I had a major mom-fail moment at Christmas. My girls always write “books” on every wish list for Christmas and birthdays. Sometimes they know what books they want and sometimes they just say “books” and I’m supposed to figure it out. This Christmas, my kids didn’t ask for very much, so I tried to at least take their request for “books” seriously. Because all three of my girls (13, 13, and 11) asked for books, I went ahead and got multiple series sets for them to share. One of the sets I got, my girls already have. Oops! “Merry Christmas, here are some books you already have!” 🤦♀️ This would be more understandable if I didn’t do the exact same thing at my twins’ birthday in August with a book they already had.
Here is the offending book set: The Kane Chronicles Set by Rick Riordan
Organizing Book Titles
I posted about my failed gift on Facebook and got so much good advice and book suggestions! One bit of advice I really loved was about an app that stores all the books you have by just scanning the barcode: Book Crawler. I’ve only had it a few days, so I don’t have a tried and true review, but I’m very excited about it.
What I’ve Ordered to Replace
I ordered a few sets to replace the one duplicate set. Yes, I am trying to make up for the blunder with a little extra generosity. I am a human mother with full-time mom guilt. (Actually I ordered a TON of the suggestions but put them up in my closet for Easter baskets. Yes, Matt raised his eyebrows when I showed him how much I ordered. In his defense, he didn’t say anything negative, but the raised eyebrows say it all. 🙄) These are the picks I’m giving the girls as soon as they arrive.
The Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland
How I Check Books
I know it sounds like a great mom thing to always read the same books as them, but I just can’t keep up. Too many books, too little time – my kids are veracious readers.
One of my 13 year olds reads at least 1 entire book a day. She reads fast and flies through books. Good thing she doesn’t mind re-reading books. She has read some of her favorites like Fablehaven, Percy Jackson, and Harry Potter over 25 times each! Several of our books have been taped back together many times.
There is no way I can always read the books before she does to check them for adult content. I just don’t think any of my kids are ready to read super-sexual content, though characters having crushes and light kissing seems okay to me.
But how will I know? I rely on the website CommonSenseMedia.org. I really like how they explain why they give certain books ratings, so I can check if their reasons fit my own boundaries. (This is not a sponsored post by CSM – I just really love the website and want to share.)
Matt came back from the store with one of my kids buying a book for Allison. I asked if they had checked it before they bought it. Yep, it was rated 15+ (and the reasoning explained a lot of sexual content!), so it got returned. I also messed up and bought the book Ready Player One based on the movie reviews instead of the book. Oops again. The movie is rated 12+, but the book is rated 15+. Here’s an example of what you see when you search –
And if you click on one of the sub-categories, it shows you why it got that rating. This may be rated a 1/5, but this was enough for me to decide my kids aren’t ready for this book.
Tween & Teen Book Club
We’ve taken a little break from the Tween & Parent Book club, but that will be starting back up in the New Year. I’ll be expanding to include Teens because now I have two teenagers.
Do your tweens and teens love to read? Have you ever gifted them a book they already owned … twice? Just me, yeah, that’s what I thought.
From my home to yours,
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I use the Goodreads app to track what I’ve read, make lists of what I want to read, etc. it scans barcode or book covers to identify books, along with a search feature. Just another option to try. 🙂
Thanks for the tip. 🙂
I’m not sure if you have a Scholastic book warehouse near you but twice a year they have a huge sale, BOGO free! Near me ours is always right before Christmas and then the other is in May before the kids get out of school. They also have coupons you can use along with the BOGO that are $20 off $100, $30 off x, etc. seriously it is an amazing sale. If you have one within an hour of you I highly suggest going to save some major $.
Thank you for the tip. Sounds like my kids’ dream sale!
Ha, ha — my mother did this a few years ago and I will never let her forget it! I am around 50 now and live half the world away from ‘home.’ My mother, aged 75, has given me three? four? books in the past ten years; two of them were for consecutive Christmases and they were both the same book! I never laughed so hard as when I opened the wrapping that second year. And the funny thing was, it wasn’t even that good a book! Mary, I have been following your decluttering challenges for three years now and am in awe at your organizational skills; if such a woman-on-the-ball as yourself can have a memory lapse like that, then I guess my mother is in fine company! 🙂
I’m glad to know I am in good company with your mom. I felt so silly, but my kids said I have redeemed myself by spoiling them with extra book series.
B J says
One series you can check out is the Dimension Chronicles. The first book in the series is The Claimed by D. E. Partridge.
Thanks for the suggestion!
I’ve tried finding the app but have been unable. Is it under a different name? I have an android phone but not sure if that makes a difference. Thanks.
I’m so sorry, I have an iPhone, so I’m not sure what is available on an Android.
My children love “The Green Ember” series by S.D. Smith, if you need a new series any time soon.
I just looked this up on Amazon and they look great. What ages do you think it is geared towards?