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Family Roundup: Books for Every Stage of Parenting

Great books to give as gifts or keep for yourself and where to find them.

Have you ever wished that you were issued a “parenting manual” when your child was born that covered all the tough challenges you would face in the years ahead from potty training, to picking a preschool to teaching a teen to be a safe driver? 

While I’ve never found a book that covered all the challenges I’ve faced so far as a parent, I have found some great resources that address specific development stages and challenges. Here is a list of books I recommend that you might give as gifts or buy for yourself to help navigate some of the many challenges of being a parent.

  1. The Girlfriends’ Guides by Vicky Iovine
    From pregnancy to toddlerhood, author and mom of four Vicky Iovine has written a great series of books that tell you the real scoop on pregnancy and beyond. 
  2. What to Expect When You Are Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
    This best seller was completely revised this year and the fourth edition has a new cover and new information reflecting the changing times including more information on giving birth to multiples and working during pregnancy.
  3. The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time by Laurie David
    This book is a great resource for any family who wants to create a ritual of having a family dinner together. Filled with easy and nutritious meal ideas, great ways to make dinner fun and conversation starters.
  4. Beyond Smart: Boosting Your Child’s Social, Emotional and Academic Potential by Linda Morgan 
    Local author and editor for ParentMap magazine Linda Morgan has written a comprehensive and realistic guide for parents on how to optimize their child’s learning experiences from birth. Among the insights shared in the book are how to find the right preschool, getting Kindergarten ready, keeping girls engaged in science and math and how to boost your teen's writing power.
  5. Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills by Ellen Galinsky
    Galinsky’s bestseller presents seven essential life skills children need and give parents practical and fun ways to help kids acquire these skills that they’ll need to succeed in life.
  6. Raising Happiness: Ten Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents  by Christine Carter, Ph.D. 
    Drawing on research and brain science, mom and professor Christine Carter provides real world strategies for raising playful, happy children from birth to teens and beyond. Among the many topics she addresses include how not to raise a brat, the right way to praise children and how to raise a kind and compassionate child.
  7. Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls by Mary Bray Pipher, Ph.D., and Odd Girl Out, Revised and Update: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls by Rachel Simmons 
    Reviving Ophelia is a must read for any parent of a girl.  Using research and anecdotal stories, Pipher outlines how adolescent girls face a daily battle to stay true to themselves and how parents can help. Author Rachel Simmons has updated her bestseller on how girls can cope with jealousy, anger and bullying with information about social media. 
  8. Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thomas, Ph.D. and Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood by William Pollack, Ph.D.
    If you treasure a son, as I do mine, then you will find these two books, which explore what boys really need from a research perspective, and how to give it to them, very helpful.
  9. How To Get Your Child To Love Reading by Esme Rail Codell and The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease 
    Knowing my kids are avid readers, when my friends with “reluctant readers” ask for my advice, I recommend creating a habit of reading aloud to your kids every night, which Trelease’s book covers in depth, and author and former teacher and bookseller Codell’s book, which is a comprehensive resource on how to engage even the most reluctant reader. 
  10. Getting To Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tween and Teens by Laura S. Kastner, Ph.D and Jennifer Wyatt and Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager by Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D
    The perfect books for any parent of a tween or teen who is feeling challenged by the complex task of raising today’s tweens and teens.

Where to find these great books near you, including at a new, independent bookseller in Issaquah’s Gilman Village.

You can log on to your King County Library System account, put a hold on the books from the above list and pick them up from the , or libraries or buy them as paperbacks or hardbacks and e-books for the Kindle from Amazon.com. I often find them used at great prices at the Corner Book Shop in the downtown Bellevue Library and the  store or new at  in . 

And if you are still mourning the recent closure of Borders in Redmond Town Center, you will rejoice that Ravens Books recently opened in Gilman Village in Issaquah. In addition to a selection of new bestsellers, Ravens Books offers used books at great prices including many of the books on my above list and a selection of kids’ books for toddler to teens.  This independent bookstore also has story times for kids.  Bring your gently used books ready for a new home in for a store credit with no expiration. 

On October 6th from 10 am to 11 am, the store will host a Pajama Party Storytime in conjunction with the national Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign.  Bring a donation of new or gently used pjs for Eastside Baby Corner and enjoy snacks, stories and entertainment.

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