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The debate on what defines a quality book is ongoing. There are some books that just about everyone agrees is quality while others people have differing opinions.
No matter what your personal definition is of a quality book, there are places you can look to gain ideas and inspiration.
As the daughter of a librarian and a voracious reader, plus a homeschool parent who is working hard to instill a love of reading in my kids, here are some places I look when choosing the books I want to teach to my girls.
Where to Find Quality Books
Our first stop is always the library. Learning how to use a library is an important skill for kids to learn, plus when you make friends with the librarians they get to know what you like and can make some awesome suggestions.
While I’m browsing the aisles giving my own once over to resources I want to share with the kids, they are getting a chance to explore the different sections of books on their own. I’ve caught them many times taking it upon themselves to ask the librarian for help, or snuggle up in a comfy chair to flip through a book or two.
On your quest to locate quality books for your homeschool you may also find your local library offers book reviews on their website or even a book club you could hit up for suggestions.
Book Review Sites
Speaking of book reviews on the library website, there are a huge amount of book review websites out there. If you’re lucky you can find a site that reviews books of specific topics, or if you have a book in mind you may be able to find book reviews of just that specific book.
Online book sales sites, such as Amazon will also be a great place to check for reviews. Look for longer reviews that give specific reasons for their opinions. These reviews are the best for determining if the book has quality information.
Websites such as Goodreads offer book lists. You can search lists for specific topics or just browse what they have listed. This is a great way to get opinions from other readers. A list I love is 1001 Books to Read Before You Die. You can also find lists such as 1oo1 Children’s Books to Read Before You Grow Up or 1001 Comics to Read Before You Die. There is sure to be some wonderful inspiration for quality work in any of those lists.
If you’re looking for quality you might as well check out books that have received awards through the years. There are a multitude of book awards out there, such as the John Newbery Medal or the Caldecott Medal. If you find a book with any of these honors bestowed upon them, you know you’ve got a quality book.
When in doubt, turn to the classics. There are all kinds of classic books your kids will love. These are the books that have passed the test of time. Everything from The Diary of Anne Frank to Treasure Island. Moby Dick to The Clockwork Orange.
Classic books are a matter of opinion in some cases. Not every book I consider a classic will be considered a classic by others and vice versa.
Read Read Read
One of the best ways to decide what books you want to teach is to read them yourself. Find books on a wide variety of topics and read them. Read about cultures, read about science, read about philosophy, and read about business. Read fiction from every genre you can think of. The more you read with an idea of your teaching style in mind, your child’s learning style, and a general idea of their interests, the better you’ll be at deciding if a book is right for your homeschool.
How do you find books for your homeschool? Share your tips in the comments below.