Our library book sale is coming up this month, plus I’ve been frequenting our local Half Price Books, so I recently made myself a book list to take along anytime I’m doing book shopping.
I’ve gleaned these books from Sarah Clarkson’s Read for the Heart (I explain why I like this better than Honey for a Child’s Heart here), Elizabeth Wilson’s Books Children Love, Eden Ross Lipson’s The New York Times Parent’s Guide to the Best Books for Children, a few of my favorite trusted blogs, Cindy Rollins’ list of Books for Cultivating Honorable Boys, and Beautiful Feet Books’ selections. Of course, I didn’t include everything in all these resources! I chose books that I felt represent the very best in children’s literature, books I’m not as familiar with but were repeated recommendations in several resources, and reference books that would help our homeschooling if I can find them for a dollar or two.
Please note: Our family already owns quite a lot of books, so, since I originally created this shopping list for myself, the books we own aren’t included here. However, chances are you’d probably would be familiar enough with the titles or authors of the books we own to snag a cheap copy if you saw one. The books on this list, for the most part, are either by authors I wouldn’t necessarily know to grab or they’re specific excellent editions of books (for instance, with a certain illustrator or a certain translation) that I want to make sure to get. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve grabbed a cheap copy of something only to discover that I’d really wanted a different illustrated edition or something like that. Frustrating!
The books are listed in alphabetical order by author, since that’s how most bookstores organize their books. Underscores before a book title mean same as the author above. I’ve included the illustrator or the edition, if that mattered to me for a particular book.
This list would also work as a library list, but, personally, these books are of such quality that I’d like to own them to be read over and over through the years, especially if I can find them cheap (like at library sales and Half Price Books–which I often can, since people and libraries are casting off excellent books in favor of…twaddly books? not reading? I can’t explain it).
You can print this double-sided to take with you as a handy reference. Honestly, if you read over this list enough times, you’ll likely become familiar author’s (and illustrator’s) names, which is the most important thing. At the madhouse which is the library book sale, anytime I see anything that looks remotely like I might want to buy it or I think I might recognize the author, I put it in my giant bag. Then, after I’ve been through all the rows and stacks, I’ll sit in the corner and sort through the books with my shopping list as a reference. That eliminates a lot of the guess work–because, like you, I don’t want to pay even cheap prices for inferior or objectionable books for my children!
This list of over 100 quality books is available for you to download below. Click to “like” our facebook page (if you haven’t already) to access your free download. Happy book shopping!ChildrensBooksShoppingList (1)