Top 10 Books for Parent-Child Book Clubs with Tweens and Teens

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As the author of a book about mother-daughter book clubs, and as a parent who often read books with my daughter at home, I cannot speak highly enough about the transformative power of literature. My favorite part of sharing books with my daughter is having a discussion that begins with some aspect of the plot or the characters, and then watching it shift seamlessly to a discussion about something similar that is going on in her own life. Whether during our book club meetings or in private historically these were conversations that might otherwise have never arisen. In those magical moments, the awkwardness and resistance that often prevent kids from talking directly to their parents about things that really matter just melted away thanks to the distance a “fictional” story presented. Read more…

How to Diminish Darwinian Pecking Orders by Modeling Social Inclusion for Kids

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Do you remember being a little kid in your early years of school, sitting on the floor in a circle with your legs crossed? Maybe your teacher was reading a story or maybe you were singing a song and shaking maracas and tambourines. Sometimes a child would arrive late — late to school in the morning, or perhaps just returning from the nurse’s office or the bathroom. For some reason that child was not there when the circle formed, and as that child approaches — let’s call her Katie — the teacher says something.

“Ok everyone, scooch back a bit to make room in the circle for Katie.” Read more…

Why We Should Talk to Our Kids About Class and Privilege

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I remember the very first, rather generic conversation I had with my daughter when she was in elementary school about how her life compared with the lives of other children on this planet. I drew a triangle for her and said, “The tippy-top point is where the richest and most fortunate people in the world are. There are very few of them. At the bottom of the pyramid is where the poorest people who struggle the most are, and there are a lot of them. Where do you think you are?” She pointed to the middle of the triangle. Ack! Where had I gone wrong? Read more…

Going Offline: 10 Fabulous Books to Read With Your Kids This Summer


In today’s world of ubiquitous personal and mobile screens, family time is becoming harder and harder to come by, and is often framed or fractured by children’s (and parents’) prioritization of digital socializing over the in-person relationships right there inside the home. Family book clubs are educational and are a great way to encourage reading, enhance parent-child bonding and provide enjoyable experiences for everyone offline. They can also serve as a very helpful tool for parents because sharing children’s and YA literature allows parents a side door into tricky conversations with their children about some of the challenging issues they face while growing up, such as cyberbullying or navigating early romantic relationships. Read more…

Why We Must Raise Children Who Care About the Welfare of Animals


This image has haunted me for over a week now, since I first saw it in my Facebook newsfeed. I simply cannot get it out of my mind, and that’s arguably a good thing. Normally I scroll quickly past such disturbing photos. There seem to be more than enough of them on social media, documenting animal abuse in every imaginable form in every country on Earth. You could place them side-by-side along a 24,000-mile invisible thread that encircles the globe at the equator. Read more…