Books, Books, Books

I’ve always loved books. Growing up, my friends and family knew that so I often got books for birthday and Christmas presents. I have numerous memories of being at someone’s birthday party and curling up with a book in a bedroom while everyone else watched the birthday child open presents. Anyway, by the time I reached high school, I had amassed quite a collection of children’s and juvenile literature.

Then I gave them all away.

I packed up several hundred books and donated them to the library. I don’t know exactly what I was thinking, but looking back, I know that part of it was a desire to move out of childhood. I was literally “putting away my childish things”.

When I became a teacher, I realized how wonderful it would have been to still have my childhood books. Sure, I kept really important things like my Childcraft How & Why Library, and the Little House on the Prairie set, but really I didn’t have very many children’s books.

So, I set out to rebuild my library. I bought books online, at discount stores, through Scholastic – whenever and wherever I could. Becoming a parent helped enormously, and now I’m proud to say that I’ve rebuilt my library and I’m pretty sure I have all my childhood favorites again.

One of those books, Call it Courage, was read out loud to my class in 3rd grade. I have vivid memories of how we would wait on pins and needles every day to see what would happen. A survival tale along the lines of Julie of the Wolves and Island of the Blue Dolphins, this Newbery Award winner is a riveting story. I’ve read this book aloud to several different elementary (1st – 3rd) classes, and it’s always a hit.

My son is really enjoying the I Wonder Why series from Kingfisher. There are lots of books in this series, and they cover all sorts of topics from science to geography, from health to nature.
One last book I highly recommend is The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. I know it’s an Eastertime story, but I thought I’d mention it now so there’s time to find it if you’re interested. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the story is inspiring. I’ve read it aloud to both preschool and elementary kids with much success.

One more thing: if you homeschool, you can set up your own individual account with Scholastic Books to order through their book clubs. Give them a call and ask that a catalog be sent to you. Place your first order and they’ll give you a call to verify that you homeschool. Then you’ll receive any of the catalogs that you choose after that on a monthly basis. Some of you might order from them through homeschooling co-ops, but I like the freedom to order when I want to, and also use all my bonus points for myself :).