Popular Books for Kids at the Return Cart

Favorite Books Checked Out at the Library

I was in my elementary school library for the Skype author visit by Sheela Chari of mystery chapter book Vanished. Sometimes I hang out at the school library when I have time to kill say waiting between parent teacher conferences if I am able to schedule them somewhat back to back. I do love all libraries but especially school libraries.

I spent hours and hours at the school library of my childhood working my way studiously though most of the books. Back then, we had two 15 minute recesses, an hour for lunch and even a Gifted and Talented Program. I think I was in 4th grade when I gave up on asking the TWO FULL TIME school librarians for book recommendations. They never seemed to have any new ideas. I decided instead to read all the biographies working my way from A to Z though the 4 small bookcases. After that, I moved on to chapter books which was about a quarter of the books in my huge school library. And did I mention that there were two comfy couches in there as well?

At one point, I got called into the library because I was in trouble. Someone looked at the files and found that I had 31 books checked out to my name when my limit was 4. I remember shrugging and saying, “Hey, at least I read all of them.” It took me the better part of a week to bring them all back to school since I took the school bus but I have to say that I felt like my infraction was a petty call by the school librarians. My books weren’t even overdue!

It’s funny that my school library memories aren’t warmer or fuzzier because this is when I developed my deep and enduring love for children’s book. My public library was friendlier. Every summer, my siblings and I read 10 books a week to earn guppies. We liked the more decorated male guppy with his long and colorful tail but we wanted the females for spawning more fish. Eventually, we had a full tank of our own at home.

In college, my school had a record number of libraries across its many graduate schools. How many? Glad you asked. I had to look it up and even then, the answer is not clear:

How many libraries does Harvard have? This question, it turns out, is not easy to answer.

The Harvard University Library, the oldest library in the U.S. and the largest university library in the world, is not one library but a library system. A Guide to the Harvard University Library states that the collections “are housed in over 90 libraries, most located in Cambridge and Boston, but others as distant as Washington, D.C., and Florence, Italy.”

It’s hard to count Harvard’s libraries for at least two reasons: there are so many of them, and first you have to define what you mean by a library. from the Harvard University Gazette

My friends and I used to search out small and obscure libraries to study. It was an effective procrastination technique. There were many selling features of certain libraries. One had sliding rows of books that you had to push a button to open. It made me a little nervous to use that one. The main library, Widener, was the perfect place to make out. If a book was ever mis-shelved, it was lost forever.

Picture a cavernous dark and mysterious library and that was it. In the bowels of that library was a chain link cage that surrounded the History and Science library, the library of my major, and definitely not inviting. Some libraries were purely for socializing like the Science Center one where all the pre-meds would hang out. I liked the library in my dormitory house, Winthrop, a lot. It was comfortable and you could nap amongst friends.

Our elementary school’s library is bright and inviting. I took a picture of the return cart to see what kids are reading. The picture books were hard to decipher so I shall list the chapter books.

What are your kids reading this week? Please share!


Books for Kids to Read Chosen by Kids

Martha Blah Blah by Susan Meddaugh

Something’s wrong with Martha, the talking dog! She has eaten her daily bowl of alphabet soup, but when she opens her mouth to speak, strange sounds come out instead of words. Fortunately her nose still works, and she follows it to the source of the mystery.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days by Jeff Kinney

It’s summer vacation, the weather’s great, and all the kids are having fun outside. So where’s Greg Heffley? Inside his house, playing video games with the shades drawn.Greg, a self-confessed “indoor person,” is living out his ultimate summer fantasy: no responsibilities and no rules. But Greg’s mom has a different vision for an ideal summer . . . one packed with outdoor activities and “family togetherness.”Whose vision will win out? Or will a new addition to the Heffley family change everything? 

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

A new edition of L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables in honor of the hundredth-year anniversary of the enduring classic.

In addition to publishing Before Green Gables, we are issuing a special collectible edition of Anne of Green Gables, which will be a facsimile of the 1908 version and will feature the original cover art.

Old and new fans alike will revel in this elegant keepsake of the timeless classic.

Charlie Bone and the Time Twister (The Children of the Red King, Book 2) by Jenny Nimmo

The second book in the Children of the Red King series, TIME TWISTER offers more magical fantasy that is fast paced and easy to read.

January 1916:
Henry Yewbeam and his younger brother, James, have been sent to stay with their cousins at the Bloor’s Academy. It is one of the coldest days of the year, and all Henry wants to do is hide from his mean cousins and play marbles. He finds a nice, long hall and begins to roll his marbles. Then he discovers a marble that doesn’t look familiar to him. Suddenly a series of strange events takes place. Henry begins to disappear. He quickly scribbles on the floor GIVE THE MARBLE TO JAMES, and then he vanishes from the year 1916.

The Chocolate Sundae Mystery (The Boxcar Children Mysteries #46)  by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The children help Mr.Brown with his ice cream shop.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse

A girl raised by dolphins must choose between two worlds in this critically acclaimed novel about what it means to be a human being. Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, SLJ Best Book of the Year, ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

To examine any book at Amazon, please click on image of book.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Ann

    Love libraries! Oh, I want my daughter to go to Harvard someday – she could – she is very bright! I will probably drive her crazy wanting to visit all the time : )

    Our town fired all the school librarians last year! Nice! My daughter’s school library stayed locked closed for the first part of the school year until they created a volunteer network to have one library day for the whole school every other week.

    Luckily my daughter gets extra library time with her reading specialist because she is so ahead plus we go to the public one at least every week. My kids love, love, love “There are cats in this book”, this week. Very simple with flaps but lots of fun.
    Ann recently posted…Bird Book BonanzaMy Profile

    • Hi Ann,
      I am so sorry about your librarian loss. Budget cuts? Sounds severe! I’m glad your daughter gets extra time! I need to get my hands on There are cats in this book. Sounds wonderful. Thanks for the book rec!

  2. vanita

    Girl, my school librarians couldn’t stand me! Those old fogies, they hated having kids in the library without the teachers because then they, the librarians, were liable for anything the student did. But my teachers loved me and so did our vice principal so I was given passes to go to the library when my classwork was done, during recess, during gym. LOL in one year I’d read every fiction book in the school library, many that i was told i was “too young” to read. ha! how dear they discourage a child for reading to build a better vocabulary. love books. and love the books you have listed here. i seriously want to stop waiting for when the tots are older and just read them myself, for me.
    vanita recently posted…Growing Dreams Into RealityMy Profile

    • Hi Vanita,
      You and me both! I started blogging on children’s books because I realized that I enjoy them more than adult lit which is too depressing or violent for me generally.

  3. Kirby Wylde

    I like this weblog very much so much excellent information.

  4. Nick Yates

    Appreciate the recommendation. Let me try it out.
    Nick Yates recently posted…Nick YatesMy Profile

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