Book Reviews & Extras - Elementary Girls

My Father's World uses a Book Basket method to develop a love of learning and enrich all subjects; Independent Reading Time has different goals and methods but there is overlap in book lists and helpful hints
asheslawson
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Re: Chapter books for young girls?

Unread post by asheslawson » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:24 pm

I am so glad you posted this question! I was looking through my many books, for which I am greatly blessed, but I realized that most of them are very geared to boys (although I do have some I loved like "Little House" books, "Black Beauty", and "Little Women"). However - after 4 boys - many of my books are for boys! I was trying to find good books for girls and I found a ton of American Girl books, for which I don't have an issue, but just wasn't sure about their content or not. I also found some new "Nancy Drew" books. Not sure about those either. So I was just puzzling the other night about some new books that my daughter might enjoy! Thanks for this thread - I have written down do many of the titles so I will have a reference list.

And Crystal...thanks for posting the reminder about 'Honey for a Child's Heart' - I have the book - and forgot about it completely so I haven't even looked at it lately!! Oops &)
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
http://texashomeschooler.blogspot.com/

Cyndi (AZ)
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Any recommendations for summer reading?

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:40 pm

2girls2boysnme wrote:I really feel like my daughter has missed some great stuff in K and 1st! What would you recommend we pick up, as individual items, from those two curriculums to do over the summer? Bible? Any great readers?
summer reading from the library for a 2nd grade girl who didn't do MFW1---

The Ant and the Grasshopper
The Reasons for Seasons
Oh Say Can You Seed?
A Busy Year
Have You Seen Trees?
Red Rubber Boot Day
The Raft
River Story
Is This a House for Hermit Crab?
The Fish Who Could Wish
Happy Birthday, Moon
The First Snowfall
Snow Comes to the Farm

One Two Three Sassafras (or any math book by Stuart J. Murphy - excellent stories!)
Fun with Numbers
Color Zoo
Not Enough Room
A Cloak for the Dreamer
Measuring Penny
The Grouchy Ladybug

Any of the Henry and Mudge, Mr. Potter and Tabby, Poppleton books by Cynthia Rylant for fun. Or the Frog and Toad books.
2girls2boysnme wrote:I ordered the first part of this list from the library :)

We are reading reading reading! Loving these book recommendations!
:)
yea!!! :-) Love, love, love good books!
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Book ideas for a girl who loves fantasy?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:07 pm

extrafor6 wrote:My 10 year old dd loves to read and loves fantasy and mysteries, Ella Enchanted, The Hobbit, but I find there is a fine line between fantasy and mysticism. Does this make sense and does anyone have suggestions? I absolutely do not have time to Pre-read everything she picks up.
Thanks!
Stephanie
Hi Stephanie,
I found one possibility in the archives: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 820#p40820

Has she read the Narnia series?

And not sure if you've done Kingdom Tales (ECC) or Dangerous Journey (RTR)?

I am probably really lame as far as fantasy book ideas, but what about things like Peter Pan or Charlie & the Chocolate Factory/James and the Giant Peach? Pippi, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle?

Or are the "knights" types of books anything she'd consider (Chuck Black, Lloyd Alexander)?

Maybe A Wrinkle in Time and A Swiftly Tilting Planet from Madeleine L'Engle? I used to tutor at a place where those were taught at maybe a 5-6th grade level, but I can't recall the ins & outs of whether they had any mysticism. There is good & evil, and a vaguely Christian viewpoint. You can read a plot summary on Wikipedia, as well as issues of Christianity in their "themes" section.

Most of the fantasy books I read once-upon-a-time seem a little older than her age group (e.g. C.S. Lewis's space series, Ursula K. Le Guin).

Hopefully this will bump you up for folks who know about this genre...
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

extrafor6
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Re: Book ideas for a girl who loves fantasy?

Unread post by extrafor6 » Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:28 pm

Thanks for those suggestions. She LOVES Kingdom Tales and I hadn't thought of a Wrinkle in Time...I think I'll get that one next week for her. She's my almost-a-book-a-day girl :) She's reading Tuck Everlasting today and we found a series by a Christian author that is mystery/adventure/suspense and she's satisfied with those. It's just that up until this point I've either pre-read or used what I consider a trusted suggestion (from other companies, like HOD or Sonlight) for all of her free reading. But now she's broken out of the box, so to speak. We tried the Hobbit and it was too difficult for her.
I appreciate your input and any other suggestions you have about monitoring book choices. I might need to start a new thread about that!
Thank you,
Stephanie

khaki
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:51 pm

Do you monitor child's books?

