Hello, I hope you’re all having a refreshing summer. It’s been lovely to have a little more time for things outside of schooling—but I’m ready to get back to a routine! How about you? We recently started posting FIAR worthy books, and that idea was received with excitement! We all love great books, right? So how do you find quality children’s books worth reading; books that you don’t mind reading again and again and you fall in love with? I’d love to hear your methods in the comments and share my techniques with you.

My kids just completed their summer reading program through the library. They each earned four free books. Isn’t the library amazing? I love that they provide incentive and free books to kidswhen they read! That being said, they had some great books, some classics, and some popular kids-shows, character-driven, um…how do I put this politely, drivel. I let my children select some of the bright, fun-looking, books because—Strawberry Shortcake is enticing, what can I say? I put my foot down at reading it more than once a day, though! I can only say, “That’s not berry nice,” so many times before losing my mind. I mean, even my editing program as I’m writing this says, “it appears that the form of the verb berry does not work with this sentence.” Ha, no kidding!

So, back to the question; how to find books worth reading. My biggest tip is to find some homeschool bloggers or Instagram accounts that you can follow. Ones that put out quality ideas, beautiful posts, and inspiring suggestions. Hopefully, Five in a Row is one of those! I do this by looking at the recommendations on Instagram accounts that I already love and follow. Usually, it will show you more people or accounts to follow. I’ll browse them and add any that speak to me through their imagery, activity, or book suggestions.

In addition to this method, I also use the library and amazon suggestions. You know, the ones, “if you like these you’d like…” And then I order the suggested books that look appealing from the library. Then like anything else in life, I sift through the results; reading one page or sometimes one sentence before tossing it back. It usually takes 10 to 20 books, sometimes more, to find one that rings true. You know the ones I’m talking about. A book that you sink into and would love to read over and over to your kids; ones that have beautiful illustrations and a cozy or moving story. 

Lastly, I ask friends that I know that share the same love of great children’s literature. There you go, you have all my secrets. Oh yeah, get a sturdy laundry basket. You’ll want one for the sifting process; I always bring back more books from the library than I can carry.

I hope your summer has been a time of relaxing, recharging, and finding great books to read with you sweet children!

All the best,

Carrie Lambert Bozeman

P.S. I’m including a few of my current favorites for you to check out before the rush of back-to-school. Gaining Confidence to Teach is for you, not your kids. It’s one that came highly recommended from my mom, Jane Claire Lambert. I am excited to read it in the coming weeks as I begin preparing for the 2019/20 school year. You’re welcome to read it with me; we could have a virtual Five in a Row teacher’s book club. Hello Lighthouse is beautiful! Hum and Swish is a book about artists (in a beach setting) and their process of creating. Grandpa Green is a family favorite around here.