Hi Friends! How was your holiday? I took a break from blogging and Instagram which felt great. But I am also so happy to be back at it. Today, I wanted to talk about how to find great books for your kids.
How do you pick out books for your kids to read? Recommendations from friends? Local library? Hone in on their interests?
Here are the top ways I find new books for my kids:
- Amazon Best Books of the month. I think Amazon does a really great job picking new book recommendations each month. They release lists for different ages on the 1st of every month. (Expert tip: check the new Amazon picks on the first of the month, and reserve whatever looks good at your local library. I don’t know about your library – but the NPL often has long wait times on the reserve list for popular books. By reserving early when many of the books are still on order puts you first in line when the books arrive on the shelves.)
- Instagram accounts. This is a new-to-me way to find children’s books – I just started following some great accounts (like @the.book.report). And for adult books, I always enjoy Reese Witherspoon’s picks for her book club Hello Sunshine. This month, she chose The Library Book by Susan Orlean – which I had already read (and loved!). I wrote about it here.
- Local Bookstores – Over the past twenty years I have lived close to some wonderful independent bookstores. In Nashville, where I live now, Parnassus Books is about as good as you can get. When I lived in Boston, Brookline Booksmith was my favorite. If I hit up the kids section in either bookstore, I always end up some wonderful new reads for my kids. I also pick up a copy of this when I am there which has great reviews and suggestions.
- Book of the Month Services – Amazon has Prime Book Box (which is a great gift idea!) Local independent bookstores offer these too (Parnassus does a great one for YA books called Parnassus Next). When my kids were little, we received a free book every month from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The choices were so spot-on. Some classics, some new books – and so many became family favorites (like My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza and Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña). I cannot recommend this program enough. Check to see if it is available in your area.
- Teachers/School – I am so grateful for our local public elementary school. The teachers are amazing and work so, so hard. I love when my kids come home talking about and asking for book they read at school. My kindergartner loved all the Jan Thomas books in her classroom – and my first grader discovered the My Weird School series this year and got hooked and read a bunch of them.