The Mother-Daughter Book Club is the first book in the Mother Daughter Book Club series, by Heather Vogel Frederick. The girl on the cover is Jess.
|Mother Daughter Book Club|
Heather Vogel Frederick
Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing (April 24, 2007)
In the fall, Emma's point of view starts the book. She is boarding the bus for the first day of 6th grade at Walden Middle School in Concord, Massachucets. As she gets on the bus, she is teased by Becca Chadwick and Ashley Sanborn for wearing a skirt that was a hand-me-down from a girl named Nicole Patterson, who is in her older brother Darcy's grade.
Emma tells about her first days of school, and how she hates them. When Emma gets to school, her best friend is not in her class. She ends up having to sit across from Megan Wong, her ex-best friend who teases her, and next to her crush, Zach Norton.
When Emma gets home, she eats dinner with her family. She reveals that her mother cannot cook, so her father does, and at the dinner table her mother tells her that she and some of the other mothers in her yoga class have decided to start a mother-daughter book group, but won't tell Emma who is in it.
Megan Wong Edit
Megan Wong's fall chapter begins at the library, where the book group is being held. She texts her best friend, Becca, saying that she has to go to a stupid book club, instead of the mall, like they had planned, and she doesn't want to at all. Her mother explains that it will look good on her application to the Colonial Academy, a prestigious school in Concord, but Megan has no interest in it- she wants to become a fashion designer. Megan explains that her mother does not support her dream.
Megan then tells about how she and her mother are very different. Her mother supports many causes, and thinks fashion is a "frivolity", while Megan thinks pretty much the opposite.
Soon after arriving at the library, Emma and her mother arrive. Megan criticizes Emma in her mind for her clothing. Then Cassidy Sloane comes, with her mother Clementine. Soon after, Jess arrives. Jess's mother cannot be there, as she is an actress who is currently working on a soap opera called "Heartbeats".
Mrs. Chadwick, Becca's mother, comes in and criticizes the mothers of the group for holding "a private club" in a public place, and Megan explains that no one likes Mrs. Chadwick because she is so stuck up and mean.
Mrs. Hawthorne announces that the book they will be reading that year is Little Women, and soon after the book group ends.
Cassidy walks into the kitchen after school on Halloween, and sees that her mother is making cupcakes for a Halloween party she planned. Cassidy is upset that her mother decided to host a party with all of her classmates without asking her first. Cassidy yells at her mother and Courtney, her sister, tells her that she should be nicer to her mother. Cassidy ignores her sister's advice and heads to the ice skating rink.
After the book club meeting, which takes place before the party in the turret of the Sloane's victorian house, Cassidy gets dressed up for the night. Her costume is her hockey outfit.
Later Cassidy gets Emma, Jess, Zach, Ethan, and Third to help her play a prank on the Fab Four (Megan, Becca, Ashley, and Jen) and gets in trouble.
Emma tries to convince Jess to try out for the school play, saying that she is a great actress and has a beautiful voice, but Jess refuses because her mother left to be and actress in HeartBeats.
Jess and Emma watch the hockey tryouts. They, as well as Darcy, are helping Cassidy try out for the boy's hockey team without Cassidy's mother knowing. At the tryouts, the Fab Four steal Emma's journal and read aloud a poem Emma wrote about her crush, Zach.
Jess and Emma leave because Emma is so upset and they bake cookies at the Hawthorne's house for the book club meeting that night.
Cassidy 'gets' the spot on the team, and Mrs. Chadwick is furious because she thinks that spot should have been her son, Stewart's. When Clementine finds out, she is upset that she is the only one who didn't know about the tryout and says that hockey is too dangerous for Cassidy. That night's book club is cancelled.
Cassidy and her mother pick up Jess from a rehearsal for the school play. We find out that Jess tried out and got the part of Belle. Jess explains that the Fab Four have been teasing her and spreading rumors, but Cassidy tells her to ignore them.
Cassidy explains that her mother has been taking her to a family counselor. She tells about how she and her mother signed a contract, a compromise that stated that Cassidy could play hockey if she promised to work on her attitude and her manners.
At book group, Megan's mother brings out some healthy vegan cookies which Cassidy thinks are disgusting. She, Jess, and Emma are asked to go find Megan. They wander around the humongous house, eventually finding Megan's room. They tell Megan to hurry up. While they wait, Emma finds the old doll clothes that Megan designed for their barbies when they were young. She asks Megan about them, but Megan is furious and she ignores it. At the book group meeting, the girls and their mothers (except for Mrs. Delany, as she has not been at the club yet) discuss their careers. Mrs. Wong and Mrs. Sloane do not agree with their daughters chosen careers. The mothers come up with an idea to have a Little Women themed Christmas party.
It has snowed a lot, so Mrs. Hawthorne plans to cancel the Christmas party. Mrs. Hawthorne makes a bunch of phone calls, but won't tell Emma who she was talking to, or what about. Soon Jess's father comes with a wagon pulled by the Delany family's horses, Led and Zep. The book group goes on a ride in the wagon and they end up at the Sloane's house and have the Christmas party.
Jess arrives home from school and watches HeartBeats on TV. She talks to her mother even though her mother cannot hear her. She is dissapointed that her mother could not be home to see her in the play. Jess's father drops her off at the Hawthorne's house, promising to pick up Jess's goat, Sundance, and they eat dinner. Then Jess goes to school to prep for the play. At the play, all is going well until the Fab Four play a trick on Jess, taking Sundance and scaring her onstage. Jess is very upset.
