Let's talk books.
Have you ever taken your kids to the library and been disappointed with the selection? Or have your kids wanted to check out lousy books with lousy pictures that you think will probably end up making them less intelligent? Been completely overwhelmed with the sheer amount of vampire books that there are in the world, especially when your teen is trying to find something good to read? Or have you just not known what to check out?
Well my friend, here is the answer to all of your book associated prayers: Book lists. They seem to be all over the internet, so this is a no brainer, right? Wrong.
The key is quality book lists. Emphasis on quality. Because quite frankly, there is an abundance of low quality writing, complete with low moral standards. But happily, there is also an abundance of high quality writing with correspondingly high moral standards. Yay! Sadly, however, these books don't always make the internet lists. So I am sharing some of my favorite book lists here with you today.
And to make this super practical when you take your kids to the library, here are 3 tips:
1. Print out the list(s) that speak to you. (Or if you are techy, put them on your phone.)
2. Put each page in a page protector and put your lists in a small 3 ring binder.
3. Put the binder in your library bag, or keep it on a shelf where you keep your library books. Then, when you go to the library, you have your nifty list already with you! Never again will you have lackluster books!
(Bonus tip: Put your child's initial next to each book after they've read it-this way your binder can also double as a reading log for multiple children!)
1. Jenny Phillips Good and Beautiful Book List
This list is A.MAZ.ING! It is called "The Good and the Beautiful Book List" for a reason! Jenny Phillips is a parent, much like you, who was concerned about what her kids were reading. So she developed this reading list as a solution!
All of these books have been carefully selected for their high literary, educational and moral content. If you are concerned about swearing, bad behavior, etc. being celebrated more and more in literature, then this is the list for you! This 100 page document has information and reviews on 416 books that span all ages. This list does cost $5, but believe me-it's worth it!
The list is also periodically updated with even more books, and updates are only $1! This list is a no-brainer for the deliberate parent. (Note: This book list was generated with Christian families in mind, but most books are not of a religious nature.)
2. Thomas Jefferson Education
This book list is a compilation of classics. For the authors, a "classic" is any book that you can return to over and over while learning new things, or renewing appreciation for a true principle. You will find familiar classics on this list (every one you could possibly think of!) plus other classics that you will be delighted to find.
The authors have further differentiated their list by Children and Family reading, Youth, Adults and Math Classics for Kids and Math Classics for Adults! You will never need another book list again-this will keep you plenty busy and give you food for thought!
3. Newberry Award Winners
Pretty much every parent, teacher and librarian knows that you can't go wrong with these books. Their touching, thought provoking stories will help your children see different perspectives and learn something new. You will love them, guaranteed. In fact, they are so good, that they are probably on every book list ever made! (The actual list can be found here, but the American Library Association's website is harder to navigate; Amazon's is much easier.)
4. Caldecott Award Winners
This is a pretty specific group of books: these are the most distinguished children's picture books of every year. Inside, you will find beautiful and creative pictures, sure to engage even the most reluctant reader! (The actual list can be found here, but the American Library Association's website is harder to navigate; Amazon's is much easier.)
5. Read Aloud Revival
Sarah Mackenzie is a homeschool mom (are any of you seeing a trend here? LOL!), that creates her family culture around reading excellent books together. If you want a surefire crowd pleaser, be sure to check out her website. Reading aloud as a family can be a wonderful memory making, bonding time. She also has a great podcast dedicated to teaching parents how to use this tool better. Be sure to check it out!
Oh my goodness! I can't believe that I forgot my favorite one! Sonlight.com is such a fabulous resource. I know most of you probably don't homeschool, but you guys! Homeschoolers have the best lists--they have to, because of a difference in philosophy, and also since the resources each uses is so different.
Sonlight is a "living book" based curriculum. That means they use the best books to teach children-no boring textbooks allowed! Even if you don't homeschool, just go look at their website-please???
Click on Products, pick a grade and then click on "What's included". Scroll down and you will get the most remarkable book list you've ever seen! I get a package every year, and we get well known award winning books as well as books I've never heard of that we absolutely love. You can see if your local library carries any of them (and use them for free!), or look on Ebay- you can get them used for a really great price!
Community Question: What is your all-time favorite book?
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