Best Family Ever (Baxter Family Children, #1)
Mom was right. Your best friends are the ones around the dinner table each night. Much-loved storyteller Karen Kingsbury’s Baxter Family books have captured the hearts of millions who have come to think of the Baxter family as their own. Now Karen Kingsbury and her son Tyler Russell tell the childhood stories of the beloved Baxter children—Brooke, Kari, Ashley, Erin, and Luke—to inspire and entertain younger readers.Brooke is the perfect older sister. For that reason, Kari and Ashley work hard to make their parents just as proud of them as they are of Brooke. Each girl has her own talents. Brooke is an excellent student. Kari is a great soccer player. Ashley, a talented artist. And they are always there for each other. But when the news comes that Dr. Baxter is moving the family from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Bloomington, Indiana, and the Baxters need to leave the only home and friends they’ve ever known, no one is happy. Saying goodbye is hard but the family still has what’s most important—their faith and their love for each other. In the first book in the Baxter Family Children series, #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury and Tyler Russell tell the story of what it was like to grow up in the Baxter family, the best family ever.

Best Family Ever (Baxter Family Children, #1) Details

TitleBest Family Ever (Baxter Family Children, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 5th, 2019
PublisherSimon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139781534412156
Rating
GenreChristian Fiction, Christian, Childrens, Juvenile, Family

Best Family Ever (Baxter Family Children, #1) Review

  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from NetgalleyThe Baxter family lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where the father is a doctor. Brooke is the oldest, and is "perfect" and responsible. Kari is good at school but not as good at soccer. Ashley is very flighty and would rather draw than do her math. The two youngest children, Luke and Erin, don't have as much of a role in the book. On the eve of a vacation to a beach house, the parents drop the news that the family is going to move to Bloomington, Indiana, where the father has a E ARC from NetgalleyThe Baxter family lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where the father is a doctor. Brooke is the oldest, and is "perfect" and responsible. Kari is good at school but not as good at soccer. Ashley is very flighty and would rather draw than do her math. The two youngest children, Luke and Erin, don't have as much of a role in the book. On the eve of a vacation to a beach house, the parents drop the news that the family is going to move to Bloomington, Indiana, where the father has a job heading up a new hospital. This is the worst news in the world, and Ashley is especially horrified by it. Still, family is everything, and they can all pray to God for help with this situation. When they return home, the school year continues with Ashley not doing her school work and getting in trouble, soccer try outs that are almost as crushing as the news of the move, and the eventual slide to the end of the school year and the very last day. The moving van is packed, and the family holds on to the thought that even though they are sad to move, they will all be together in their new home.Strengths: This is a gentle tale that hearkens back to classic literature for children. The problems are very uncontroversial, and the family is privileged enough that the horrific things that happen are moving and not making the soccer team. The family is very religious, which is not shown much in middle grade literature. I could see a lot of home schooling parents want to share this with their children.Weaknesses: This had a lot of hallmarks of fiction for children written by someone used to writing for adults. It was slower paced, focusing more on feelings than action. It put more emphasis on family than most middle school students put, and the parents were beloved and not irritating. I know that Kingsbury writes a lot of adult fiction, which I haven't read, and maybe the next book will have a better grip on what children want to read.What I really think: I won't be buying this for my school. It's just not very interesting. When I reviewed Never Evers, I commented "If we have books about children living in poverty, why not books about children who ski in France? The world is full of all kinds of people, and it's interesting to read about them." So yes, we need books about well-to-do, heavily Christian white families, but unfortunately, it was not very interesting to read about the Baxters. On a purely personal note, I took a violent dislike to the family after one sister decides that what should go in the center of her dream collage is a picture of her parents dancing in the kitchen, because her highest goal in life was to have a marriage and family. Gah! That's just me, I know, but it really set my teeth on edge for the rest of the book, especially knowing that the first adult book about the Baxters involves the father having an affair and the mother refusing to divorce him. Not my truth.