What’s in Your Book Basket?

Here are the books we currently have checked out from the library. We have not read every one, which is why they don’t all have reviews. I will update this post as we read the rest of the books. Also, please remember these are the opinions of my family, you might have different standards for your family.

All books are linked to Amazon, not because you should purchase the books, but rather because Amazon does a great job of including reviews for books on their site. In our house, if we check a book out from the library three or four times we usually end up buying it. The library is a great way to “test drive” books to see if they are worth adding to your home library.

  • Martha and Skits by Susan Meddaugh ~ Personally I think the show on PBS is more educational than the books. Also the first book uses the term “shut-up” which is not a phrase I like to encourage in our home. My advice is to skip the book series and watch the show.
  • Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh
  • Martha Walks the Dog by Susan Meddaugh
  • Katy No-Pocket by Emmy Payne- Cute story with illustrations by H.A. Ray. A kangaroo without a pocket tries to find a way to carry her baby.
  • Bread and Jam for Frances by Russel Hoban The Frances books are classic read alouds for the younger crowd. Both my boys and girls love these books. When I was reading this book to my five year old my fourteen year old popped her head into the room to say how much she loved the book when she was younger.
  • Play with Me by Marie Ets – Love the simple illustrations in this book. A little girl searches for animals to play with her, it is only when she sits still that they all come around. A great book to read before going on a nature walk or a hike.
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen – As I was reading this I had to wonder why I chose a book about going on a bear hunt… it follows the classic story with good illustrations, but I don’t think I would read it again. There are better ideas to encourage than looking for bears.
  • Jamberry by Bruce Degen ~ Cute illustrations and poetic verse about berries. This has been a favorite of my children ages 2-5 for years.
  • Anni’s India Diary by Ann Axworthy
  • Cranberry Valentine by Wende Devlin ~ A Valentine’s story about a sewing circle who anonymously sends Valentines to an old lonely man. Not the best story I have ever read, but not the worst either.
  • The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills
  • Batman: The Mad Hatter (Scholastic Readers, Level 3) by Brian Augustyn – My son picked this book out, it is your typical reader. Nothing great, but not terrible either.
  • Spider-Man 3: Spider-Man Versus Sandman – Beginning reader, same thoughts as the Batman book.
  • Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson ~ A tall tale about how apples made their way across the country. It is a funny story with cute illustrations. My five and seven year old enjoyed this book.
  • The Toothpaste Millionaire [sound recording] by Jean Merrill
  • Encyclopedia Brown Saves the Day [sound recording] Donald J. Sobol Encyclopedia Brown is a wonderful series for kids that are beyond the beginning reader stage, but not quite ready to tackle 200 page novels. There is a always adventure and a mystery in these books. My boys and girl love them!
  • McBroom the Rainmaker Sid Fleischman
  • Encyclopedia Brown Cracks the Case [sound recording] Donald J. Sobol
  • Red, White, and Blue: The Story of the American Flag John Herman
  • Medieval Warfare (Medieval World) Tara Steele
  • Behind the Mask: The Life of Queen Elizabeth I Jane Resh Thomas.
  • The Measly Middle Ages (Horrible Histories) Terry Deary
  • An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 (Newbery Honor Book) Jim Murphy
  • Frightful’s Mountain [sound recording] Jean Craighead George If your boys have not read the My Side of the Mountain trilogy, it is time to begin. This series helped my very reluctant reader want to read, and also gave him a love for falconry.
  • The Cay Theodore Taylor – I loved this book, I read it in one afternoon because I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend, although does have a bittersweet ending. Great read aloud for upper elementary, or read alone for middle school and up. (Review by my 14 yo daughter) This story, although sad, was very good. I liked how the author wrote it from a blind person’s perspective, any yet was very descriptive.
  • Alexander Hamilton: Federalist and Founding Father Lisa DeCarolis
  • The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child Francisco Jiménez – (Review by my 14 yo daughter) I thought that this book was okay. It ended on a more depressing note and wasn’t very informative on the life of a migrant child.
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass Lewis Carroll  (Review by my 14 yo daughter) I had my doubts about this book at first, but found it to be very enjoyable. It was very random, but also very amusing. I didn’t like this book as much as “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” but still liked it quite a bit. I would recommend this book to someone who likes enjoys reading strange yet funny literature.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
  • Number the Stars Lois Lowry – (Review by my 14 yo daughter) This book was relatively good, although geared towards younger readers. I’ve read better WWII themed books.
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles Arthur Conan Doyle (Review by my 14 yo daughter) I liked this book a lot. I was captivated by the plot and enjoyed trying to solve the mystery.
  • Inkspell (Inkheart) Cornelia Caroline Funke
  • The Old Man and The Sea Ernest Hemingway I cannot believe I am reading this book for the first time. My twelve year old (and reluctant reader) has been reading this every chance he gets. This is a great “boys” book and would make a great read aloud for younger kids as well.

