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The Harry Potter series has been around for almost two decades and it is still one of the most beloved series ever to be created.

For me, the books—and then the movies—were a huge part of my childhood. I grew up with Harry. His life was one I could venture into with a turn of a page, immersing myself into a whole other world that was not my own. When a new Harry Potter book came out, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I chose not to sleep until I finished the newest installment in the series. The books became a part of me; Harry’s story was my story. Well, minus the whole guy-with-no-nose trying to kill me thing.

Why do we still love Harry Potter after all this time? Let me count the ways.

  1. Love conquers all. Always.

2.No matter who you are, you can always relate to someone in the books.

Whether it be the weirdo, the outcast, the “chosen one,” the brain, the goon, or numerous others, there is always one character that everyone can relate to.

  1. The humor

Fred and George are pretty hilarious, but overall the humor is spot on every time. You can’t help but love it.

  1. That no matter how alone we feel or lost we are, there is always someplace we can turn to that makes us feel like we belong.

5. Because J.K. Rowling is a writing genius.

You can learn so much about life from her and her quotes made via Dumbledore and other important characters. I mean seriously, if I took every single inspirational quote from the books, I could wallpaper an entire house TWICE. Not to mention she has this ENTIRE world planned out in her head—Harry’s life is merely a blip in that world. She’s amazing. Plus, she has an awesome sense of humor.

  1. Despite the reality that Harry Potter is fiction, it still—even after rereading the books—is capable of bringing out deep emotions that we can’t hold back.

I think the HP books are the books that I have cried into the most, held to my chest and hugged the tightest, and made me feel butterflies just as strong as the characters were experiencing when love was abloom.

  1. Whether you’re seven or seventy, these books will never get old.


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If you have not seen The Fault in Our Stars, THEN WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU? Or better yet, why haven’t you read the book?

Oh. Wait. You probably don’t enjoy crying, because that is ALL YOU WILL DO.

“That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.”


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One of the most important things to do with your kids is to read to them. Reading open ups the imagination and is a great way to learn. There are millions of children’s books, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are very good. (Come on, don’t tell me you’ve never read a children’s book that even you thought was subpar.) There are some very talented authors out there that have written some fantastic books that stand the test of time—books that your kids will still enjoy reading to their own kids. Below are my five favorite children’s book authors—you should probably just go buy all of their books right now. Just saying.

1. Anna Dewdney

If you haven’t heard of or read (or already own) any of the Llama Llama books, then get onto Amazon and order the whole lot because they are some of the most enjoyable kids’ books I have ever read. Personally, I have Llama Llama Red Pajama memorized. Anna Dewdney creates adorable stories that teach a very important lesson—such as patience, sharing, et cetera.

2. Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar–do I really need to say anymore? These simple stories with their colorful illustrations must be a staple in your child’s book collection.

3. Shel Silverstein

I grew up loving Shel Silverstein books with his simple drawings and your child should too.

4. Sandra Boynton

Okay, I cannot express enough how much I love all of Sandra Boynton’s books. These cute little board books will become your kid’s favorite—and yours as well. My personal recommendation is But Not The Hippopotamus.

5. Dr. Seuss

Were you wondering where Dr. Seuss was? OF COURSE HE IS ON THIS LIST. Be real. I shouldn’t even have to explain why Dr. Seuss is one of the best children’s book authors OF ALL TIME. My favorite as a kid was I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!, though one of my all-time favorites is There’s a Wocket in My Pocket. If you don’t own any Dr. Seuss books, or you do and you don’t have them memorized, then you’re doing it wrong.

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For me, one of the best memories during the holidays was reading books as a family. Of course, I believe you should do this year-round, but it is a great tradition to instill for your children. You could even replace that story you read at bedtime every single night with one of these great books. Your kids may protest at the change in story, but your sanity (yes, we all know you now hate that stinking curious monkey) will thank you. You’re welcome.

1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

The Grinch, who lives on the top of Mount Crumpit, makes it his goal to ruin Christmas in Whoville. In my opinion, one of the best  Christmas stories ever written. Your heart will surely grow three sizes.

2. ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

Really, do I have to tell you what this is about? Come on.

3. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

A young boy, who doesn’t believe in Santa, hops aboard a train to the North Pole.

4. Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney

Llama llama once again teaches us the importance of patience–and what Christmas is truly all about.

5. The Biggest Most Beautiful Christmas Tree by Amye Rosenburg

The animals in a forest make their tree home as beautiful as can be in the hopes that Santa will come for a visit.

6. A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas by Philip Yates

This piratey twist on the holiday classic Twas the Night Before Christmas will have your little landlubbers mesmerized.

7. The Dinosaurs’ Night Before Christmas by Anne Muecke

Yet another twist on the classic Twas The Night Before Christmas, the dinosaur fossils in a museum all come to life! Your children will love it.

8. The Mitten, Adapted and Illustrated by Jan Brett

Adapted from a Ukrainian folktale, this story is about a mitten that is left behind in the forest and several animals all squeeze inside, making room for each other.

9. Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh

This little dog believes that she is the “other reindeer” and travels to the North Pole to become part of Santa’s team.

10. Santa Mouse by Michael Brown

When a little mouse realizes that no one ever gives Santa presents for Christmas, Santa Claus names the mouse Santa Mouse and makes him his helper.