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Baxter childrenBrooke 13Kari 11Ashley 10Erin 8Luke 6Ashley is in the fourth grade .They are studying snowflakes and it’s suppose to snow.Ashley is twiring ,imaging how a snowflake might feel. Ashley twirls into Erick ,a rude boy in her class.Lydia,her friend,tells her she’s the silliest girl in the fourth grade and it’s a good thing.Valentines day is coming up and she is not a big fan. Ashley has a hard time paying attention in class.Ashley is in charge of planning the class valentine’s day part Baxter childrenBrooke 13Kari 11Ashley 10Erin 8Luke 6Ashley is in the fourth grade .They are studying snowflakes and it’s suppose to snow.Ashley is twiring ,imaging how a snowflake might feel. Ashley twirls into Erick ,a rude boy in her class.Lydia,her friend,tells her she’s the silliest girl in the fourth grade and it’s a good thing.Valentines day is coming up and she is not a big fan. Ashley has a hard time paying attention in class.Ashley is in charge of planning the class valentine’s day party.Luke likes to sing old Mcdonald on the bus while Erin ,with her pretty blonde hair,likes to read including Charlotte’s Web.Kari is dreaming about growing up . The kids eat snicker doodles as a snack after class.Ashley and Kari go ice skating. The Johnson family ,their neighbor,is moving to California with their daughter Sarah grace.Kari and the rest of the siblings help out with the valentine’s day party decorations.Kari wants to look good for the valentine’s day party but not for the boy who has a crush on her.I liked the parents dancing in the kitchen for valentine’s day.I liked that faith is strong in the family.I’ve never read the adult books of the Baxter family.The family is going to SC for spring break but not to myrtle beach. The family is moving to Indiana at end of school year.Their father received a job offer at emergency room there. The family has a good time at beach and play with some kids there.
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  • LitPick Student Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    The Best Family Ever is about the Baxter Family: Mom, Dad, Brooke, Kari, Ashley, Erin, and Luke. The book is written from the viewpoint of Kari and Ashley. Both girls are in middle school and share the details of their family life from their perspective. The family is a God-fearing family that tries to live a good life and serve each other and others. However, this isn't always - with things like Ashley being jealous of her sister Brooke, who seems too perfect to her, and her younger sister Erin The Best Family Ever is about the Baxter Family: Mom, Dad, Brooke, Kari, Ashley, Erin, and Luke. The book is written from the viewpoint of Kari and Ashley. Both girls are in middle school and share the details of their family life from their perspective. The family is a God-fearing family that tries to live a good life and serve each other and others. However, this isn't always - with things like Ashley being jealous of her sister Brooke, who seems too perfect to her, and her younger sister Erin, which causes sibling rivalry. The kids have to continuously learn how to relate to each other and embrace their differences even when big changes occur. This book is a refreshing change from stories that focus on negative struggles and situations. It's an excellent reminder of the positive role of a structured family.Opinion: The Best Family Ever is a good book. The critiques I had were that the Baxter family seemed a little too perfect, and the book alternated between two of the children, Ashley and Kari, but there was no pattern (i.e. Ashley, Kari, Ashely, Kari). It was hard for me to follow because of this. One thing I would change is to add a little more conflict or excitement. However, I loved reading about a more normal family where divorce hadn't affected them or the kids are naughty and hate each other. Some good things were that there was some sibling rivalry (there could be more - even good families fight and deal with hard things!) and an exciting trip to California.Reviewed by a LitPick student book reviewer, Age 11
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  • Sheila J.
