“Let’s read 365 books!” We said “It’ll be great!” We said!

Well it hasn’t been a cake walk, but it has been fun.

Earlier this year I mentioned my goal to read 365 books with my kids. One month down and our determination to meet this goal, plus desperately needing a break from the craziness of our world has kept us on track so far.

I was inspired by my friend Sili who blogs over at My Mamihood. She mentioned she and her daughter are reading 200 books this year. I asked my daughter if she wanted to commit to the challenge and she said yes! At first she said 400 but we settled at 365. With homeschool we read A LOT together and we finished 6 chapter books in one week this month.

From classics to Shakespeare, to history, adventure and fantasy, I’m excited to see where this year of books takes us.

A year of books! 365 books to read with kids.

Here are our rules:

1. Picture books are A-ok. Those will be quicker and my go-to especially with my son who doesn’t have as big of an attention span.
2. We are only counting each book once. So even though we may read some of our favorites more than once, we are only counting completed books one time each. Obviously our chapter books (like Harry Potter) will take much longer to complete. I’ll have a list of books in-progress books too.
3. Books I read to her or her brother count. And books daddy reads too (though he usually defaults to our favorites). It’s a family effort. We’re counting books read aloud together. Not books she reads (or I read) on our own.
4. A book counts from cover to cover so multiple stories in one book will count as just one book.
5. Audio books we listen and discuss together count too! They’re perfect for quiet time, car rides, and extending our reading time

At the end of the month I’ll list what we’ve read, what’s in progress and our favorites.

The most beautiful part of this experience so far has been feeling the closeness between us. My daughter has been trying to finish her dinner, brush her teeth and get ready for bet a little earlier so we can read together longer. My son brings me books to read (he rarely did this before). When they randomly ask me to read a book I will almost always drop anything to do it.

I also love the variety of books we are exploring together: Shakespeare, historical fiction, adventure, fantasy, Greek mythology, and non-fiction. It’ll be fun to see what else we explore this year.

This month we are on track and completed 31 books including 9 chapter books together. Another four novels are in progress. If you want to keep up throughout the month you can friend us on Goodreads.

A year of books! 365 books to read with kids.

Here’s what we completed this month:

365 Books – January

1. What Do You Do With an Idea?*

2. Martin’s Big Words

3. Cars

4. Look Out for Mater

5. Goodnight Lightning

6. Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope

7. The Giving Tree

8. Green Eggs and Ham

9. Ghost Island (choose your own adventure-3 endings)

10. Tractor Trouble

11. The Talking Eggs*

12. Emma and Julia Love Ballet

13. The Rose Fairy Princess

14. American Girl: Meet Addy (book 1)*

15. Cars 2 (little golden book)

16. Addy Learns a Lesson: American Girl Story (book 2)*

17. King of the Wind

18. Addy’s Surprise: A Christmas Story (American Girl Story book 3)

19. I Have a Dream (illustrated book of MLK’s infamous speech- Similar not this exact book)

20. Happy Birthday Addy! American Girl Story (book 4)

21. Addy Saves the Day: A Summer Story (book 5)

22. With Grace

23. What do You Do with a Problem*

24. How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas?

25. Changes for Addy: A Winter Story (book 6)

26. James and the Giant Peach

27. On the Train

28. How do Dinosaurs Go to School?

29. Read for Me, Mama

30. Usborne Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare**

31. Stop That Pickle!

A year of books! 365 books to read with kids.

In progress:
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets
Little House in the Big Woods
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls
Fairy Tales Stories
The Prairie Thief
Anne of Green Gables

For Mom:
Year of Yes
Big Magic
10 Years Later (in progress)

*= Notes our favorites. I’ll highlight a few of them below.

**= Our favorite book of the month.

The Talking Eggs

Lil’ J was enthralled by The Talking Eggs, a story of a little girl who encounters a mysterious woman in the woods after running away from her harsh family. A colorful folktale that captures the unique flavor of the American South. It’s a classic I remember hearing for the first time in my school library as a child. I was so excited when I saw it at a thrift store and brought it home for my kids. It’s a favorite we hadn’t read from our pile in a while but we happy to revive to kick off our year of books.

American Girl Addy Series

We discovered this by chance as I was leaving the library and glanced at the CD section. I grabbed Addy–The story of a girl and her family in slavery and their plan to escape. The story is so exciting, and the narrator is wonderful.  My daughter couldn’t get enough and she asks me to play it often. She says her favorite book was book 2 because it’s about friendship but she also enjoys the later books. The first book was my favorite, but my daughter didn’t like hearing about the harsh realities of slavery. The book doesn’t have many violent descriptions but coupled with her knowledge of slavery after our visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture–She (understandably) doesn’t enjoy those stories.

A year of books! 365 books to read with kids.

Usborne Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare

This was surprisingly our favorite book this month. We’d sit and read it for an hour each night and discuss six of Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies. The stories were well abridged to include the main parts of the play and make it understandable for children. There were also lines from the actual play within the illustrations. Her favorite is Twelfth Night, though she loved Romeo and Juliet until the end. Her second favorite is a Midsummer Night’s Dream. During Hamlet she gasped at the end and covered her ears worried about everyone dying. It was hilarious and SO fun to enjoy together. I had no idea she’s be a Shakespeare fan.  We have a similar Greek Mythology book by Usborne I’m wanting to read together this month and hoping we enjoy it as much.

Martin’s Big Words

A year of books! 365 books to read with kids.

Another great book and one I’d recommend you read with your kids this Black History Month. It’s been one of our favorites for years and a book we read often. My daughter will often talk to be about “love not hate” and how Martin Luther King Jr. was such an example for us.

This month I plan to add a lot of Black History books to the mix. We will hopefully finish the Melody American Girl series based during the civil rights era and in co-op we are studying the artist Horace Pippin. No doubt I’ll also be at the library digging up a fresh batch of books.

What good books have you and your kids read lately?

Let me know! I’d love to add more to our queue.

A year of books! 365 books to read with kids.


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Sili says:

Eek! You know I’m using this to add to my list! I’m doing my recap later on this week. I have to get the Shakespeare book! According to GoodReads we are ahead by a book or two which has caused lots of good feelings here. I find the same is happening in our home. The Frog Princess wants to carve out time to be read to like never before. I’m also finding her confidence is improving.

I’m still trying to find the sweet spot of what her favorite books are but, we’re getting there. OH! And I need to get my order in for BookU. I think I’m more excited about this than she is!

I love seeing this. Thank you for sharing!!!!!
Sili recently posted..How to Keep the Sick Kid ComfyMy Profile

Wow! You guys are off to an impressive start. Thrilled me to see my book (With Grace) among your first month’s stash. Not surprised re Shakespeare, the Bard endures for all generations and Twelfth Night was the first Shakespeare I enjoyed too…and I was already out of high school by then, so your daughter is way ahead. Impressive. Continued happy reading and big up to you for stirring in them a love for something that remains my favourite past time, reading.
Joanne C. Hillhouse recently posted..Deadline ApproachingMy Profile

Megan says:

While I’m 30+ now, Addy was always my favorite when I was a kid! The Addy doll was my Christmas gift when I was 10 🙂

Billy Smith says:

I am going to read Martin’s book and will teach important lessons to my kids. Thanks for sharing it.
Billy Smith recently posted..Best Wireless Routers 2017 – Buyer’s GuideMy Profile

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



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