January 31, 2012
It started as an idea after Lexington Middle School
Librarian and Media Specialist Bev Gustafson ran across Kate
Messner's blog. The culmination of which was a Skype session Thursday, January 26, 2012 with
Sprouting from the seeds of Gustafson's idea is the Mother
Daughter Book Club at LMS. On Dec. 19, 2011 the club held its first
meeting and started reading Messner's book "The Brilliant Fall of
Gianna Z." "I ran across [Messner's] blog one night and she recommended
this book as a great book for a mother daughter book club,"
Gustafson said. "I read the book and loved it. It's a great book to
read with middle school girls and their moms."
The book follows Gianna as she must complete a project in school
all while making sure another character in the book does not stab
her in the back and take her spot in the cross country sectional
meet. More pressing matters take place, however, as Gianna must
deal with her grandmother who has Alzheimer's disease and her best
friend starts to see her in a different light.
For the members of the LMS book club, Gustafson believes it has
brought each member of the club closer to their family. It is something mother, Maria Corado and her daughter, Monica, a
sixth grader at LMS, echoed.
"I just wanted to something with my daughter to get closer to
her," Maria said. "It has really opened a line of communication up
between us." "I just know that if I have a hard time with school or anything,
I can still talk to her," Monica said of her mother. Maria said the book club has been a good experience for her and
Monica because they are able to bond over the story in Messner's
book. It's given the opportunity to discuss more than just the book
also. "Every day I tell her I love her and that I'm here for her,"
Maria said. "I think that is something that every daughter needs to
here at her age because so much is going on in her life right
Thursday night's Skype session with Messner brought an end to
the book, which all 30 members said they thoroughly enjoyed, as
each of the mothers and daughters had the opportunity to ask
Messner about her book.
Messner has been a published author since 2007. She has written
seven books with more on the way and just recently made the switch
from middle school teacher to full-time writer. The upstate New York based writer said picking her favorite book
is like asking a parent to pick their favorite child, when one of
the students asked her what her favorite book she had written
was. Messner then described her writing process and answered how she
comes up with her characters in her books.
"Some of the characters are inspired by the students I used to
teach," she said, "but more often than not I borrow bits and pieces
from lots of people to make up one character.
"My kids accuse me of stealing their life stories," she said
laughing. "Now I have to ask their permission if I want to use
something from them for a character."
Gustafson said Messner's book is going to be one of the 35
featured books at this year's reading banquet at the LMS gym. The banquet starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 20. The theme is
"Peace Out and Read: Bookstock 2012." However, the premise remains the same for the club - bring
mothers and daughter together through the world of books, and she
hopes to have more book club sessions in the future.
"Some of the moms were commenting what a treat this was,"
Gustafson said. "Many of the moms are avid readers and not very
often do they have the opportunity to read the same book as their
daughters and discuss it.