Many of you asked where I got the basket for our library books. I purchased it at Target a few years ago. I am not sure if they still sell them, although it is pretty basic, a wire cart with wheels.

One reader mentioned she uses a portable carrier to store her library books as well as transport them to and from the library. I actually have one of these that we use for the homeschool convention. I never thought about using it for library books, but that is a great idea!

Now it is time to link up your book basket posts. Please link to your book post not your blog homepage. Also please link back to this post so more people can participate. I can’t wait read your book recommendations!

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  1. I had to laugh about your comment about Going on a Bear Hunt. My 4.5 year old LOVES that book so much I finally bought the audio so he can listen to it whenever he wants. He acts out the story all the time. It’s hilarious to watch.

  2. How neat! I did a book list post just last night (actually in the wee hours this morning). It’s not our library book list but a list of the books I just bought at a couple of our used book stores for my birthday. Hope it qualifies for linking!
    We store all our books in those recyclable grocery bags they sell now for $1. We have a spot in the house that we store them and when it’s time to go to the library just grab and go! I love the basket idea!

  3. Oh man, I loved the Encyclopedia Brown books when I was a kid. I’d forgotten all about them…now I can’t wait for C to be old enough!

    Great post – I love book reviews!

  4. Loved your books! As a former teacher, I thumbs up a lot of them! I loved the Cay, and the encyclopedia brown books were some of my fav read alouds!
    Going on a bear hunt is a classic childrens song, my mom and my old teacher used to sing it with us, with lots of fun motions and the repeating. I used to enjoy it! Never saw the book tho.

  5. You have a great list!! As a former English teacher, I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to dive into more of the classics (and the untouched ones, not these “revised for kids” ones)!

  6. This is a great idea! Thanks for hosting a great resource.

  7. Great list, many are going on my list to look at! Funny, we both have Jamberry on our lists this week, it’s a great book! I also am not doing a library list, but hope it’s okay that I linked up. I am doing our home library list, for now.

    Cheers, great idea!


  8. We also love Jamberry! It’s so much fun to read!

    I also really like The Rag Coat. I have a quilting grandmother from Appalachia and this book always makes me cry!

  9. I’m glad you like the tote idea. I need to wheel ours out to the car today. I loved reading your book list! I will post ours in a little while.

  10. Great list ~ we have Encyclopedia Brown on our list too – my 7yo son loves mysteries.

    Thanks for the review about “Frightful’s Mountain” – I have this one and others by this author on my shelf – I may have to add them to our reading list.

  11. What a great idea!
    I was lazy and didn’t post EVERY book and only Amazon linked to one. 🙂

    How funny that you happened to have out the Bear Hunt… we do too!

    Thanks for the ideas for some new read-alouds for my boys! 🙂

  12. Can I recommend “The Borning Room”? I (as a 25-year-old single woman) read it the other day, and found it quite good.

  13. we LOVE the Martha Speaks books and show!

  14. I’ll have to make my list. 🙂 We also use the portable carrier for our library books. I had to get a second one for transporting school stuff, to and from co-op. I’ll post my list later tonight.

  15. I am so bummed. I posted comments on almost all the links above and not one worked. 🙁 I’ll try again tomorrow.

  16. The Capitol Mysteries series is really good. It’s as good as the A to Z Mysteries, for sure. My Ria enjoys them quite a bit, though the Junie B books are her favorites right now.

    Have your children read the Magic Treehouse series? Ria LOVED them. I recommend them as well because there is SO much well-researched info that the children gather in their escapades. It’s a great series, IMHO

  17. Love this idea, and hope to link up to you soon. I wrote some of your books down so I can check them out for my kids.
    Going on a Bear Hunt was the first book my son learned to read. Our family enjoys it! 🙂
    Thanks again!

  18. So glad you did this post. I’ll have to come back tomorrow and check out some of your list and others. I’m too tired after writing my own post. :0)

  19. So glad you did this post. I’ll have to come back tomorrow and check out some of your list and others. I’m too tired after writing my own post. :0)
    BTW I love your blog!

  20. Love this feature! I am late, but linking up! Better late than never!

  21. I always appreciate finding others who are concerned about helping children become readers.

    That’s because I grew up as a reluctant reader. And my father was the author of over 70 books. Now I write action-adventure and mystery books especially for tween boys. My blog, Books for boys, http://booksandboys.blogspot.com is # 4 on Google today.

    Keep up your good work!

    Max Elliot Anderson

  22. This is a great idea. I love getting ideas for new books!

  23. I really enjoyed this list and it gives me new ideas for future library trips. Thanks so much! I hope to link to more and like the idea of sharing your book basket. Our “book basket” is currently a clear tub under a side table out of baby’s reach (great for preschool and school-age child to move around without worries too). I’ll link up in the future again. :0)

    Oh . . . thanks for putting in age recommendations too! That is so helpful!


  1. […] they have enjoyed so far this month! The Happy Housewife is also hosting a weekly feature called “What’s In Your Book Basket?” where everyone can share what their children are reading, so be sure to visit for more great book […]

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