I’m particularly thrilled to reveal the next selection in the Cool Mom Picks Virtual Book Club, because it’s been a book that’s been on my own must-read list too.

For selection 8, I’ve chosen No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls by Katie Hurley. (Avail from our affiliate Amazon or your local book seller). I mean, as a mom of girls (and a former girl myself), the title grabbed me right away. But it was the subhead that really sold me.

Who doesn’t want to raise strong, confident, and compassionate children? And not just girls, of course. However girls (and women, admittedly) do face some unique social challenges that’s in part created by a culture that demands achievement from girls…but not too much achievement! Likeability…but not too much likeability. Confidence…but she can’t be too confident.

Sigh, get the picture?

Katie Hurley’s book is a massive help. Especially now that kids are back in school.

Check out our live book club chat about No More Mean Girls now on Facebook.

Katie Hurley's No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls

While you’re grabbing the book, maybe pick up a fresh bottle of wine to enjoy during our chat?

We’re so happy to bring the Cool Mom Picks Book Club to you with the support of our fantastic sponsor, The Wines of Vinho Verde. Could there be a more perfect match? These versatile reds, whites, and rosés from Portugal go with whatever you’re eating, and whatever you’re reading. (Though we’ve got some pairing ideas below for you, should you be book-clubbing with friends at home.)

Then you’ll have everything you need to join me on September 9.

Reminder: This is a low-pressure book club!

Even if you don’t finish the book, get through only a few chapters — or are just interested in the topic of becoming a little more unplugged and haven’t read the book at all, you can still join us. We’re busy too, we get it.

Or hey — download Katie Hurley’s ebook or audiobook if it makes it easier.

Miranda Vinho Verde Rosé: Wine Pairing Ideas

Vinho Verde Miranda Rosé is a delightful wine on its own or with meals or snacks (sponsor)

I’ve been enjoying this Miranda rosé over the past few weeks and it’s delicious. Hailing from Portugal’s Vinho Verde region it blends Loureiro, Trajadura, and Pedernã grape varietals resulting in a fresh, fruity wine with a light minerality that’s crisp and refreshing.

And if we can’t be drinking it in the Vinho Verde region ourselves, we’ll settle for our living room couches, with a good book. Of course.

It’s a laid-back wine with a surprisingly light effervescence that I really like, making it perfect for these warm days of September and early October, when I’m still more into appetizers and grazing than a big, hearty meal.

If you want to know how to pair any wine, think about foods from its own region. However Vinho Verde wines are so versatile, you can enjoy them with nearly any book club munchies you can think of at all. Try:

-Good quality nuts like roasted almonds, cashews, or Marcona almonds.
-A tray of cheeses that are light and creamy, like goat cheeses, burrata or even a brie
-Veggie platters, salads, and crudité of all kinds
-A fresh, homemade ceviche
-Appetizers incorporating white meats, like chicken skewers, mini turkey meatballs, or crispy duck spring rolls.
-Light seafood dishes like crab cake bites, mini fish tacos or shrimp skewers
-Oysters, if you’re fancy
-If you’re not  fancy, try chips, pretzels, good quality crackers.
-Guac. Because everything goes with guac.


Discussion Guide Questions for No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls

The book is so thorough and helpful, with so many actionable tips, I’m going to distill it down to a few excellent suggestions of Katie’s that should help the most parents.

You don’t even have to be a parent of a 3 to 13-year-old girl to get a lot out of this easy-to-read book; it’s great for parents of younger girls who want to identify issues early, for educators and teachers looking for help in the classroom, and even for fully grown women who can use a little nudge for managing social issues ourselves.

Whether you’re reading the book along with us, or want to host your own book club, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

They’ll help guide your reading and support you in making positive changes.

-Is your daughter generally optimistic or pessimistic? Is she a worrier? How does she cope with negative feedback? What does she do with her friends vs free time? How does she bounce back if things don’t go her way? Why are other kids drawn to her?

– How would you define “mean girl” behavior? How have you defined it at home?

-What kind of negative labels have you yourself used to described other children: Spoiled, rude, bossy, quiet, smart, troublemaker, sassy, needy, high-maintenance, shy, dramatic. Do you notice whether you use certain words for boys versus girls? (No judgment! Just think about it and be aware of it.)

-We often talk to girls about politeness, kindness, friendship, and achievement. Have you talked about confidence-building skills like assertiveness? Making eye contact? Saying no without guilt?

-What kinds of relaxing or de-stressing activities does your daughter enjoy? What activities do you enjoy together? (And if you don’t have too many, can you come up with some?)

– What do you do to model great female friendships for your own children? How do you talk about other women in front of them?

You might also find it helpful to listen to our interview with author Katie Hurley on a Spawned podcast episode, because she’s so thoughtful and smart, it will definitely inspire you to grab your own copy of the book.

Check out our live book club chat about No More Mean Girls now on Facebook.
We’d love to hear your questions and your own advice!

And of course, make sure you’re following Cool Mom Picks on Facebook!

Vinho Verde: Versatile wines from Northern Portugal that pair well with all kinds of foods (sponsor)

Thanks so much to our wonderful book club sponsor, the Wines of Vinho Verde, for their support!