For three and a half years, I led a tween girls' book club at our local Barnes & Noble.  Inspired by their young, sharp minds and their intimate confessions, I wrote Bronte's Book Club, a contemporary coming-of-age story.  The setting is based on my childhood, in a town by the sea.

 

Summary:  When twelve-year old Bronte moves to a small California beach town, she tries to form a book club in order to make friends.  It has a rocky start with jealousy, quarrels, and gossip.  But as the girls discuss the historical novel Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell, they see parallels in their lives and that of the main character, Karana, the Chumash Indian who had lived alone on San Nicholas Island during the mid-1800s. As they reflect on, and quote from the story they begin to discover true friendship.  And of course, a good dog is involved!

**  "[A] poignantly wholesome offering." - Kirkus Reviews

**  "This book shows how talking about a great story can spark connections." - Booklist

 

[excerpt]:  The harbor swell rocked the Avalon Rose where the five girls gathered for book club.  They were still shaken by the near-drownings of the day before.  At Nan's invitation they had met on the pier with sack lunches and now sat together on the boat's bow.  It was a perfect summer day, but no one had worn a bathing suit.

"Did you tell your parents what happened?" they asked one another.

"No way."

"Me neither."

"Never."