Word to Your Mother

To celebrate Mother’s Day, Read it Forward asked 13 authors to write about the intersection of motherhood and books. Some wrote about sharing books with their mothers in adulthood, others penned remembrances of reading to their own children when they were young, and others still reflected on the love of reading that grew out of their own mothers reading to them. No matter how each writer interpreted the prompt, it’s clear that, for book lovers, moms and reading are often inextricably linked.

Click below to read these authors’ personal essays in a collection we’ve titled Word to Your Mother. Send one to a book-loving mom to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day!

Jenna Blum

My Mom as My Greatest Inspiration—and My Greatest Critic

Jenna Blum, author of the forthcoming novel The Lost Family, ruminates on discussing and critiquing novels with her mother—including her own.

Liam Callanan

The Boy, He Will Be Fine

What a son learned from reading The Country Bunny with his mother. Liam Callanan, author of Paris by the Book, reflects.


bedtime stories

Adventures In Bedtime Stories

Bad author Chloe Esposito loves reading to her daughter (if she loves the book she chooses).


Margot Singer

The Perfect Fit

Margot Singer, author of Underground Fugue, reveals how her mother curated her closet and her bookshelf with impeccable taste.


Along for the Read

Audiobooks in Mom’s car: The Glitch author Elisabeth Cohen remembers the soundtrack of her childhood.


Christina Henry: Mothers in Fairy Tales

Not the Mom of Fairy Tales

Christina Henry, author of The Mermaid and other fairy tale retellings, makes a plea for finding more real and messy mothers in fairy tales and fantasy novels.


motherThe Joy of Watching My Daughters Read

Through happy and harrowing times, Karen Rose, author of Edge of Darkness, recalls reading with her daughters.



The Stories We Read, The Perspectives We Choose

Deena Kastor, Olympic medalist and author of the health memoir, Let Your Mind Run, reflects on how reading with your kids can shift perspectives.


Lori Roy on the Great Illustrated Classics series

The Empty Nesters’ Tub Full of Books

Lori Roy, author of The Disappearing, recalls her writing career growing up alongside her children, and her family’s resounding love for the Great Illustrated Classics series.


Fiona Davis Word To Your Mother

Where I Belong

Fiona Davis, the bestselling author of The Dollhouse, The Address, and the forthcoming The Masterpiece, discovered where she belonged—with a little help from a constant book on her mother’s shelf.



My Mother’s Secret Language

For poet Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, author of How to Love the Empty Air, exchanging books with her mother was their secret handshake—even after her mother unexpectedly passed away.


Elyssa Friedland Kindle sharing

Sharing a Kindle—and Much More—With Mom

The Intermission author Elyssa Friedland is part of a very special two-member book club. The conversations might get heated, but the different perspective is always worth it.


What to Read When You're Expecting

What To Read When You’re Expecting

Meaghan O’Connell, the author of And Now We Have Everything: Motherhood Before I Was Ready, talks dark mom books, stepping out on a limb, and conversation between women.


Featured images: Matt McCarty

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