take over the family bookstore. But her grandparents needed to retire and her father needed time to heal and look for a new occupation after a war injury changed his physical abilities.

So once again Truly is starting over at a new school trying to make new friends. Not an easy task when she towers over all the other middle schoolers. But when she discoveries an unusual note in a rare copy of Charlotte’s Web, she finds that the hunt to solve the mystery helps her settle into the community in unexpected ways.

In Absolutely Truly, Heather Vogel Frederick (author of The Mother-Daughter Book Club series) brings together a variety of story lines to create one satisfying tale. There’s the large family with a wounded war veteran dad who’s having difficulty adjusting to life as an amputee. There’s a girl who feels awkward because she’s so much taller than most of her peers. There are the benefits and drawbacks of living in a small community where most people know each other. And there’s the mystery of the note, which helps broaden Truly’s circle of friends as she involves them in figuring out a series of clues.

Fans of Frederick’s mother-daughter book club books will find a lot to like in Absolutely Truly. As in that series, the story here unfolds gently, letting readers get to know the characters and appreciate their quirks along the way. Truly is also a strong role model for young girls: smart, active, respectful, and a good friend. Her struggles with schoolwork and interactions with her siblings make her easy to relate to. I highly recommend Absolutely Truly to mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 9 to 12.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Parenting with a Story: Real-Life Lessons in Character for Parents and Children to Share by Paul Smith
Parenting with a Story: Real-Life Lessons in Character for Parents and Children to Share

Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, January 16, 2015

Often the best way to help our kids learn something we think they should know is to tell a story that helps them see how others faced life situations. The trouble is, we often can’t think of relevant stories when the need arises. Paul Smith hopes to change that, with his book, Parenting With a Story: Real-Life Lessons in Character for Parents and Children to Share.

Smith has a background of finding success through telling stories. He is the author of Lead With a Story, which is geared to business people who are seeking success at work. Parenting With a Story moves that concept from the business world to the family. Exactly 101 stories are included in the book, culled from Smith’s acquaintances to match life lessons in more than 20 areas��"humility, respect for others, and friendship, for instance.

In each case, Smith talks about the value or character trait and illustrates it with a couple of examples. I found all of the stories interesting and relevant, and found myself wanting to share them with my husband and daughters as I read. The challenge is remembering those stories and also coming up with real life examples from your own life when you find yourself needing to impart wisdom. Smith has suggestions for that too.

At the end of the book is a chart listing the subject of each chapter and the stories that illustrate the lesson. He also gives ideas for discovering stories of your own, which I think is particularly helpful.

Like Smith, I really believe telling stories is a more lasting way of getting a point across to your children than telling them what you think they should do. Anything that opens up conversation between the two generations, no matter how old they are, is likely to lead to more understanding and the passing on of wisdom and knowledge. Parenting With a Story should be a good resource for you to turn to over and over again.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle by George Hagen
Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle

Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, January 16, 2015

In the old days, ravens and humans were friends and traveled together, communicating and helping each other. Then a rift occurred, separating the two forever, except for a lucky few. Gabriel Finley is one of those lucky few, a fact he discovers on his 12th birthday. When he makes the connection with the raven chick Paladin, together they work to discover the mystery of his father’s disappearance and restore communion between humans and birds.

Gabriel Finley & the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen is full of mystery and riddles. The story is interesting, and the riddles in the book are fun to work at solving. It also gives readers a lot to think about the nature of friendship. Gabriel loses his friend across the street after the friend moves, but the new girl, Abby, is an even better friend. His aunt takes in an old high school friend when she needs a place to stay, even though the friend is not so easy to live with. Even some of the villains, a school bully and a con man, get chances at redemption through friendship.

It’s an interesting look at human nature and how given the chance, even people who don’t seem the best on the surface can come through in a clinch. There’s a lot to like and discuss in Gabriel Finley in the Raven’s Riddle. I highly recommend it for readers and members of mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 9 to 12.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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