My eldest daughter, Silje is obsessed with reading. We keep trying to figure out where she got that from…
She has loved books since she was a chubby little toddler, and her love isn’t satisfied even now as a lovely young lady. One of the most asked questions I get on the blog is: what books would Silje recommend?
I feel the need to preface, that Silje is more of an advanced reader than my other kids. Also, from the time she was little, we have been working hard developing this love into an obsession, much like her dad is obsessed with the perfect cup of coffee. We wanted her palette to be so discerning that she would spit out anything that was cheap or not written well. To do this, we took out any “twaddle” from our house, and she kept gravitating towards it even at the library that we had to cut off any “candy books” for awhile while she was really developing those reading taste buds.
Candy books are those cheap little books with popular cartoon characters, that are entertaining, and not morally bad, but does not require much from you as a reader. It is pure entertainment. It does not require you to think. Entertainment is not bad, and I believe that there is even a place for it, but it’s not the meat and potatoes that help you grow as a reader. I have used candy books to beg and plead my other kids to just give it a try because I’m worried they’re lacking literature-based nourishment, but I have found it’s hard to introduce “vegetable” books once “candy books” have been discovered.
My degree was in English Literature, so I’m familiar with many books, but I still could not homeschool without some reliable book lists. If you want to know how I pick out various books from the library, etc, I recommend: Read for the Heart, as well as Educating the Whole Hearted Child (which is far more than a book list, but has some great novels to read while studying various ages in history. It’s basically the book list the parents of the ‘Read for the Heart’ author used while they were educating her.) Also, I don’t own it (yet) but I really like the Honey for a Child’s Heart book list. It’s very well done.
So when you see this list below, know that I have kids who struggle in each subject. Silje has subjects that are a struggle, but reading isn’t one of them. All my kids don’t excel in reading, but I am using various techniques to develop their palette anyway. She was my easy one for this subject. Maybe it’s bad to say, but I’m very proud of her developed tastes, and I laugh when she will discard a book “because it lacks depth.” I’ve turned her into a book snob, and could not be prouder.
So I’ve asked Silje to come up with her “Top 10 Book List” to share with other moms. This has been agonizing for her. It’s like picking a favorite child. You will notice a strong animal theme with her. She wants to stress they are not in any particular order.