    January 1, 1970
    Best Family Ever…a delightful, faith-filled story about the joys, challenges, and adventures of growing up in the Baxter family. As one who has read every book written by Karen Kingsbury, and who has especially enjoyed journeying with the Baxter Family through 28 books, I loved getting a glimpse into the beginnings of this beloved family, co-written with Karen’s son, Tyler Russell. This is the first book in the Baxter Family Children series. Although obviously targeted for children ages 8-12, I Best Family Ever…a delightful, faith-filled story about the joys, challenges, and adventures of growing up in the Baxter family. As one who has read every book written by Karen Kingsbury, and who has especially enjoyed journeying with the Baxter Family through 28 books, I loved getting a glimpse into the beginnings of this beloved family, co-written with Karen’s son, Tyler Russell. This is the first book in the Baxter Family Children series. Although obviously targeted for children ages 8-12, I found my inner child engaged from beginning to end. Page by page, I was taken back to my childhood memories growing up in a large family, with all its varied sibling relationship dynamics, moves across the country, school experiences, peer relationships, and first “crushes.” While this story touches a bit upon each of the Baxter children, it primarily highlights Ashley, leaving the reader longing to get better acquainted with the others in future volumes. Found throughout the pages of this book is the glue that holds the family together…their faith in God and prayer. It’s a refreshing depiction of what can happen in a family when God is invited into the home. I recommend Best Family Ever to any child in the age category suggested, and to adults who love connecting with their inner child…especially those who already follow the beloved Baxter Family!!
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  • Molly Jaber (Cover To Cover Cafe)
    January 1, 1970
    I was so excited for the release of this novel. Karen Kingsbury is one of my absolute favorite authors and her Baxter family has been my favorite for a long time now. This book is the start of books about her Baxter family characters as children. I've always wondered about the Baxter kids and what there life was like growing up, and with this book, we get just that and so much more!This one focuses on Ashley Baxter. Ashley was one of my favorite characters in the Baxter series and her character I was so excited for the release of this novel. Karen Kingsbury is one of my absolute favorite authors and her Baxter family has been my favorite for a long time now. This book is the start of books about her Baxter family characters as children. I've always wondered about the Baxter kids and what there life was like growing up, and with this book, we get just that and so much more!This one focuses on Ashley Baxter. Ashley was one of my favorite characters in the Baxter series and her character as a child......let me tell you, she was full of mischief and I saw myself in her so much! The experiences of having to move and make new friends and adjust to life in a new way, was something that I could relate to, after my dad retired from the military and I had to leave my best friend. The faith, the hope, the love that the Baxter children had as young ones was inspiring, even for this adult!Whether you have a child or grandchild, niece or nephew, who loves to read, this book is perfect for them! Every child, and adult needs to read this sweet book! I read it in one sitting. Mother and Son did a phenomenal job on this creation! If you're 8, or 98, this is a 5 star read that you will want on your shelf forever! Bravo and magnificently done, Mrs. Kingsbury and Mr. Russell. I can't wait to read the next one!
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  • Monique
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a wonderful book for people of all ages, but especially for kids ages 8-12, grades 3-7. "Best Family Ever" is packed full of wonderful life lessons and its characters are incredibly relatable. The Baxter kids in this book experience all sorts of normal childhood things, including social and academic struggles and successes, friendships, bullies, balancing hobbies and schoolwork, and the difficulty of moving long distance. They get through all of these things and more relying on thei This is such a wonderful book for people of all ages, but especially for kids ages 8-12, grades 3-7. "Best Family Ever" is packed full of wonderful life lessons and its characters are incredibly relatable. The Baxter kids in this book experience all sorts of normal childhood things, including social and academic struggles and successes, friendships, bullies, balancing hobbies and schoolwork, and the difficulty of moving long distance. They get through all of these things and more relying on their family and their faith in God. I wish I had a book like this to read as a kid and I can't wait to re-read "Best Family Ever" with my soon to be 10-year-old niece! I highly recommend this book!
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  • Ginger
    January 1, 1970
    I'm thrilled that Karen and Tyler are writing chapter books for children. I've always loved how Karen Kingsbury writes books about everyday situations and includes faith, ways to face life's challenges with faith, prayer and family. She and her son, Tyler are now doing the same for kids. Best Family Ever is about a family with 5 children. It focuses primarily on one of the children, Ashley and the struggles she faces in fourth grade (talking too much, homework, lying, soccer tryouts, sibling squ I'm thrilled that Karen and Tyler are writing chapter books for children. I've always loved how Karen Kingsbury writes books about everyday situations and includes faith, ways to face life's challenges with faith, prayer and family. She and her son, Tyler are now doing the same for kids. Best Family Ever is about a family with 5 children. It focuses primarily on one of the children, Ashley and the struggles she faces in fourth grade (talking too much, homework, lying, soccer tryouts, sibling squabbles). This is a perfect book for children in upper-elementary to middle school OR for a family read aloud!