Unread post by khaki » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:09 pm

We are a strong Christian family and I have gained much wisdom from this site. My 10 yr old is in public school. She is a voracious reader, on a 10th+ gr level, and that is my problem. She has flown through all the classics that would be suitable for her age (Ann of Green Gables, etc...Little House in 1st grade). I did not push this, and had very little control over what she checked out at school. The past 2 years she has been reading more and more "dark" seeming books. I confess I was not much of a reader, so I am unfamiliar with most of them. Example, today she brought home "Crispin" by Avi. I see it has received awards, etc... but in my quick review, it seems the series brings in witchcraft, which I am greatly opposed to. I am trying to find the balance between my nature, which honestly does not like anything even "fairy" related, and trying to appreciate her love of literature. She did read all the Narnia books in 2nd grade, and unfortunately has no interest in re-reading. She loves fantasy though. I hope someone can help me sort through this. We have tried limiting her books, I have created multiple book lists from Honey for a Child's Heart and this site, but she has gone through so many books I can't keep up. My main concern is her reading about so much fantasy and mysticism, ESPECIALLY because of where this child is spiritually. She does also read her Bible and knows much Scripture--but it is all head and no heart with this one. Sorry this is so long, and I hope it isn't inappropriate to ask for help here with this!
Blessings

mommyofmany
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Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 1:15 pm

Do you monitor child's books?

Unread post by mommyofmany » Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:07 pm

khaki wrote:We are a strong Christian family and I have gained much wisdom from this site.

My 10 yr old is in public school. She is a voracious reader, on a 10th+ gr level, and that is my problem. She has flown through all the classics that would be suitable for her age (Ann of Green Gables, etc...Little House in 1st grade). I did not push this and had very little control over what she checked out at school. The past 2 years she has been reading more and more "dark" seeming books. I confess I was not much of a reader, so I am unfamiliar with most of them. Example, today she brought home "Crispin" by Avi. I see it has received awards, etc... but in my quick review, it seems the series brings in witchcraft.

I am trying to find the balance between my nature, which honestly does not like anything even "fairy" related, and trying to appreciate her love of literature. She did read all the Narnia books in 2nd grade, and unfortunately has no interest in re-reading. She loves fantasy though.

We have tried limiting her books, I have created multiple book lists from Honey for a Child's Heart and this site, but she has gone through so many books I can't keep up. My main concern is her reading about so much fantasy and mysticism, because of where this child is spiritually. She does also read her Bible and knows much Scripture--but it is all head and no heart.
Blessings
My 8yo ds seems to be drawn to reading things that are not age-appropriate so we have a similar problem with him. I've read Crispin by Avi and parts of it are pretty graphic. It takes place in medieval times and I think the plot isn't really appropriate for a 10yo- but that's just me.

I think it *is* important to monitor content in our children's reading material. Even if she's read a lot of classics already, there are likely to be plenty of books out there for her that don't contain questionable content. There are other books like Honey for a Child's Heart by Christian authors that have booklists for different age groups. One is called Read for the Heart. I hope that helps!
Blessings,
Emily- mommy to ds(21), dd(18), ds(11), ds(10 w/Down syndrome), dd(7), dd(5), & dd(2).

dhudson
Posts: 320
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Do you monitor child's books?

Unread post by dhudson » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:40 pm

I always monitor books. It is the same as monitoring movies and TV except with books, you don't have the ability to listen in as you are making dinner or doing laundry. I personally think it is just as or more important than monitoring screen time.

I read or have read pretty much every book my kids read. I know that's hard for a lot of people so I would say find someone in your life who is a voracious reader and/or get books like "Honey for a Child's Heart" that will help you.

The other resource you can use is the back of the TM's from ECC and up have a general reading list per grade which is great.

By the way, Crispin is actually really great and has a great moral to it but it is more a Middle School level book.

Remember that even if a child has a high reading level that doesn't mean that they can emotionally handle the content. Get easier books if you have to like Boxcar Children.

