In 2000, Lori Day and her then 8-year-old daughter Charlotte Kugler formed a mother-daughter book club. It included four other mother-daughter pairs and lasted six enriching years. Their shared book club experience is the inspiration behind Her Next Chapter, a just released book the dynamic duo wrote together to guide a new generation of moms (and any female role models in the lives of girls) through the challenges of girlhood.
Aside from the reading, bonding, and socializing that come with any book club, Lori Day says that mother-daughter book clubs can do so much more. She credits her own club with being the most transformative experience of her parenting journey and relationship with Charlotte, now a senior at Mount Holyoke College.
Drawing on this personal experience as well as her expertise as an educational psychologist, consultant, and parenting coach, Lori advocates for these clubs as safe and empowering havens where girls can thrive during their toughest years.
The whole idea is for moms and other influential females to use the magic of books, in a village-like setting, to build girls’ confidence and lessen the negative impact of media on self-image. As raising girls today can be intimidating and isolating, Her Next Chapter outlines precisely how mothers can work together and individually to accomplish this.
Lori told WYSK, “There are so many obstacles girls face, from our cultural fixation on girls’ appearance, to gender stereotypes, to sexualization. Media and marketing bombard girls with unhealthy messages that discourage leadership and emphasize regressive ideas about what it is to be female.” She added, “Hopefully mothers will find the book educational, and will take away from it a better understanding of the challenges girls, and women face in today’s society.”
The book covers eight of the biggest challenges (e.g. negative body image, bullying, gender stereotypes), showing readers how to identify and understand them, as well as how to deconstruct harmful messaging. But, more importantly, it teaches moms, grandmas, aunts, and friends how to introduce, discuss and explore these difficult topics with their girls and actually have fun doing it. To that end, carefully chosen female-centric books, movies, videos and activities are weaved in as side doors into crucial conversations about growing up female.
On publishing a book with her own daughter, Lori says, “Pop culture and girlhood have changed a lot since we started our own mother-daughter book club back in 2000, so it has been both challenging and rewarding to write a book together and speak publicly about why a more modern version of these clubs is needed now, one that can change the lives of today’s moms and girls for the better.”
PS – This past February, Lori wrote a brilliant LEGO article for Women You Should Know. If the speed at which it went viral, and traversed the globe is any indication of her ability to captivate a wide audience, then this book will be a best seller!
About The Mother-Daughter Authors
Lori Day is an educational psychologist, consultant and parenting coach with Lori Day Consulting and a co-founder and Board member of the Brave Girls Alliance, a global think tank and consulting group of girl empowerment experts who advocate for healthier media and products for girls. She also writes and blogs at LoriDayAuthor.com.
Charlotte Kugler is a senior at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, where she is double-majoring in English and Anthropology. Next fall she will begin working on her Master’s degree in Communication Studies at the University of Rhode Island, and will be teaching two sections of Communications 101 to entering Freshmen.