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  • Sharon Dean
    January 1, 1970
    Best Family EverBy Karen Kingsbury and Tyler RussellI was given the opportunity to read an ARC of this book and below is my honest own opinion. Best Family Ever ministers to the hearts of young children everywhere.  Karen and Tyler gives us experiences of the Baxter children as they will offer you wisdom and provide childhood stories to help you grow and learn in the ever changing world.  Ashely’s story as a youngster will affect hearts across the globe as she struggles with a family move that h Best Family EverBy Karen Kingsbury and Tyler RussellI was given the opportunity to read an ARC of this book and below is my honest own opinion. Best Family Ever ministers to the hearts of young children everywhere.  Karen and Tyler gives us experiences of the Baxter children as they will offer you wisdom and provide childhood stories to help you grow and learn in the ever changing world.  Ashely’s story as a youngster will affect hearts across the globe as she struggles with a family move that has put her out of her comfort zone. Looking for guidance, she relies heavily on loved ones that surround her. A beautiful book for your child!
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  • Amber Richards
    January 1, 1970
    It is so fun to share the characters that I love with my children and get insight as to what they were like as kids!My 11-year-old daughter said this about the book:I really liked the book Best Family Ever. The story was amazing, and I felt like I was right there next to the characters. The book was very hard to put down! The Baxter family is very enjoyable and loving. There were touching parts, and there were also parts that made me laugh out loud. It is a fun book and I hope others will really It is so fun to share the characters that I love with my children and get insight as to what they were like as kids!My 11-year-old daughter said this about the book:I really liked the book Best Family Ever. The story was amazing, and I felt like I was right there next to the characters. The book was very hard to put down! The Baxter family is very enjoyable and loving. There were touching parts, and there were also parts that made me laugh out loud. It is a fun book and I hope others will really enjoy it as much as I did.
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  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    There is much to love about this Baxter family story which focuses on the five Baxter children. The older three girls (Brooke, Kari and Ashley) are given their own chapters with Ashley having the bulk of them. I am assuming that the other girls might get more focus in future books in the series).This family has normal blowups and shenanigans, but they focus on the relationship to each other and ultimately to God in the midst of the day-t0day. It is humbling and inspiring to see a model family. I There is much to love about this Baxter family story which focuses on the five Baxter children. The older three girls (Brooke, Kari and Ashley) are given their own chapters with Ashley having the bulk of them. I am assuming that the other girls might get more focus in future books in the series).This family has normal blowups and shenanigans, but they focus on the relationship to each other and ultimately to God in the midst of the day-t0day. It is humbling and inspiring to see a model family. Is it envy that makes them seem a bit too syrupy sweet?
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  • Debbie Shawver
    January 1, 1970
    Best Family Ever The Baxter’s will always be my favorite fictional family. From the beginning when Karen started with the five Baxter’s being adults. And now going back to when they were children. This family just feels your heart with love and happiness. So thank you, Karen for going back in time with this beloved family. Best Family Ever was amazing. Kids will definitely love it. Adults will too, it brings back the kid in us all.
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  • Alicia Havard
    January 1, 1970
    I am a long time reader of Karen Kingsbury books. While this book is geared towards a younger audience, I can honestly say I enjoyed it just as much as her adult Christian fiction. The Baxter family has always been "my family" and to read about their growing up years, it just brings it more to life. You will not be disappointed. I can't wait to share this book when my little one arrives, because why wait?! It's never to early to read Karen Kingsbury!
