Fall is the perfect season to get cozy and curl up with a good book from our selection of VM Book Club reads. Now that it’s actually dark at bedtime I’m really loving story time. My kids and I cuddle up under a blanket and pull out our favourite book club reads! You can look back at some of the great books we’ve shared here. This fall we read about back-to-school for an introverted first grader, an aspiring paleontologist and shared one local Mom’s recount of the early years of her medically complex daughter’s journey. There are so many stories in our heads and in our hearts. I love when they make it onto paper and can be shared, best enjoyed with a pumpkin-spice latte. Read on for our book recommendations for the month.
What are you reading this fall? Share your book recommendations and comment on our reviews using #VMBookClub
Gia and the Moon
Written by: Sharon Dulay
Illustrated by: Robyn Leaves
Publisher: The Self Publishing Agency
Recommended audience: 5+
Gia and the Moon was perfectly timed with my son’s entry into kindergarten. The book begins with Gia’s expectations of the first day not lining up with the reality which I found valuable to discuss with my son. The book describes how we imagine things to go might not be how it happens and also introduces the idea of introverted characters. Some people are more comfortable in smaller groups and that’s more than ok! Friends at school all learn best in different settings and it’s important to listen to your body to learn how you are most comfortable. Gia is a very sweet character and this VM book club option is perfect for any young, shy school-goers. This was also our first experience with a chapter book!
And that funny feeling in your tummy, we call that butterflies, because it feels like hundreds of butterflies fluttering inside your body! Having butterflies can be scary, but just think of how beautiful they look flying around your heart.
Find it: The Self Publishing Agency
Peter Lee’s Notes from the Field
Written by: Angela Ahn
Illustrations by: Julie Kwon
Recommended audience: 8-12
Publisher: Tundra Books
I outsourced the reading of this book to my friend Leila who is 11 and in Grade 6. I had read a bit myself and loved discussing it with her. Leila found the book really funny, which I did too. The main character Peter is a rather punny character and has an amusing way of looking at the world as he shares through each of his journal entries. Leila connected with Peter over the frustrations of having a little sister. She was a bit perplexed by the “big dinosaur words” but liked learning what some of them meant. Leila’s big takeaway was how special Peter’s relationship with his grandparents is and the intergenerational focus of his family. This VM book club read is a great tween option, especially for dinosaur lovers who would be familiar with the terminology!
What is our purpose here today? Where will we work? What tools will we need? What is the best approach? Asking questions and finding answers are key components to being a good scientist.
Find it: Penguin Random House
Written by: Laesa Faith Kim
Recommended audience: Grown-Ups
Publisher: The Self Publishing Agency
Laesa’s story shares her experience with her medically compromised daughter and their experience in BC Children’s Hospital. The level of world-class care, uncertainty, tough choices and daily reality checks are both heartbreaking and hopeful. Having spent time in the PICU with my son I related deeply to much of her story. The sounds of the heart monitors and oxygen machines, navigating the tubes, being bound by the schedule of doctors rounds and seeing nurses more than you saw friends were all familiar. But so much of her story was beyond my own, her daughter Evelyn’s challenges were more complicated than what we faced. The strength that Laesa and her family demonstrated throughout the book are inspiring. Her faith and methods of processing were encouraging. This is a tough book to read in places. Laesa’s is a reality many of us will never know but her writing is so beautiful, her love so strong and her emotion is so raw I was drawn in and celebrated every triumph alongside Evelyn.
Another mom walks along beside her child’s bedside, also being wheeled down this hall. They pass us going in the other direction. There is a gentle touch on my arm and a pained smile, a familiar expression. I don’t know her. But her face is my face, she is me and I am her.
Find it: Laesa Faith Kim
Jenn Wint is a writer, communications strategist and a public relations specialist. She is passionate about storytelling and community. Jenn lives in East Vancouver with her husband, 3yo son and 1yo daughter. You’ll find them hanging around Vancouver’s playgrounds, water parks, coffee shops and anywhere that bakes fresh cookies in-house!