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I have a friend who never takes her children to the library because she can’t figure out what books to get.  This is astounding to me, as my kids and I check out at least fifty books a week. (Seriously. My arms are always sore and – no lie – my library card is held together with packing tape.)

Sure, a good ten percent of the books we bring home are forgettable.  Many are a bit better: entertaining, attractive, aimed for adults so I get a good laugh, or educational in a “feed your brain” sort of way. But what keeps us going back for more are the random books which turn out to be complete gems: books I have to force myself to give back to the library, books that hit that “it” factor and manage a perfect balance of fabulous storytelling, luminous or side-splitting illustrations, and plot and character development  that would put most M.F.A. graduates to shame. (I’m an MFA grad and professional writer myself, so I know of what I speak.)

This blog is an attempt to share my “Best Of” list with others. (Sadly, I read way faster than I post, so I will always be behind.) And I also reserve the right to complain a little. (Don’t even get me started on the “When You Give a Mouse a Cookie” franchise, which is basically “Lunchables” for the preschool reading set.)

Have a book you think everyone else’s children should read, too? Email me at weerequiredreading (at) gmail.com.

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