Megan gets angry because she got in so much trouble for helping Becca with the goat stunt. She starts to think it was a silly prank and is also angry that Zach won't speak to her. The book club holds an emergency meeting and decides they need to come to an agreement. The girls decide not to kick Megan out of the book club, but she has to make it up to Jess by making her a dress for the Spring Fling dance. At the end of the chapter, Megan realizes that she misses Emma and wants to have a better friendship with the rest of the girls. At the end of the chapter, they celebrate by eating pie, and when Becca texts, Megan chooses not to respond.
At the beginning of the chapter, the Concord Comets, Cassidy's hockey team, are competing for a championship title with the Minutemen. Cassidy scores a point to tie the game. After a short break, she's ready to win the game. Before getting back onto the ice, Cassidy sees the Minutemen's coach talking to some of his players and pointing at her. When she gets back out, one of the minutemen ends up boarding her. Mrs. Sloane then calls the coach out in front of everyone. Cassidy ends up being fine and she scores the final goal, winning the game for the comments. The whole book club cheers for her.
At the beginning of the chapter, Emma is having a sleepover with Jess, Cassidy, and Megan. Megan is still in the "Fab Four" clique, but she started spending more time with the book club since she apologized to Jess. Emma's father wakes them up and they go to the Patriot's Day parade, a historical reenactment that occurs every year in Concord (most of the girls' parents and older brothers are participating.) At the breakfast there, Jess's brothers, Ryan and Dylan, bother Becca's older brother, making fun of him for being a Redcoat reenactor. Becca yells them and pushes them, which makes Jess angry. She confronts Becca and tells her to leave her brothers alone. This surprises everyone, since Jess is usually so quiet, so Cassidy and Emma back her up. Ashley and Jen back Becca, but Megan doesn't choose a side. Becca makes Megan choose, and she goes with the Book Club. Megan throws her pancakes at Becca and gets syrup in her hair. The day ends with a food fight between the two groups, and the Book Club girls laugh all the way back to Emma's house, where they watch the parade.
The chapter starts with all of the girls at Cassidy's house, preparing for the Spring Fling. Megan has made Jess and herself a dress. Jess's mother had sent the girls "goodies" that the cast of Heartbeats used. They all come down the stairs in their dresses. Emma's is a hand-me-down from Nicole Patterson. She gets upset, because the dress is floor length and too formal for the dance. Megan quickly fixes the sleeves and changes the length. Emma cheers up, and everyone compliments Megan on her talent at design.
At the dance, Zach Nortan calls Jess "Beauty", his nickname for her because of the play they were in together, and asks her to dance. Emma gets jealous and runs to the bathroom, crying. Megan and Cassidy help to cheer her up, and Jess tells Emma that she doesn't really like Zach- just as a friend. Jess admits that she really likes Darcy, since he saved Jess's goat at the play. They all go back to the gym and end up dancing with friends.
The Mother-Daughter book club is being held at Jess's house for the first time. Jess watches her mother on Heartbeats, and then spends some time on the roof, her 'secret hiding place'. Jess is really happy because her father's made lemonade and cleaned up the house. But, instead of being good, Jess's dad embarrasses her by trying to get her and her friends dance the "Dance of the Maypole Maidens," something he found in a hippie parents magazine.
Jess gets very upset and goes to her room, crying. She's very angry that her family is so weird. Emma, Cassidy, and Megan all go find Jess and comfort her. Finally, Jess's father comes to apologize, and then although Jess is unhappy about what he did, she forgives him. Then they go down and finish the book club meeting.
Finally, the last day of school has come. It's Emma's 12th birthday. The party is being held at Megan's house. Emma gets presents from everyone, including a big present from Jess's mother- tickets for them to go to New York! The mothers start a conga line and the girls dance with them around the living room. They're all excited about the trip.
The chapter begins with all the girls at the train station, on their way to New York. They run into Mrs. Chadwick and Becca. Mrs. Chadwick is unimpressed, and tells them their trip is a bad idea.
When the girls arrive in New York, they all go shopping. Mrs. Sloane runs into Wolfgang, and photographer for Flash Magazine, a magazine she used to model for. Megan ends up showing Wolfgang her designs. He is impressed and tells Megan that they are starting a spin off magazine for teenagers called Flashlite, and asks Megan's mother if Megan can be featured in the first issue. Mrs. Wong agrees, much to Megan's surprise (and happiness.)
That day, the group also goes to a Red Sox game, where Cassidy catches a fly ball. She's happy, because she can get it signed by the entire team.
Back at the hotel, Mrs. Sloane announced that she is starting a TV show called "Cooking with Clementine", and that they won't have to move because it will be filmed in their own home. To celebrate, the entire book group has a pillow fight and ice cream sundaes.
The girls are on the set of Heartbeats, eating a special lunch. They get to watch the taping of an episode. Emma sugests that they change a line of the script, and the director tells her he loves the idea and he'll put her name in the credits.
Cassidy overhears Jess's mother telling Jess that she can't go back to Half Moon Farm soon because it's the last chance at her acting Career that she'll get. Jess gets upset, and Cassidy attempts to comfort her. Later, the girls go to a Broadway showing of Little Women. The chapter ends with Cassidy feeling sorry for Jess, becuase her mother chose not to go back to Half Moon Farm, whereas her father didn't choose to die.
The book club and their families have a picnic at the Orchard House. After getting a tour of Louisa May Alcott's home, they eat and the boys go to play a game of croquet. Jess's dog, Sugar, smells somewhere and after being let off her leash, runs and finds Jess's other dog, Spice. Jess runs towards the two and sees he rmother. Jess's mother proceeds to tell her that she's left her job at Heartbeats to spend more time with her family, because they are more important than acting.
The book ends with the Delany family hugging each other, and everyone else looking on happily.