Try more of LM Montgomery, like the Emily books or if she likes Fantasy perhaps the Dragon books by Donita K Paul. The original Marry Poppins books are great as well as The Nanny McPhee books. Again, you should at least look through them before you hand them to your dd.
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
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Location: Minnesota

Re: Do you monitor child's books?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:08 pm

I always chime in on book threads, even though I'm clueless about fantasy. I tried to make a short list of fantasy ideas on this thread, if there's anything there you haven't tried: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 397#p94397

I was wondering what her response was to other books she's read -- especially since you and dh seem uncomfortable with the fantasy idea for this particular child. Did she enjoy Anne's spunkiness? Did she get the symbolism of Narnia? Is she old enough for Little Women/Little Men?

As far as series, has she tried the YWAM books that MFW carries in ECC? There are dozens or maybe hundreds of those, if you include the Heroes of History series as well. MFW also uses 2 books in a series called Daughters of the Faith (Almost Home/Pilgrims & Courage to Run/Harriet Tubman), and I like that whole series -- they seem short but are well researched and well written. Another nice group of books (not really a series, but all by the same author) is the Patricia St. John books in CTG. Really, you could go through the MFW catalog and make a list of character-building reading material.

I don't pre-read everything my kids read on their own, but I did try to read some of them and look up summaries/reviews of others. Even now (12th grade), my son has checked out some career-related books and the like that have some perspectives that I want to discuss. Mostly my goal has been to get them talking about the books, while they were still at home under my guidance.

When my youngest (a boy) wouldn't have much to say about a story, I used little checklists (one was from Pizza Hut and another was from Homeschool Form-U-La). He would rate the books on things like historical value, whether he'd recommend the book to a friend, tear-jerking value, and moral value. Those little checklists gave me something to talk about with him -- why did you choose this rating? I'd learn some interesting perspectives, and some off-base understandings at times. Even just a question like, "What did you think of the main character's decision there?" would sometimes cause him to stop and realize something he knew but he'd glossed over.

I know you don't have as much time together, with her in public school (I've been there). If you don't get time to chat, you could have her write reader responses or short reviews (like you see on CBD or Amazon) or a homemade check-off-rating, just to give you a glimpse into where she's at, and hopefully something to chat about in the car or at the table or something. She might even find she enjoys keeping those in a notebook, as a record of all she's read. I'd really try to make it into a habit --to always discuss or write, if at all possible. It's just that she's going to be over-her-head in maturity content, so a little habit that involved a parent might balance that.

It's wonderful she's reading the Bible, as well, even if it's just at a head level now. It might be nice to read that as a family, too, at chat about how it relates to life events or books she's reading. Or, to read some of the Bible-related "stories" used in MFW, A Young Person's Guide to Knowing God (stories relating to different parts of the Creed), etc.

Blessings as you work to insulate your young lady from too much too soon,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

asheslawson
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Re: Do you monitor child's books?

Unread post by asheslawson » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:02 pm

Thought I'd jump in with a recommendation - we loved the two series we've read by Chuck Black called the Kingdom Series, and they are Christian books. They are very good, set in medieval times - using characters that are written to mirror biblical stories and truths. Just thought I'd share if you are interested - it was a wonderful series.

I have a voracious reader as well - so I run into a bit of a struggle in limiting his reading material too. I've had to go to my pastor on several occasions for advice on whether a book is appropriate - and thankfully he is an avid reader, as well as a father of an avid reader. My 13 year old literally has a stack of about 6-8 books he is reading all the time - and he finishes them so fast.
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
dd-28, ds-25, ds-24, ds-22, ds-14, dd-10, student 13, granddaughter 3
MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, EX1850, 1850-MOD
http://texashomeschooler.blogspot.com/

MelissaB
Posts: 369
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Re: Do you monitor child's books?

Unread post by MelissaB » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:23 am

We closely monitor our daughters' reading books, too.

Here are our favorites:

* The Moody Books by Sarah Maxwell. You can get them online at Titus2. They're so fun to read, but also teach the children to love their siblings, honor their parents, and care for others. The writing is incredible; our daughter flies through one of these books within a day or two.

