Regardless of our age, we all make choices every day. Some choices are easier than others; what to wear today, what to have for breakfast, and so on. Other choices are ones we've made into habits, such as the hour we wake and the hour we go to bed, what time we eat dinner, which day we exercise. Then there are the multitudes of daily choices that require decisions on the spot and those that need long and careful thought before arriving at our choice.

Kids are not exempt from decision-making. Children make choices all day long, just like grown-ups. A great deal of what we teach our kids will help them in their decision-making process. Today's books are helpful in this regard as they illustrate decision-making in three very different ways.

In helping your child to grow and learn how to make good choices, remember that we all have a right not only to be right but also to be wrong. It's okay to make mistakes; we learn a great deal from the choices we've made, both good and bad.

Check out these interesting titles and add others to your reading list that help your child to understand the importance of making decisions. Since we spend our entire life making choices, there's no time like the present to give decision-making a little extra time and attention.

Books to Borrow

The following book is available at many public libraries.

"eleven" by Patricia Reilly Giff, Wendy Lamb Books, 165 pages

Read aloud: age 8 and older.

Read yourself: age 9 and older.

On the eve of his eleventh birthday, Sam McKenzie scours the house looking for his hidden gifts. When his search leads him to the attic, what he finds shocks and disturbs him greatly.

A locked box with a newspaper hanging halfway out of the lid reveals a picture of Sam as a little boy. Sam wants to know what the article says, but Sam can't read. The only words he can make out are "missing" and his first name, Sam, but a different last name - Bell.

What does this mean? Has Sam's life been a lie? Is his gentle, loving grandfather, Mack, really his grandfather? And why does Sam keep dreaming about the number eleven?

Sam needs the help of someone he can trust to read the article to him. Caroline, the new girl at school, agrees to help Sam unravel his past, and as they work together they forge a friendship that neither one had ever had before nor believed could happen.

Rich and satisfying on multiple levels, "eleven" is full of suspense, friendship and kindness, and is certain to capture the attention of readers beginning to end.

Librarian's Choice

Library: Jefferson County Public Library, 420 West Main St., Madison

Library Director: Brent Stokesberry

Children's Librarian: Kara Pettey

Choices this week: "Chicks and Salsa" by Aaron Reynolds; "A Year Down Yonder" by Richard Peck; "My One Hundred Adventures" by Polly Horvath

Books to Buy

The following books are available at favorite bookstores.

"The Hueys in IT WASN'T ME" written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, Philomel, 2014, 30 pages, $17.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 3 - 6.

Read yourself: age 7 - 8.

The Hueys are a large group of oval-shaped creatures who ordinarily get along with one another. But every now and then they have a disagreement, which is normal. But this particular disagreement spins wildly out of control where ultimately no one can remember why or what they are arguing about. Then clever Gillespie knows just what to do to diffuse the situation and create harmony again.

In his usual brilliant fashion, author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers has created yet again another seemingly simple book that is both amusing and profound.

"Lost for Words" written and illustrated by Natalie Russell, Peachtree, 2014, 28 pages, $16.95 hardcover

Read aloud: age 4 and older.

Read yourself: age 7 - 8.

Tapir had a nice new notebook and some colored pencils. He didn't know what to write in his notebook, and nothing popped into his head. Tapir noticed his friends were busy writing: Giraffe was writing a lovely poem, Hippo was writing an exciting story, and Flamingo was composing a song about the sun. Tapir decided he was doing something wrong and must try harder.

When Tapir's notebook was still blank, he sadly went up to the top of the hill to think. He noticed the beautiful view, and then he opened his notebook and unpacked his colored pencils. Before Tapir knew it, he had created an amazing story about his friends and the place they called home - all in beautiful pictures.

Lovely from start to finish, "Lost for Words" is a powerful little book about making choices, courage, and accepting differences.

Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children's literature. She can be reached at