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I’m always looking for book lists and recommendations for quality literature.  I’d much rather choose based on someone’s recommendation rather than picking random books off the library shelf.  When I was in college, I called my high school to request the high school reading list that they used in my curriculum.  (They sent it to me in the mail.  I was delighted.  I still have it somewhere…)

I am always finding new places to get book recommendations.  Mostly on blogs these days.  But here are a couple of non-blog ideas.

First and foremost, I have to talk about Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt.  In fact, I think it was the first “book list” I ever came into contact with because my mom used it to find good books for us to read when my sister and I were children.  I still remember looking in her copy and going over the lists.  The lists don’t come until the second part of the book though.  The whole first part of the book is the author explaining why children’s literature is such a treasure. She explains how her interactions and relationships with kids (her own and others’) are enriched by the books they read together (or have both read separately and can discuss).  She tells how she has made stories part of their family culture which gives them a common ground.  It goes into a whole philosophy, and it’s beautifully written.  I ordered my copy around the time Strawberry was born and I would read it in the middle of the night nursing sessions.  The book lists are broken down by age groups, which I think is perfect.  It’s so easy to find an appropriate book that way.

I also liked Jim Trelease’s The Read Aloud Handbook.  I think most people have heard about that one.  I didn’t finish the whole thing, and I had a hard time with how the list was organized.  It was difficult to find books for the age group I wanted.  However, the information in this book is awesome.

I mentioned in an earlier post the preschool curriculum Twenty-six Letters to Heaven.  Most of our recent reading has been from the book lists included in that.  She has a list for each letter of the alphabet and we have been working our way through them.  We’ve been discovering some awesome new authors, as well as books we wouldn’t have otherwise found that we really enjoy.  I’m loving it!

A couple other resources that I have used for finding good books:  I have a textbook from a college course I took on children’s literature that has a book list on the inside covers.  And, of course, the librarians are always making lists and recommendations, usually based on a topic of interest.

I have a whole bunch of recommendations from other blogs, but I’ll save those for another post.

Where do you find great book recommendations?  I always love hearing about new books!

This post is part of a 31-day series on Enjoying Children’s Literature.  To read all the posts, click here.

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