* The Hero Biographies by YWAM Publishing (also online). They're full of adventure about foreign missionaries throughout history, as well as historical figures like George Washington, Harriet Tubman, etc.
Our dd's read well over 30, and still begs for more. (It's getting expensive over here... At $7/book, you do the math. :~ You might want to purchase the package deal, if your dd likes to read as much as mine.)

If you'd like good guidelines on helping your children enjoy entertainment that's healthy spiritually, the book Keeping Your Children's Hearts by Terri Maxwell is an excellent resource. (I re-read it every year.)

On that note, has anyone seen the new online game Makaziville? It's excellent. Your children build a missionary village starting from nothing, and earn points by playing games, reading scripture, & completing challenges - We love it! :-)

Enjoy!
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

kw4blessings
Posts: 166
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Book ideas for reluctant 8 year old girl

Unread post by kw4blessings » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:12 pm

hsm wrote:I want to purchase some books for her for Christmas, but she is not an avid reader. She reads at grade level, but I think slightly below grade level is more enjoyable for her as she reads slowly. She does not do well with chapter books yet. She wants to read them but quits half way through as they don't hold her interest for long (even small chapter books such as Magic Tree House). She definitely prefers nonfiction books and leveled readers. She also enjoys most of the books in book basket. (I am so grateful for book basket!) She loves history and science/animals. Does anyone have any suggestions for her?
Hi. My daughter got the "Circle C Beginnings" books (set of 3) for her birthday in August and they seem like they would be a good fit. They are short chapter books about a little girl who loves horses. They are Christian books and are very sweet. The back says "For ages 6-8". You can order them on their website, just search the series name.

We also like the readers from Christian Light (CLE). They are more like a little textbook, but have short stories that are easy to read for each age group."Reading to Learn" series. This might not be as fun, though.

The "Step into Reading" series is also great. There are lots of these. We bought all of the ones related to US history for ADV this year and our whole family has enjoyed them. They are leveled readers, I think you'll want to look at levels 3 & 4. We got ours on Amazon.

Hope that's helpful and that you find some good ones!!
hsm wrote:Are the CLE readers you refer to the same as the Nature readers from CLP? I get those companies confused. I had looked at the nature readers and they looked nice but I am not sure if it is the same one you are referring to.
I checked the website and it is CLP. The ones I mentioned are listed under reading curriculum and by grade level. First grade is "I Wonder", second is "Helping Hands" and "Happy Hearts". They are reasonably priced at $8ish a piece for nice quality, thick, hardbacks.

[Editor's Note: The Christian Light Publications website is "CLP" but it is not the same company as Christian Liberty Press, which publishes the Nature Readers.]
Yodergoat wrote:My daughter is an older 7 and is still intimidated by chapter books. Those Circle C books look like could be something she'd enjoy, and I had also never heard of them. I was wondering, can a child jump in anywhere in the series or must they begin at the first book to understand the characters?
I had to ask my daughter. :-) She says, "They don't talk about each other." So, I think you're good jumping in anywhere! They are really cute, short, chapter books.
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!

hsm
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

Re: Book ideas for reluctant 8 year old girl

Unread post by hsm » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:37 pm

Kelly,

Thank you for your feedback. I never heard of the Circle C series and they look great!

I ended up ordering several Step Into Reading books and DK biography readers from Amazon last night. I think she will love them. My next chapter book series to attempt will be the Circle C books because they look like something she would be interested in.

Thanks!
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Book ideas for reluctant 8 year old girl

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:27 am

A couple of threads that might have good stuff:
K/1 level http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=9601
Elementary girls http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=4439

I agree with Lori that there are quite a few "Step" type series out now. Some of them manage to have quite a bit of nonfiction information as well as illustrations. Not sure exactly what level they were, but we enjoyed the History Maker Bios series for quite a while.

One other idea I had for this age was magazines. My grandson really enjoys the very short stories, and he works at a bit of reading when trying to figure out the instructions on non-reading activities. He's tried God's World News, Clubhouse Junior (Focus on the Family), Puzzle Buzz (Highlights), Babybug (Cricket), etc. Many strictly science magazines will be too hard or will have evolution references, though not a lot at this age, but just so you know. My kids liked Ranger Rick Jr., National Geographic Kids, and Zoobooks. Some creation science mags are Nature's Friend and Creation Illustrated (which is not really for kids but is beautiful and might spark her interest). Some of the mags give very good intro prices for Christmas gifts ($10-15/year) and some are available at the library.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

hsm
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

Re: Book ideas for reluctant 8 year old girl

Unread post by hsm » Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:07 pm

We love magazines here! I was out of ideas for quality magazines though I hadn't thought of Clubhouse Jr.

