Where to Buy Kids' Books
Berkeley Parents Network >
The Arts, Books, Entertainment, & Media >
Where to Buy Kids' Books
Whenever I need information on children or being a better childcare provider, I look
here. Whenever I need recommendations about good books to read, I look...?
Recently, I have actually been finding myself with time to read. Lots of time to read.
I've already asked close friends for their favorite books, and swapped novels with a
few of them. I've been to Moe's and Cody's on Telegraph. Even so, I need more.
Do any of you know resources for picking books? Its hard to browse and pick out a
book simply based on its cover, back or front. Are there are email groups? Websites?
I rely on the recommended book table at the Pegasus bookstore
on Solano - love that place. Plus, on amazon.com I often look
up a book I enjoyed because they list other books people have
bought if you scroll down.
Abundant time to read, how wonderful! I get lots of ideas for
reading material from the book review section in the Sunday NY
Times, which I'd guess is available online as well as in
hard-copy. To a lesser extent, also the book reviews in the
Sunday Chronicle and the special book section of the East Bay
Express (comes out monthly, I think). The reviews tend to be of
new, hardback (expensive) books, but...sometimes you can find
them used shortly after they come out. Or they'll show up on the
sale tables at Pegasus/Pendragon in a few months. And eventually
they come out in paperback. If you read the reviews regularly,
you develop a rolling list of authors and titles that sound
interesting and you can hunt for them over time.
how about your local library? the adult services librarian's job
is to be familiar with what's out there. i'm sure you'd find a
few titles, which you can then check out, or go buy.
One of the main libraries (opposed to a tiny branch) should have a librarian
an expert in adult fiction. There are booklists, reference books, and
available through the library to help you decide what to read next; I've
liked a database called NoveList.
If you like books so much but don't know which ones to read, why
don't you pick up a newspaper and read the book reviews? The
Chronicle and NY Times have entire sections devoted to it. The
Oakland Tribune also reviews books somewhat regularly. My mother
is a retired children's librarian, but she still gets the
magazine ''Booklist,'' and it has reviews of all SORTS of books
(adult, not just kids) and she's constantly recommending books
for me to read. If you don't want to read about books in review
form (but why not if you like to read?) you can always join a
book club. The Book Passage in Corte Madera has a program (Aunt
Lydia's book club) that will pick out a book a month for you and
send it to you (you pay for it of course, by the book).
Check out www.readerville.com, particularly the thread called
''What's That You're Reading?'' You will soon have more books than
you can keep up with!
The book ''Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment,
and Reason'' by Nancy Pearl is a good source for choosing books.
I found one of my favorite books through Book Lust.
I also recommend checking out your public library for ideas.
A lot depends on your tastes in literature, of course, but my
best source for book recommendations is book reviews, which I
try to keep up with. The New York Times and Sunday Chronicle
are good places to start (both are online). The Chron also
publishes a list of best-sellers that's specific to the Bay
Area, which I find really useful, since SF is a book-loving
town. That lists tends to include higher-quality books than the
national list. Finally, pay attention to announcements of book
awards and award finalists like the Pulitzer, the Booker Prize,
and the National Book Award - it's hard to go wrong with those.
Check out the forums on www.bookcrossing.com (specifically
http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum choose ''book talk'') to read
dicussions about different books. You can also search and
browse books to see people's mini-reviews of them, and you can
request books from bookcrossers or swap books with them. The
book review section in the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle gives
me good ideas. I also read the New York Review of Books and the
Atlantic Monthly for book reviews, although they mostly review
non-fiction. Check out the UC Berkeley Summer Reading Lists
too: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/Instruction/readinglists/ for
really interesting lists. Join the Berkeley Public Library's
online book club to have excerpts from books emailed to you:
http://www.supportlibrary.com/su/su.cfm?x=2809 I need more to
read too so I am looking forward to other people's suggestions!
I have really started to use Amazon for book ideas. When someone
suggests a good book, I request it from the library, but also
enter it into Amazon and see what other books people are buying
when they buy the book I was recommended. It's the best positive
argument I can think of for Amazon collecting preferences. With
one book search at Amazon, I usually end up with 3 or 4 other
books to go to the library for. Try it.
You can look up book lists on the websites for the major
children's books awards, such as the Caldecott Award or Parents
Press Award. There are more awards out there too.
Oooh, you are so lucky! I wish I had lots of time to read.
However, even without lots of time, reading good novels and
memoirs is my main and essential form of relaxation and
escape. I read the SF Chronicle Book Review each week,
and I belong to QPB (Quality Paperback Books), a book club
which sends me a newsletter every three weeks, filled with
reviews of many kinds of books. I keep an ongoing list of
books that seem of interest to me, and then I utilize the
(Berkeley Public) library to get hold of the books. I put lots of
stuff on hold. A few months ago, a friend sent me a
paperback book chain letter. I wish I'd known of you then,
because it seemed like a cool idea, even if I do hate chain
letters. Most of the people I sent the chain letter to pooped
out on me, but I did get four or five free books this way.
I'll be curious to see what other kinds of replies you get.
I have been pleasantly suprised by how much I have enjoyed the
books recommended by the staff at the bookstore. B&N has a shelf
with staff recommended books, most independent book stores do as
well - plus you can also ask them. My favorite of all though, has
been Kevin Hunsanger at GreenApple books in the city. The book
store is wonderful, the staff all have had great recommendations,
and Kevin's review of books on Kfog have led me to many a great
read. His current review are listed here:
Go to Amazon and pick out a book that you enjoyed. When you go to the link
about it, it will say something like People Who Liked This Book Also
Then, write down the suggested readings and go to the library and check 'em
-Book obsessed, too.
I did not see your original post, but a very fun way to get ideas
for what to read is... www.ideacog.net/psychicbook/order.html
Also if you poke around online, many book lovers have book themed
Can anyone recommend a good resource (preferably online) for
children's book reviews? It would be especially helpful if you
knew of ones that included reviews of both old and new books.
Thanks for your help.
I reccomend the Sunday New York Times book review. In each
issue they usually review a few childrens books. I am sure you
can find it on their web site. The reviews are excellent.
Around December they review quite a few childrens books.
I really love the ''Read-Aloud Handbook'' by Jim Trelease for
recommendations of terrific children's books. You can get it at
Check out: http://www.armory.com/~web/notes.html
Includes reviews/news about classic children's books that are
back in print.
You might check with your local children's librarian. Most will
have multiple reference sources that have reviews in them. Books
Best Books for Children,
Our family, Our friends, Our world
The Read-Aloud Handbook
Books kids will sit still for
Reading rainbow guide to children's books
They're never too young for books
Black Books galore!
Valerie and Walter's best books for children
Adventuring with Books
Great books for African-american children
Babies need books
Beyond Picture books
Most libraries also have subscriptions to review sources such as:
School Library Journal
I have not given you an exhaustive list by far, but that should
get you started.
For knowledgeable reviews of newly published books, the best sources
are The Horn Book (the gold standard!) and School Library Journal.
Both of these use children's librarians and other professionals in the
field of children's literature as reviewers, something which is not always
the case with the NYT Book Review. Another source I've found helpful
is _Babies Need Books_ by Dorothy Butler, although unfortunately
some of the books she discusses are now out of print.
this page was last updated: May 25, 2012
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website during
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network