I was approached by Barbara Saylor to review her book The Story Hour Library Volume One. I had heard of the book before and was delighted to see just what it is all about. The subtitle to this book is Developing Character: Teaching Character Using Popular Children’s Story Books. This volume is packed with summaries and activities for 50 children’s books. The titles are fiction, poetry, fables, folk tales, nonfiction and more. We love using literature in our homeschooling so I was excited to get reading.

There are a few key features that set this book apart for me:

  • A simple box on each title’s two page spread listing character traits the story highlights.
  • A discussion question box that helps you focus in on these character traits.
  • A table of contents that groups each book under the character traits.

This makes it simple to find a book on the topic you want to address. It also means you can often find several titles that will approach the character issue in different ways, giving you even more material to work with.

Let me give you an example of how to use The Story Hour Library. Under the topic of Confidence/Confidence to Take Action are seven books to choose from. When I go to my choice, The Hundred Dresses by Elenor Estes there is a very thorough summary of the book, enabling me to decide if it meets my needs without having read the book before. 100_1699I find that the book addresses eight other character issues, which can lead me back to the table of contents to check for more related titles. There are four discussion questions that help me to help my children think about the story and apply it to them. There is a simple activity related to the book as well.

I think The Story Hour Library is a helpful resource. Many times story is the best, longest-lasting way to reach our children’s minds and hearts. A story is remembered and thought over in later moments and days when they find themselves in similar situations. The only thing I wish the author had taken time to include is scripture verses and stories that relate to the character traits because in our family we often choose scriptures to memorize related to lessons we are trying to learn.

{Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions presented herein are my own.}

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