I wanted to caution anyone reading this thread that I purchased some DK biographies for my daughter (age 8) who is a reluctant reader as I mentioned. The books are great; HOWEVER, I recommend not getting them for a younger reader or one who is reluctant. Or, at least get your hands on a copy to look at first. Even though I checked online samples, I was a little disappointed to see the level of difficulty in them once I actually had the books in my hand. While she is capable of the reading level, they are packed full and very long for someone like her. I would not consider them grade level for a 3rd grader imho. I think they would suit my 6th grader better. Just a heads up :) Unfortunately I am stuck with giving them to her since I can't return and receive new ones in time for Christmas. But, I am hoping for the best since this is her favorite genre. Maybe that will be enough to keep her interest.
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6

kw4blessings
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:56 pm

Re: Book ideas for reluctant 8 year old girl

Unread post by kw4blessings » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:36 pm

Lori, I'm glad you were able to get some "Step Into" books. We LOVE these. You mentioned biographies being a fav genre for your dd; did you see the ones about Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Pocahontas, etc? They do a good job of making history fun, like mentioning what a "foodie" Thomas Jefferson was. :-) Enjoy!
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!

MuzzaBunny
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: Book ideas for reluctant 8 year old girl

Unread post by MuzzaBunny » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:08 am

My daughter just finished a Beverly Lewis book from the Cul De Sac Kids series. She loved it. DD is 7 and she laid the book down and pleaded with me to run to the library for more. Just tossing another one out there ;)
Bunny

khaki
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:51 pm

Re: Do you monitor child's books?

Unread post by khaki » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:08 pm

Somehow I never saw these replies 6 months ago and just want to say THANK YOU to all of you. Just came home from the library and already had 2 of the books that I now see here-the Daughters of the Faith Series! My daughter will be in 5th grade next year and unfortunately at public school, "snuck" many books I did not approve of (she later told me). It's heart breaking to think what all has filled her mind but I am praying for God to cleanse, and hoping this summer will be a good time of reading--and going slower, to enjoy the books more.

She reads so incredibly fast, faster than either my husband or I. But I don't think she really applies it to her own life or thinks much about what she reads. She can re-tell what she has read, she does extremely well in school. But I'm looking for ways to slow down her reading, and even limit it a bit this summer. She would rather read than anything else, and sometimes I worry she gets lost in it. We do not watch TV or have electronic games, but sometimes her reading seems to distract her and isolate her.

Thank you all again for your being so gracious and for helping non-home-schoolers like me.. Blessings!
Last edited by khaki on Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Poohbee
Posts: 394
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: North Dakota

Re: Do you monitor child's books?

Unread post by Poohbee » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:54 pm

How timely for me that this topic came around again! I have been looking through book lists and re-reading books in my search for good books to recommend or require for my 8th grader and 4th grader in the coming school year. I am an avid reader, I love children's lit., and I have read and enjoyed many children's books. I also love fantasy, as does my 8th grader.

However, I found in re-reading a book recently that it really is important for me to pre-read, as much as possible, the books I want my kids to read. I read the book Lyddie, by Katherine Paterson, which I remember really liking before. It is a good book--about the girls who worked in the factories in the mid-1800's. However, there were a few episodes in the book that I would rather not have my daughter thinking about right now. I had planned to have her read that book next school year, but I've changed my mind. I'm glad I re-read the book.

When I am looking for recommendations for good books, I use a variety of sources, such as the MFW TMs, Honey for a Child's Heart, The Read-Aloud Handbook (by Trelease), Hand That Rocks the Cradle (by Bluedorn), and Read for the Heart (by Clarkson), among others. These are trusted resources, and I especially take a look at a book if they are mentioned in 3 or more of these resources. It's a good way to cross-check the book recommendations you find.

It is a challenging thing finding good books for kids to read and trying to keep up with what they are reading. Ultimately, we, as parents, have to be alert, vigilant, and prayerful!
Jen
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy

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