BEST FAMILY EVER
A Baxter Family Children Story (#1)
By: Karen Kingsbury and Tyler Russell
Published: February 5, 2019
Publisher: Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster
Fiction/Middle-Grade Fiction/Christian Fiction
I have never read a Karen Kingsbury novel which is strange because she is prolific. In middle school and high school, I read nearly every Janette Oke book, so there is a chance I read one of hers then, but I’m not sure. Last year, she branched out into writing a middle-grade novel with her son. In her adult fiction books, she writes about the Baxter family and now she is writing about the Baxter family children.
In the Baxter family, the parents and their five children live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The children in this book range in age from 6-13 years old. This first book in the series tends to focus more on Ashley, the ten-year-old and her sister Kari, eleven. This is the perfect age group for reading this novel as well. Kids will be able to relate to Ashley’s frustrations with school and being the middle child and feeling unseen at times.
The Baxter family is an idyllic family. All the kids ride the bus together, go to school, come home to freshly-baked snickerdoodle cookies, do their homework after school, and share dinner together around the table. But, arguments, jealousies, and lies do come up and kids get to see how the family handles those situations. One of the messages I loved that repeated throughout the book was that the siblings weren’t just family, they were to be each other’s best friends forever. That is something I have always told our kids as well.
The other important message is that each child is their own person with their own talents and gifts. They shouldn’t try to be like anyone else, but just be their best self. Ashley learns this lesson the hard way and finds herself in a predicament that she needs her family to help her out of.
I’m sure Kingsbury fans will be thrilled to share their favorite family with their children. It would also make for a great read-aloud with your family. Karen Kingsbury is a Christian author and there are references to God and prayer throughout the novel, which only enhances the lessons for Baxter family children. When the entire family has to face a huge change in their life, having God to go to in their fear of the unknown offers them a calm and reassurance they weren’t able to get from their friends or family.
I have nieces in this age range and I’ll be gifting this series to them. The second book in the series, FINDING HOME, came out in February.
To purchase a copy of BEST FAMILY EVER and FINDING HOME, click the photos below:
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