Some of you may remember that when we were in China, nearly two years ago now, our blog was hacked and nearly everything was irretrievable.
I’m still realizing some of the resources that I compiled for people repeatedly are gone. (Don’t ask me to recreate the cloth diapering series that I put together six or seven years ago, because I’m in the throes of potty training the fourth child right now, and diapering is just not on my radar currently.)
Recently, I shared photos of our kids with their favorite books on Facebook and Instagram. This has prompted a new interest in what books we recommend as a family for kids to read. (I’ll be sharing a post with those photos and a list of exactly which books are in each photo in the next week…)
Because of how adorable my kids make books look….
because my kids know how to pick good books, several people have sent me messages this week alone for book recommendations. Sadly, I realized that all the book lists I used to have pulled together are….you guessed it… gone with the wind. (Couldn’t resist a literary pun.) Yep, they flew away to wherever the rest of my written chronicles of three years of our family life went. So here’s my attempt to begin recreating those resources.
This first post will be books about books. These are books that I go to time and time again when I need inspiration for which books to choose for my kids from the library or for identifying what kind of books would help with certain elements of my kids’ education. (Although truth be told, I also have some Instagram accounts/facebook groups that also function in that regard as well.)
And here’s a fun reminder about the library extension app for when you’re browsing on Amazon, to see if your library has a book that pops up. It’s saved us loads of time and money.
Disclosure: Some of the links I provide below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Books about Books
1. Read for the Heart by Sarah Clarkson is hands down the best book I’ve come across in terms of straight-up book lists. Any book she recommends in this book about books has been pure gold for our family. She’s also the one who introduced our family to the history series called Landmark Books, so I owe her extra thanks because my kids have fallen in love with history in a way I never thought possible. She will make note in the books what she considers to be an appropriate age range or if there are any potential themes for a parent to consider.
2. Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt. This was the first book about books that I owned. I love her introduction and reasoning behind why she chooses which books she has placed in here. I’ve appreciated maybe about 80% of the books that she’s recommended. I also have her Honey for a Woman’s Heart and Honey for a Teen’s Heart, for personal reading recommendations, so that I can make sure I’m stretching myself instead of always staying in the reading bubble that I’m most comfortable.
3. Tending the Heart of Virtue: This is not so much a book about books like the others I just mentioned. This one is a treatise on how to cultivate virtue through positive literature experiences and how we can foster that love for beauty, truth, and goodness simply by the literature we read with and to our kids.
4. The Read-Aloud Family is Sarah Mackenzie’s most recent work. She is the voice/face behind The Read Aloud Revival, and she’s also written an excellent book called Teaching From Rest for homeschooling moms. She is a good source when it comes to read aloud books for a family, and we’ve loved about 90% of the books she’s recommended.
5. Give Your Child The World by Jamie Martin. This book is a book about books in a way none other on this list represents. It’s an intentional world tour through literature, introducing your child (or you) to various cultures and countries. Our public library has many of the books in this list, and so in the summers I typically check out many of the books from this little guide book, to remember to intentionally represent other cultures to our children.
Two other bonus resources about books, reading, and homeschool. These have been invaluable to me as I attempt to seek out the good and the beautiful to give to my children. I used to operate under the “if it gets them reading, then how can it be bad?” mentality. But over time, I’ve come to discover that I just genuinely don’t like some children’s authors (Dr. Seuss and Mo Willems, I’m looking at you.) Also, why would I want to present something crass or (frankly) stupid to my kids when they could have something beautiful? I don’t want to have to edit or gloss over things as I read through them, so it’s best for our family to just choose good books, to begin with. These books below have helped me discover what a good book is and how to find one.
6. Caught Up In a Story
7. Educating the Whole-Hearted Child
Those are my favorite books about books. I do have a few others on my shelves/in a box in our garage, but those were the ones I most wanted to recommend.
Up next, a few posts about books for different age levels and what books my kids consider their favorites.