Introduction – How to Use This Site.

Have you purchased a book, only to be disappointed whilst reading it to your child!? Welcome to a new way of judging & obtaining children’s literature.

Our primary goal is to make it easier for adults to provide the children they care about with better stories and better ideas. We prefer that you are well informed before you buy.

Children need to discover the great value of outside the box thinking.

A great surprise ending!

Our book reviews present the explicit & implicit ideas a story communicates, not just its plot. They often give away the story and the ending —to you— because you are deciding if it is worthy enough for your child.

We can even save you money, by shipping as many as three books for less than other online services ship one.

Our book scores are an important guide (the maximum is 100 points —not a percent). Scores take into consideration the ideas in the story. Two books that score four, or even five, points apart, may seem equally good (or poor) to you. That’s just fine! However, ValuedMinds doesn’t sell books that score less than 65/100; we do not wish them on your child!

Show me the funny!

Baby teeth & hair fall out; do our bodies fall apart?One more thing: VM explanations are pretty serious. “How could it be fun for kids?” Well, many good books here are fun, and good for learning.  While humor eases a trip, humor alone does not bring one’s destination closer.  Nearly 20% of our better books have really fun moments.  Some are classified in the genre “humor”.   We are serious in helping you find books your kids will like to read, & humor helps with that.  A child’s deeper and lasting happiness will come from the ideas he comes to understand.

3 Ways to use ValuedMinds

The site is designed to accommodate the varying interest levels, time limitations, and academic leanings of adults. There are three levels of ‘depth’ available, geared toward the Quick, the Cautious, and the Critical.

#1 Quick

Children's Literature: parents haven't the time to pick out the best.This approach can take less than five minutes from start to finish. It is for those who just want to get a couple of kids books, probably as gifts. It is also for those who already understand our standards and scoring process.

The Review Finder produces Search Results that include limited but useful information on each book found:

  • The Values and Virtues the story presents, usually through the main character (some parents really like this feature).
  • The Plot-Theme statement expresses the gist of the story in one sentence.
  • The Brief Review – its tab opens a small display providing a tight, evaluative description of the book, perhaps with an ending spoiler.

Results can be further refined if one wishes. Notice that the light blue terms are often ‘clickable’, and will bring up search results for that term. If you like a book, add it to your Shopping Cart, and move on to another title, or Checkout.  Another time… check out the VM Blog.

#2 Cautious

Children's Books should be examined with careYou have run a search, have looked over the results list, and have looked at the Plot-Theme and Brief Review of a book. You want to know more about that book… so you click on its title or cover image, and proceed to the much more thorough Book Review page.

Book Reviews vary in length and depth, depending on the merits of the book. Often the less meritorious, the more brief the review.

Popular books, or books that have won special awards, can still have significant flaws and may score poorly.   Both require quite a serious review effort, and can be interesting to us, even if we completely pan it. Books that are popular for the wrong reasons are more common than you might think, and are what makes ValuedMinds possible. Without the existence of bad teeth, dentists would have little business.

The Cautious visitor might find it useful to look at some titles he knows and compare their reviews and scores, to get an idea of the predictability of our scoring system.

#3 Critical

Children's Books should present good ideas.‘Critical’ visitors will wonder about certain books, about how scoring is accomplished, what ideas guide the scoring, or whether the scoring is a reasonably sensible approach.  The Site Search bar can be used to  find  books that have received awards (all, or a  particular one), or books by a particular publisher.  In addition to comparing different books ‘Critical’ visitors will want to examine the more detailed reasoning provided in this section of the site (“Our Approach”), as well as the “Articles“,  the Blog, or perhaps “About Us” and its FAQs.  Hopefully they will contribute by Commenting.


All Blog Posts, Book Reviews and Articles are set up to allow comments.  Please keep them constructive, smart and polite.  The Disqus system will keep track of you and, if you so choose, inform you if other comments appear with yours.


* Book reviews and image may be of a different edition or binding of the same title.
* These books are NOT available for reading online, or for free download in PDF or ebook format.
* Price may change without notice due to reprinting, price change by publisher, or sourcing cost changes.
*Please see