Saturday, February 9, 2008


On Thursday, I met with a Mother-Daughter book club in Matthews, NC. And wow - what an experience. The girls, who are in 6th grade, have been meeting for 4 years. The moms take a hands off approach - meaning they sit around the edge of the room and let the girls, who sit on the floor, do their own thing.

Mykayla and Jenny were our lovely hostesses. Mykayla facilitated the discussion by asking the girls to choose slips of paper on which were typed the names of various characters from BLUE. Then she instructed the group to answer question from the viewpoint of the character they'd chosen.

Questions like:
What was your saddest moment in the story?
What was your happiest moment?
What is your best character trait?

There were more, but that's what I remember off the top of my head. Mostly I remember how breathtaking it was to sit there and listen to those girls put themselves into my character's shoes. To name their emotions and discuss their qualities and then, eventually, to answer for themselves as well as the characters.

It was a humbling experience that breathed new life into my own characters for me!

The Q & A time was fabulous too. The girls are so bright and articulate. It was pure pleasure to be with them.

Mykayla and Jenny provided heart shaped cakes, strawberry ice-cream, and candy. Lois, who invited me in the first place sent me home with a bag of cookies and a bottle of water for the road as well as a lovely basket with potted daffodils and johnny jump-ups.

But before we disbanded we posed for a group shot.

Thanks everyone - you made my week!


  1. Oh, Joyce! This gave me goosebumps! How beautiful!

    My son and I used to participate in a "book bash" run by our favorite local independent book store. Kids would read a MG book and gather for group activities and discussion at the book store one night. He was in 2nd grade when we started. Sadly, at the end of his 3rd grade year, the book store had to close its doors, so we've had no book club. But this has inspired me.

    And wow! As an author, to see those girls dive into your book and swim in all its emotion and characterization and everything else. You must be over the moon!


  2. Over the moon - yes! It touched me deeply. Especially when one mom told me her daughter prefers math to reading but she loved Blue and another mom said goodbye with tears in her eyes. I wanted to hug her and ask - What? Tell me what you are feeling.

    But I was too shy...

  3. Here's hoping when you move there will be a great book club waiting there for you!

  4. That is so cool. What a privilege! Maybe we should start a book club for the girls at church. I hear several of them enjoy reading.

  5. Okay, you just made me cry!

  6. Uh, ghost girl, I didn't mean to make you cry.

  7. A book club with the girls would be a great thing!

  8. Wow - what a lovely experience that must have been for you and them. It's so wonderful to see young people enjoying books as we remember doing at that age. And wouldn't we have been excited but very shy I am sure to have met our favorite authors. Who knows you may have experienced this event with and inspired a budding author or two. Fabulous!!!!

  9. Thanks, Jeannie! I'm learning that there are still lots of readers out there. But I think it has so much to do with families. Thos moms were wonderful!