Friday, December 11, 2009

Books about books

Some of my favorite books in the world are books about books.  I have stacks and stacks of them.  I love to read books, but I do admit that my secret pleasure is reading books about books.  Sometimes they're fiction (The Historian comes to mind...  and next on my list is The Book Thief) but usually not.

Nancy Pearl, librarian extraordinaire, has published a couple of books on books.  Book Lust was the first, followed by Book Crush for kids and More Book Lust.  If you ever find yourself in a reading rut, grab one of those books at your local library.  You'll have a list a mile long by the time you're half done.  Nancy makes me want to read everything.

I also picked up Honey for a Child's Heart recently.  Written from a Christian perspective, it's especially good for homeschoolers who have sensitive readers at home.  Most of the recommended books are uplifting stories and have subject matters that conservative readers will think are age-appropriate.  What I love most about the book, though, is the focus on sharing reading together as a family, and how very nourishing that is to young spirits.

But, I found a new must-have for every homeschool library (it's on my Christmas list!).  1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up is my new fave.  Any book that ranks Lemony Snickett right up there with A Chair for My Mother or Goodnight Moon is okay by me.

The book is organized by age group/reading level, from board books up to Young Adult.  The selections are listed chronologically, which I haven't seen before, and gives sort of an interesting perspective on the growth and evolution of children's literature.  The books are reviewed by a team, giving not just a synopsis of the book but also a brief history of it (if relevant).  It's $36.95, which is a big chunk of change for any homeschooling budget, but it's a bit less on Amazon and Borders has it on the BOGO 50% table through the holidays.  (A great gift, but at 960 pages I wouldn't recommend hanging it in your stocking.)

Happy reading!

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