Friday, May 27, 2011

Read for the Heart Review

Like most homeschool moms, I am a book fanatic.  At garage sales, the first place I always go is to the table with the books.  I love library sales, and normally come out with several boxes.   My new favorite store is the used bookstore.  (We have a very small town, and this is the first time we have had a used bookstore.)   I ask for bookshelves for Christmas.  Ok, maybe not that last one.  Yet.
But there is one thing I have had trouble with.  How do you know which books are the best?  When you pick up a book at a garage sale, how do you know if it is worth buying?  most of us eventual get a ‘feel’ for good books, just by looking at the cover and flipping through it.  But while I am good at not picking ‘twaddly’ books, I always feel like I may still be missing out on some real treasures because I wasn’t sure of the best ones.
PhotobucketSo I was delighted to get the chance to review Read for the Heart.  This beautiful thick paperback “book-about-books” was wrote by a homeschool graduate, Sarah Clarkson.  Sarah is the oldest daughter of one of my favorite authors of homeschool encouragement books, Sally Clarkson.  This book is published by Apologia, the well-known publisher of the science curriculum by the same name, and a variety of books, including Good Morning, God, which I reviewed earlier.
I was pretty sure that I would enjoy reading about good books, but I was surprised by all of the other information here.  Sarah has several chapters in the front of the books that do not contain book suggestions.  These chapters are about reading in general.  First, teh author includes a lot of her experiences with good books, which is very inspiring and motivating.  She also has a chapter on the loss of literacy in the United States, and ideas for how to begin incorporating more reading time in your family life, especially reading aloud together. 
The book suggestions are organized by type, and include chapters on picture books, classics, fairy tales, history, spiritual reading, and more.  I loved reading every chapter of this book, they were very helpful to me.  I heard of several books and series that I had not read before, including the Landmark series and several in the Fantasy and Fairy Tale chapter.  I also enjoyed reading the Picture Book chapter, because I quite simply love a good picture book.  I am one of those moms who not only enjoys reading to her children, but also can occasionally be found sitting on the floor beside the picture book shelves, reading.  To myself. 
Even if you think that you are such a bibliophile that there’s nothing new to learn, you should take a look through Read for the Heart.  Sure, there are old classics such as Madeline and Charlotte’s web, but there is a lot of hidden treasure, too.  For example, the discussion of the beginnings of Children's literature and the those first great classics, testimony of the power of learning history through good literature, and a very interesting discussion on why fantasy is important for Christian children. 
I highly recommend this book to all parents, homeschooling or not, who care about a quality education and magical childhood.  You can read more reviews for this book at The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew blog, and visit Apologia to learn more about all of there products. 

I received this product free of charge
as a member of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew,
for review purposes. I promise to be honest
and fair in my reviews, and I received no
other compensation in exchange for my review.
You can visit The Old Schoolhouse Crew blog
to read more reviews on this product.

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