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  • Lisa Lunsford
    January 1, 1970
    Karen Kingsbury and her son, Tyler Russell, went above and beyond with this wonderful book. I received and read it all in one day. I’m so excited for the next one with the Baxter clan growing up. I will leave all of my Karen Kingsbury books to my future grandchildren because I believe EVERYONE, child and adult, needs the Baxter Family in their life. Mrs. Kingsbury and her whole family are on my “bucket list of people I want to meet before I kick the bucket”.
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  • Brandy
    January 1, 1970
    I just love this book and I am looking forward to reading more about the Baxter Family Children. This is a good clean story about the Baxter kids, a story about love, family, forgiveness, and how to be yourself. There are a few mentions of God and a few small prayers which flow smoothly into the story. I would recommend this book to any tween who wants to read a good, feel-good story.
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  • Shaudonna Bryant
    January 1, 1970
    I have read every Baxter book to date. I loved Brook, Kari, Erin, Ashley, and Luke as adults. I was skeptical at first. However, Karen and Tyler have captivated me with the young Baxters. Best Family Ever makes me remember my own childhood days. This is the Baxters on a whole other level. I know it was written with younger readers in mind, But I believe Best Family Ever will please all ages.
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  • Beverly Knudsen
    January 1, 1970
    Fun reading for everyone!! It was a delight to get to read about the younger years of the Baxter family. I am looking forward to reading more about the Baxter siblings. Thank you Karen and Tyler for this new series!! I definitely recommend it for all of Karen's fans and those who want to find out why we all want to be a part of the Baxter family!!
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  • Tracy
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this very much. I felt there was a sickly sweet section towards the beginning, and was almost relieved when "problems" began to crop up. Don't know as a parent if I could have let Ashley go as long as she did without intervention.
  • Lindsay Bryant
    January 1, 1970
    Such a great read for the up and coming generation of Karen Kingsbury fans. I loved this introduction to the Baxter family. I loved even more that it is something my daughter and I can read together. Whether you are young or have been a KK fan for awhile this is a great book. I highly recommend it.
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  • Melissa Hayes
    January 1, 1970
    I love it! :)
  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    This story was different than what I was used to reading from Karen. Different as in looking at things through the eyes of the children. Like all of Karen's books I enjoyed this one.
  • Mary Ellen
    January 1, 1970
    DisappointedI was disappointed in this book. I feel it was just a story to keep the Baxter family saga going but not up to the string caliber of Karen Kingsbury.
  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked this book. It's always good to visit the Baxter family.
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    http://bookishdevices.com/2019/02/04/...Fans of Karen Kingsbury’s Baxter Family can now introduce their kids to the best family ever.Karen Kingsbury’s Baxter Family books have captured the hearts of millions who have come to think of the Baxter family as their own. Now Karen and her son, Tyler Russell, are telling the childhood stories of the children to inspire and entertain younger readers.I’ve read ALL the Baxter books, most of them numerous times. I liked this book, but didn’t love it for tw http://bookishdevices.com/2019/02/04/...Fans of Karen Kingsbury’s Baxter Family can now introduce their kids to the best family ever.Karen Kingsbury’s Baxter Family books have captured the hearts of millions who have come to think of the Baxter family as their own. Now Karen and her son, Tyler Russell, are telling the childhood stories of the children to inspire and entertain younger readers.I’ve read ALL the Baxter books, most of them numerous times. I liked this book, but didn’t love it for two reasons. One, I’m not its intended audience, which are children ages 8-12. Two, I’m tired of Ashley Baxter. I’m sure a few Baxter fans threw things at me for that last comment but it’s the truth. I want to know more about Brooke, Kari, Luke and Erin (especially her), but Ashley was once again the star of Best Family Ever. I liked the book because I think it’s filled with great advice, but it’s written for kids and reads that way.If there are more books forthcoming about the kids, I’ll read them. Despite the fact this book wasn’t intended for me, it was nice to get a look back at what made the Baxters the family that I fell in love with over the course of 20+ books.I see this new collection as godly advice from the Baxters for the next generation. Know a child you’ve wanted to introduce the Baxters to? This is your chance!My thanks to the publisher for an advanced copy of this book.
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