Living Books Lady

Your Personal Learning Specialist
Your Best-Book Info Source

For Schools

                                                   School Libraries…of Best, Rare Books!

Dear Values-Driven School Leaders,  We honor you for pursuing unrivaled resources of rare, top-notch youth literature for your school.  We can help you unearth the best of these now-scarce gems for your students and teachers.  Because...


                                           You are trying to truly teach…truth & virtue, depth & breadth.

                                    You rightly see students as more than only impersonal data holders.

                 You also respect the heart of the learner: the epicenter of stirring ideals and the seat of personal greatness.
   You know that wisdom, ideals, high culture, and character are crucial to your students' personal success and national health.

                                                                 Therefore, the highest quality resources should be in their hands…and hearts.

                                                         (Our services are explained here, or you may quickly scroll to Services/Fees chart below.) 

A Unique Challenge! 

  • Due to dramatic cultural changes, it's now essential for classical/values-driven school leaders to proactively seek the best literature for school libraries, since most books published today arise from a very different worldview. They differingly see the nature and content of education, and, importantly, the seat of learning in a child.

  • Thus, it takes special effort to locate the high-impact "living books" of yesteryear.  These have heart-stirring quality in both writing and art--even in richly academic topics--because they see the student first as a heart to be inspired, and secondly as a mind to be informed.  "Living books" spark character, teachability, patriotism, and respect for classic truths.  They also achieve high levels of learning....and generate a life-long love of reading!

  • These older books are now seldom found in publishers' catalogs.  Instead, they were mostly produced in the “Golden Age of Children’s Literature” (1930s-60s).  Like classical gems, these "living books" grow better with age, still delectably drawing youths into topics of sweeping breadth and depth through gorgeous writing and art.  Such literary treasures embody your ideals!  

  •  Though hard to locate, we help schools build libraries full of them, just as we operate our own two "living books" libraries (Michigan & Florida).  Our MI library was visited (and much complimented) by Mr. Philip Kilgore, national director of Hillsdale College’s Barney Charter School Initiative.

1)  LET’S GET YOU STARTED!  Build-a-Library

  • No matter that "living books" are hard to discover and obtain!  You needn’t research or hunt.  Put my 26+ years of pioneering library work (and education/history authorship) to work for you.
  • Let’s incrementally build a library for your school to bless your students and teachers, and distinguish your school in the community.
  • Because classic education is synonymous with outstanding literature–it's an essential pillar—I can best build your library while frugally targeting the budget, due to my long-developed expertise and network of obscure sources.
  • Sparing you specialized staffing needs, we can also send the rare books to you already labeled, barcoded, and databased, if you wish, ready for your students to relish and your teachers to harness! 

2)  Borrow-a-Librarian  (Specialty Resource Recommendation Service)


  • Teachers diligently labor to provide crucial, broad, and foundational curriculum to entire classes.
  • But, teachers also harness librarians to cultivate each student’s unique giftings.                                                  (Personal development + Solid curriculum = Masterful education.)
  • So, mobilize my special expertise: instantly naming “just right” books to foster and inspire.  “Just right” books also engender a love of reading.  It has been my great joy to witness this dynamic, ceaselessly!
  • Even teachers require “just right” books to complement their plans or overcome a student's challenges or character needs.  I can provide impactuful titles on any subject.
  • Be it courage, medieval locks, or naval architecture in colonial America, there is a retro living book for that…by a passionate author, respectfully published with creamy paper, generous space, and tender illustrations!
  • Naturally, if you want us to acquire/prepare any of the specially recommended books, just let us know.

3)  Harness Our "Living Books" Web Platform for Your Library Database/Services

Most library software is based on ISBNs, but most "living books" were published prior to ISBNs.  Voila!  Instead, you can use our vast, hand-made, "living books" database (on 25,000+ retro book gems) which features values-driven descriptions & yummy book-cover art to encourage reading.

How?  You can notate your books right inside our online library/database site (or we can do it for you)...and have full lending functionality too!  Your school's library will be a unique "branch," with special features for schools/teachers, and web access anywhere.  Side benefit: your webpages will be updated each time we add/enhance book info...which is daily!  You're up and running quickly and aptly.

BEGIN School Library Service


  • Proven Expertise    No need to “reinvent the wheel,” or hire someone in each school to learn what we’ve already built.
  • Shared Mission   We’ve been investing in values-driven education for over 26 years.
  • Economic Efficiency   We can maximize your budget, by sparing you from procuring inferior resources. 

Please let us know how you wish to proceed (see chart below).  We will delightedly serve your students.  Thank you!


Contact: Michelle Miller Howard/Living Books Lady|526 W. 14th St, Suite 161, Traverse City, MI 49684 | | 231-649-0397

Living Book Services FOR SCHOOLS
(Options and Fees)
Build-a-Library      BOOK ACQUISITION
(We will procure/process/ship books; school owns books.)
Per book: purchase cost, plus $6 labor, plus shipping.  Additional book preparation fees, if desired, are $20/hour + supplies.  (We honor any budget. 1)
Borrow-a-Librarian     PERSONAL BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STUDENTS & TEACHERS  (Quick access to Michelle via private forum.)
$2,450/year, or $49/hour 2
(Annual rate best value, since “free” after just 50 hrs/yr.)
One-of-a-kind Living-Book Database/Web-Interface    LIBRARY MANAGEMENT/DATA
(Save yourself the same effort, and instead harness the voluminous, unrivaled, values-oriented book-descriptions in Michelle's "living books" database for your school library, becoming a "branch" on our web-based system.  You'll have full library functionality: lending/returns/overdues/reserves/etc.  Includes features just for schools, such as special accounts for teachers/students, notation of items in termporary displays, homeroom info, etc.  Please note that other web-based data systems, because they are ISBN-based, do not meet our needs, since most "living books" were published prior to ISBN usage.  So, Michelle has hand-written descriptions on these 20,000+ books, and manually uploaded cover art.  Her book descriptions/subject hyperlinks thus focus on themes and character qualities of importance to us, and even which books best engage boys or girls. 3)
$299 annual access fee
(It has taken Michelle over 20,000 hours to create database; she augments constantly.  Also contains top-notch themed reading lists on topics in many subjects.)


Michelle Miller Howard

University of Alabama, Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude

Michelle is a veteran educational author, columnist, speaker, consultant, and pioneering librarian (Children's Preservation Library & Living Learning Libraries) who founded/operates the first- and largest-known “living-books” library in the US (in Michigan), and a second large library in Florida.  She also wrote an 11-part award-winning curriculum (TruthQuest History) which leads students (Gr. 1-12) through a deep probing of worldview in American, Ancient, and European history, while also immersing them in all spheres of the culture for cause-and-effect.  TruthQuest History incorporates her vast living-books knowledge through specific book recommendations on each particular topic.  Michelle spent many years educating all four of her children: two adult sons (one a Hillsdale College graduate & honor student), and two teens.  She now has seven grandsons!  (A full curriculum vitae is on About Us page.)

1  Using our special sources, we will search for low-cost treasures, to stretch school budget: $1,000 deposit requested in advance, for first transaction; 30 days net.                                                               
2 Partial-hour minimum is just 5 minutes, so easy on school budget.  Michelle is independent contractor, so no complications for schools.  Her recommendation time (or other needed time) invoiced monthly; 30 days net.
3  Michelle's library database/web-interface facilitates interlibrary loan, if schools wish to cooperate.  Details/needed specifications provided upon initiation.