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Growing up, I would always just get lost in the amount of books at our local library. I’d sit on my knees and go through one section of shelves at a time, pulling out any book that I thought was intriguing. Sometimes I’d pull the book out and decide right there whether it will go into my pile of books to read or back on the shelf. Most of the time is was back to the shelf.
At one time my mom wouldn’t allow me to read any book unless she had read through it or she had heard great reviews about the book. One day she realized I was able to discern what I was reading, whether it was good or bad, and then she gave me the liberty to choose my own books at the library. That was true freedom. (I just want to clarify that with my new found freedom I was given boundaries of what I could and could not read. We, my parents and I, had a mutual agreement and it was up to me to withhold it. I also understood that if I broke their trust this opportunity of picking my own books was to be suspended.)
With this freedom I found some really amazing books and not so amazing books.
As a student in the Charlotte Mason method, I also had a process of how I’d pick my books. If that certain book passed the test I’d put it in our library bin, excited about when I can pick it up again to read it through.
How to Pick a Good Book at the Library:
For Picture Books:
Pick a book with realistic looking pictures. This will create a sense of art appreciation in young children, plus with make the book more intriguing, because it seems real. No twaddle. (Books with useless information). Make sure the book has some form of educational value to the child.
Once you find these books, note who the author and illustrator are and find out if there are more books! To get you started, you can check out my list of some great illustrators.
For Chapter Books:
Make sure the story is captivating and is valuable in some way. (Character traits, mind challenges, etc.) The pictures should be in some way realistic, but don’t expect them to be as good as those in picture books. If you’re child is a struggling reader, try to find ones that have some repetitive words for more learning; for children, who are more excelled in reading, try to find some books with more challenging words, to build your child’s vocabulary.
For Literature Books:
Skim through a shelf. If there is a title that piques your interest, pull it off the shelf. Examine the cover and back to see if anything jumps out at you. (Nothing such as vampires, demons, indecent girls, etc.). Open the book and read the synopsis. If you’re liking the book still, read a page. Any page, but preferably in the middle. If you can read through that one page and nothing causes a red flag, you should be good! (If the page you read draws you into the story, you’ve found yourself a living book!)
After a short time of being able to pick my own books, you should began to see a pattern of what you or your child likes to find to read. My interest spanned from mysteries to cultural history and from classics to historic fiction. Currently, I really enjoy a good historic fictional book. Typically about the Civil War, Western Expansion, or Revolutionary War.
What good books have you found at the library recently? Please share in the comments!I will receive commission on any sales made on my blog. To learn more, read my disclosure policy.