Need last minute gift ideas or just something to keep kids busy during these damp days of no school? Here are some farm-y books tested and approved by your farmer and her family.

Market Maze by Roxie Monrore  

How does food get to the farmers market? From fish to eggs to vegetables to flowers, each page follows a truck taking a different item to market. The pages are covered with lively illustrations that include hidden pictures, too. This book is definitely six year old approved and would probably work for four to eight year olds.

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones

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Have you visited E.A.T. South's chickens? This novel features several of our chicken breeds, but as special as our chickens are, they are not quite as exceptional as those in this novel (as far as we know).  Through letters to her Abuela and others, follow Sophie Brown as she adjusts to her family's move from L.A. to the country and discovers that the chickens she inherits from her great uncle do more than lay eggs. A fun read aloud book and great for fifth graders through middle school.

Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White

Friendship, sacrifice, good pigs...E.B. White had a talent for observing animals and nature. If you haven’t read this book in a while, go get it. Read it yourself. Try not to cry if you're reading it aloud.

Gone Crazy in Alabama, Rita Williams-Garcia

This book is set on a Prattville farm around 1970. No spoilers, but one of the book's conflicts mirrored a story from my own Alabama family so it feels true to the state. It's the third book in a trilogy for middle readers, but I have to say I completely enjoyed the series myself. Start with One Crazy Summer (Newberry Honor and National Book Award Finalist) then P. S. Be Eleven.  The trilogy follows the Gaither sisters from New York City to Oakland to Alabama and touches on significant people and events straddling the late 60s/early 70s - from the Black Panther Party to the Vietnam War to Shirley Chishlom to the Jackson Five. 

Stay warm, read, and Happy New Year everyone!

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