Read for a Reason – Free Printables

When I first began homeschooling, I used booklists from curriculum providers and didn’t really venture outside of those lists. Over the past couple of years, I have found freedom in exploring books for my kids to read! I realized that many of the book lists I used did include newer books and some of those more recently written books have since become my very favorites!

Book Lists

​As I have created book lists for my own kids, I began sharing them. Each year I create a visual book list so my kids can choose from books I have pre-chosen for them. They don’t have to stick to these lists, but it gives them plenty of options that they know I think they will enjoy. We use the library a lot, so these visual lists help me plan as they choose books since we don’t own all of them! Last year I shared a video tutorial showing you how to make these for your kids!

Now that my kids are older, I do assign books to be read, and some books become read-alouds. Currently {summer 2020}, my daughter is entering 6th grade and my son is entering 9th grade {my oldest son is graduated}. My daughter loves to read but prefers fantasy so her assigned books tend to be more historical and realistic fiction. My son dislikes reading entirely so I try to be very careful with the books I assign so that they are books he will enjoy. I am close to finalizing their reading lists and will share those soon!

New Webpage!

For now, I want to share a brand new webpage filled with reading resources! I found that I felt disorganized when choosing my own books for my kids and honestly I often forgot which books {and why I chose them} as the school year progressed. I wanted a simple way to plan ahead but also have the freedom to add new books during the year. This led to a set of printables which became our reading notebooks! You can download everything I am about to share on our new Read for a Reason webpage here!

The Notebook

The notebook keeps me focused and prepared. It is simple and to the point.  You’ll be able to guess some of my daughter’s book assignments when you visit the webpage because I began with those books since I needed to get her notebook together first!

I used a 3-ring binder with a clear opening so I can slip the cover in the front. I also slipped the book genre reference page in the back so it’s always available.

Her reading record is in the front of the notebook, this is where she will keep a running list of books read this year.


I chose 6 books I want her to read this year, in addition to books she chooses on her own. I have read all of these and am fairly certain she will enjoy most of them. We will read a couple together and the others she will read independently. For each book, I created a simple information page and a bookmark.


The page is more of a reminder and a simple way to stay organized. I am very visual so having a page like this helps me a lot. It contains general info about the book as well as a grid to assign and mark off chapters. I also included either a quote from the book or a simple graphic and of course the book cover.

The bookmarks are a smaller version of this page and really helped my kids last year when we tested them near the end of the year.


After the page that is specific to each book, the general pages come! You’ll find a summary page, character list, vocabulary list, and favorite quotes list!

You can download all of these printables for free here! You’ll see book-specific printables for 9 different books so far, as well as a place for you to submit a book request {see red arrow below}!

I plan to add many more books and look forward to your suggestions! I truly hope this wepage helps you! See all of our Read for a Reason resources here!

My Year in Books ~ 2019

2019 Year in Books

2019 was the first year I actually recorded every book I read. I wish I had done this all along! Since I recorded everything, I can easily share my favorites with you as well as ALL 50 of the books I read! You’ll notice I like to read a lot of middle grade fiction, partly to preview books for my kids and partly because I enjoy it!

I added all of the books I read in 2019 to an Amazon Shop here so you could browse easily.Books I Read in 2019 Amazon

I am a distracted reader so if a book isn’t going to get at least 3 stars from me I normally stop reading it. This is why you’ll notice a majority of my ratings are 4 and 5 stars. I simply stop if it isn’t good. I don’t have time for books that bore me. A few of the 3 star books were difficult for me to get through, but if I make it halfway I will push through!

My Favorites

It was hard to narrow my favorites down but I wanted to highlight my five favorite books. Honestly most of my 5 star books could be in the top 5, but I did my best to choose five!

My Top 5 Books of 2019

  1. Running For My Life
  2. Before We Were Yours
  3. A Long Walk to Water
  4. The Night Diary
  5. Calling Me Home

My Other 5 Star Books

  1. Finding Gobi
  2. Bud Not Buddy
  3. Beyond the Bright Sea
  4. The Length of a String
  5. Esperanza Rising
  6. I Love You Michael Collins
  7. Race the Night
  8. Chains
  9. Stella By Starlight
  10. The Lions of Little Rock
  11. The Mighty Miss Malone
  12. Sylvia & Aki
  13. Unbroken
  14. Sugar

Books I Read Aloud With My Kids

Most of these are books I read to my daughter, who is 10 and in 5th grade – see her reading list here. She is an avid reader and reads tons on her own and we always have a book that we read together. I let her choose and we often have different opinions at the end of the book. She loves fantasy and I prefer realistic fiction, which is probably why!

I have a book I read aloud to both of my younger kids {5th and 8th grade currently} and it takes us longer to get through these since getting them together is difficult due to my son’s gymnastics schedule.

Books I Read Aloud To My Kids 2019

  1. A Long Walk to Water {read to both kids}
  2. Endling
  3. The Wild Robot Escapes
  4. Harry Potter #1
  5. Granted
  6. Wonderland
  7. Sing Down the Moon
  8. Still Reading – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind {reading to both kids}
  9. Still Reading – Harry Potter # 2

ALL of the Books I Read in 2019

You can browse my ratings for each book I read in 2019 on goodreads here. You will see 3, 4, and 5 star ratings because I stop reading if it won’t get at least a 3!

Year in Books 2019 goodreads

Looking Ahead

You can follow along with my 2020 reading challenge here. I like to load up book ideas in goodreads so I always know what to read next. I use Libby to read books for free through my library and also check books out from the library. I prefer reading on my Kindle so if it’s on Libby I will choose to read the digital copy! See what is on my reading list here and see what I am currently reading here!

How To Make Your Own Visual Reading List

How to make your own visual reading list for your kids

We have been making visual reading lists for a few years now and they really help my kids. I spend the summer choosing books for each child and then compile the book covers on a page so they can choose throughout the year. Last summer I shared a video about these visual booklists, and why we love them! You can watch that here!


In that video I offered to make a tutorial video and many of you asked me to do that! I finally got it done and hope many of you will be able to make your own visual book lists now!

Here is the video tutorial and below I will share basic written steps.

  1. Download the book cover image to your computer
  2. Add the image to a document in PowerPoint
  3. Resize the image by dragging the corners and moving the image around
  4. Align the book covers by using the align feature {align middle and distribute horizontally}

We print 2 copies of our book lists, one for the front of their grade level notebook, and one for the rating stickers. After a book is finished a colored dot sticker is placed on the book image with a 1-10 rating.

Our Book Lists


Here is a blank reading record for your child to write the title, author and rate the book 1-10 based on his/her opinion.

Here’s another reading log we have used. It is very similar to the one we are using now.

See our Book Lists Pinterest board here!

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    Looking for more Easter theme fun for your classroom or homeschool? Give these posts a look:

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    Download your free EASTER  BOOK CHECKLIST here!

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    Soon I will be sharing lists for other fun spring themes – birds, rainbows, bugs, flowers, and more! If you are looking for ideas for those themes see the links below!

    Do you have a favorite spring book for kids? Share in the comments please!

    Download your free SPRING BOOK CHECKLIST here!

    Spring Book Editable Book Checklist

    Download Here