Your local library or bookshop (if you’re lucky, both!) is likely filled with children’s books. Many are simply marvelous—the kind of books you don’t mind reading aloud over and over, and that you’re delighted to hand to your kids.

Others? Not so much.

So how do we decide which books to read with our kids?

How do we connect our kids with books they’ll love… especially when we haven’t read most of them?

That’s what today’s episode is all about.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • What is a good book, anyway?
  • How to choose books without a booklist using the 3-Question Test
  • How to know when to ditch a book

More free resources and booklists

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Listener Guide

Use the time stamps below to skip to any part of the podcast:

1:28Choosing books
5:03Become a literary matchmaker
7:46Raising real, adult readers
11:32What is a good book?
13:43‘More grateful to be alive’
14:49Book lists are training wheels
17:01 Sarah’s 3-question test
19:34Know when to ditch the book
22:35The right jelly bean
26:06A small bowl of marshmallows
28:45Break the rules
30:44Let the kids speak

Links from this episode:

Download the FREE October booklist

Print it out and take it with you to the library or bookshop

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Quotes to remember:

A book that fails to leave the reader with hope has neglected its most important role: to help the reader see the world afresh.” – Sarah Mackenzie

“There isn’t any book list your children must get through by a certain age to be well-read, well-educated or ready for the world. Might I repeat that? Your kids don’t need to read certain books by the time they leave your home.” Sarah Mackenzie

“I am almost inclined to set it up as a canon that a children’s story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children’s story. The good ones last.” – C.S. Lewis

Books mentioned in this episode:

Honey for a Child’s Heart
Good Night, Gorilla
Goodnight Moon
Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers
The Hobbit
Little House in the Big Woods
The Search for Delicious
A Single Shard
Tuck Everlasting
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? – Dr. Seuss’s Book of Wonderful Noises – Bright and Early Board Books
Good Dog, Carl
Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time
Number the Stars
The Read-Aloud Handbook: Seventh Edition
Bridge to Terabithia
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
Little House in the Big Woods: Little House, Book 1
The Hobbit
The Complete Father Brown Mysteries: By G. K. Chesterton – Illustrated
Edge of Extinction #1: The Ark Plan
The 13 Clocks: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids
The Read-Aloud Family
The Westing Game (Puffin Modern Classics)

You’ll also enjoy:

Download the FREE October booklist

Print it out and take it with you to the library or bookshop

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