Going home for spring break brought me back to my old bookshelf and I took advantage of it! I chose to reread The Daughters series, by Joannah Philbin. Now, you pop culture buffs may be wondering why that name sounds familiar. The author is the daughter of TV personality Regis Philbin. She took her experiences and wrote a four book series about teenage girls growing up together just like any other young adult novel, but these girls are all the daughters of someone famous. The leading novel is simply titled The Daughters and the following three The Daughters Break the Rules; …Take the Stage; …Join the Party.
The stories focus on Carina, the daughter of a billionaire and the expected CEO of his media company, Hudson, whose mom is a pop icon, and Lizzie, offspring of a supermodel. While Carina and Lizzie want nothing to do with their parents’ careers or to follow their footsteps, Hudson is working on her own album, but of a different genre. The girls bond through their understanding of life in the spotlight – whether they like it or not. Centered in New York City, each book is told from a third-party point of view, but with an inside look at a different leading character each novel. Each fourteen year old’s struggle is told throughout the books. In the fourth we meet a new daughter, Emma, the daughter of a state senator. As I reread the series with this class in mind, I saw how Emma and her family brought diversity to the group. The other three girl are all white and privileged by default, which Emma is, too, but the addition introduces political power and variety of race.
I don’t know if I would teach these books in a high school or middle school classroom, but I would recommend them to someone looking for a good read. While they aren’t too relatable for a college student who grew up in South Dakota, they are still entertaining because who isn’t just a little fascinated by the glamorous world of New York’s upper class?