By Guest Blogger Ellen Bryant Lloyd

Days are getting shorter and families are settling into Fall routines. Hints of cooler temperatures, tailgates and football games all welcome this time of year. My selections this month highlight stories that make people think, remind us of the power of the human spirit, and to be kind and loving. Fall afternoons are a perfect time for a story time marathon with your child, or to curl up in a comfy chair with a cup of hot tea and a great book. Enjoy!

Preschool —No Matter What by Debbie Gliori

Although this book was published years ago, the message remains an important one for all children to hear — no matter what, your parents will always love you. In the story, Small tells Large that he is grumpy and doesn’t think she loves him. Large reassures Small that is absolutely not true at all. This touching story will reassure children that they are loved unconditionally, no matter what mood they are in or what is going on in their young lives.

Early Elementary — I am Enough by Grace Byers, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo

In today’s world, people are inundated with messages that they aren’t enough. This refreshing story reminds us all to love who we are, be kind and respect others. It also shares the message that each of us is more than enough and here for a purpose. This powerful book makes a wonderful gift for graduations, baby showers or for anyone who can use a gentle reminder about their value in this world.

Older Elementary/Middle School — The Thing About Jellyfish by Erin Benjamin 

In this debut novel, Suzy’s best friend dies in what is ruled to be a drowning accident. Suzy doesn’t believe this is the case and sets out to prove that the true cause of death was the sting from a rare jellyfish. According to, “Suzy’s achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe…and the potential for love and hope right next door.”

High School — The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This multi-award winning book offers a thought-provoking, insightful read about racism. In this story, Starr Carter (16) balances life between the poor neighborhood where she lives and the prep school she attends in a nice, suburban neighborhood. The wall between these two very different worlds collapses when Starr witnesses her unarmed, best friend fatally shot by a police officer. This horrible event brings difficult choices, protests, threats and challenging, emotional discussions. Anna, a local high school junior who recently read the book, said, “This was a very moving and insightful book. It made me think a lot about racism and shed a light on the reality of things that happen in the world. It was a really good book that helped me better understand the perspective of someone living in the middle of racially motivated situations.”

Moms — Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This selection from Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club came highly recommended. Eleanor Elephant’s perfectly timed and planned out life is upset when she meets Raymond, a big-hearted guy from her office. The two save and befriend Sammy, an elderly gentleman, after he falls. All three of them became good friends and end up rescuing one another from the life of isolation they had all been living. “Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!” —Reese Witherspoon

Win a book of your choice from today’s blog! 
Remember to share your thoughts and comments, and you could be selected to win a copy of one of the books, compliments of Barnes & Noble, Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro. The staff of Triad Moms on Main will choose a random winner one week after the blog runs. (Please be sure to enter your email address when you fill out your comment so they have a way to contact you.)

Ellen Bryant Lloyd is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue. Please visit and to learn more about Freckles. Ellen writes a blog about her perspectives on life and parenting at and tweets at @EllenBLloyd. She lives in Greensboro with her husband and two children.