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Buying Better Books

Tabitha Helms

This weekend we started the task of sorting through our walls of books at home and deciding what we had to keep and which ones we would never open again and could pass on. It's hard to decide because eventually we'll be homeschooling and will need some of those as resources. And my big difficulty was not knowing what types of books my kids will be interested in in the future. Who can predict such things? When going through my children's books I decided to keep the "classics" that were known and loved by me as a child. When the time comes and interest develops, we can always invest in books then. 

As a teacher, I love Scholastic for buying books. You can find so many books at cheaper prices than from Barnes and Noble or Amazon because you can get them in paperback and use points to buy them. You're also able to get free books for your class depending on the size of the order from your students.

I recently found out about another book selling site with good prices. It's called Usborne Books. A friend recommended it to me, and I poked around on it to find a book for a baby shower I was attending. I didn't find any of the "classics"--The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Where the Wild Things Are, etc. So I asked her what made Usborne better than Scholastic. I loved what she said! 

Usborne has a big focus on nonfiction. As a teacher, this is great. You have no idea how many times we had to supplement nonfiction into our reading and language arts curriculum. I think that nonfiction texts are greater about teaching us about the world, which students will encounter more often than made up stories. I mean yes, they'll encounter hungry caterpillars that eat nice, green leaves, but they can learn so much more about caterpillars in a nonfiction text. Usborne is not just about entertaining, but about educating while entertaining through the types of books they carry. 

There has been a big push in STEAM education and activities in the classroom lately, and I think these elements are important and practical for the individuals we are raising to be contributing to our society. Fostering growth in areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics instead of just reading and literature (though these are important as well) is necessary in today's society. Reading is easy to incorporate into these subject areas to cover all the bases. Usborne Books believes strongly in this theory and follows suit with their book choices. 

I took a peak at whether or not they have incentives for teachers like Scholastic does, and indeed they do! 

- Book Fairs
- Matching Grant Programs
- Reading Incentive Programs
- Accelerated Reader, Lexile, and Very First Reading Listings
- Fundraisers
- Free books
- Discounts

But don't just take my word for it! Go find cool books like this yourself here! 

Usborne Books