Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Parent-Student Book Club

It’s common knowledge that reading to a child helps them perform better in school. Bedtime stories become treasured childhood memories, but at some point we stop reading to our kids and we lose something in that. Gain it back by reading and discussing books with your Teen. You’ll have an opportunity to see how they think, offer advice and insight, and the best part is, it’s fun!

Check out these titles that can be read together and then check out our list of companion titles.

Companion Titles are books that are similar in theme and content so you can share new things with your reading partner.

Single Titles


Freakonomics by: Steven D. Leavitt (330 LEV)

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? How much do parents really matter? Leavitt studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports—and reaches conclusions that turn conventional wisdom on its head.
After you’ve read: Discuss whether the research seems to be true. What would you like to dig deeper into if you had the time?

Letters to a Young Sister by Hill Harper (170.8.4 GLA)

Each chapter is a letter beginning with an uplifting quote and post-scripted with a question posed via email (the formatting is lifted whole) and answered by a famous, successful woman like Nikki Giovanni, Michelle Obama, Ruby Dee and Eve. Writing in a conversational style, Harper focuses on a variety of different issues loosely grouped into topics like blues, love, family relationships, saving money and appreciating life (though not overly religious, Harper isn't shy with his beliefs).
After you’ve read: Discuss what issues girls that you know go through. How can the advice you’ve read help. Did any of the essays miss the mark?

Fences by: August Wilson (812 WIL)
The protagonist of Fences (part of Wilson’s ten-part “Pittsburgh Cycle” plays), Troy Maxson, is a strong man, a hard man. He has had to be to survive. But the1950s are yielding to the new spirit of liberation in the 1960s... a spirit that is changing the world Troy Maxson has learned to deal with the only way he can...a spirit that is making him a stranger, angry and afraid, in a world he never knew and to a wife and son he understands less and less.
After you’ve read: Discuss how pressures of the world can affect family life? Are there any pressures outside the home in politics or society affecting your home life?

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by: Malcolm Gladwell (153.4 GLA)
Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant-in the blink of an eye-that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept?
After you’ve read: Discuss the strategies in the book. Who is the best decision maker in the family? Can you be better?

Companion Titles

In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens : Womanist Prose by Alice Walker (B WAL)

In this, her first collection of nonfiction, Alice Walker speaks out as a black woman, writer, mother, and feminist in thirty-six pieces ranging from the personal to the political.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker (F WAL)
Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister's letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.
After you’ve read: Discuss the role of black women in the world today versus the time period of the books. What does feminism look like now? Are we feminists in this family?

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Wasn’t Enuf by Ntozake Shange
A choreopoem following several women as they deal with city life, betrayal, love and death.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (F MOR)
Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.
After you’ve read: Discuss the obstacles all of the women have to overcome. How would you tackle them? Are these stories helpful or harmful to young women who maybe going through similar situations?

7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey (158.08 COV)
Flip open to any page and become instantly absorbed in real-life stories of teens who have overcome obstacles to succeed, and step-by-step guides to shifting paradigms, building equity in "relationship bank accounts," creating action plans, and much more.
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (158 CAR)
For more than sixty years the rock-solid, time-tested advice in this book has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.
After you’ve read: Discuss the different strategies for success detailed in the book. Create a goal chart for the year using the tips outlined in each title.