To help Christian parents choose the best in children’s literature, the books below contain recommendations and annotated book lists.
<<To go to our lists of recommended books for each age level, use the links in the left-hand column.
Books with Recommended Reading Lists
The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease. This book not only convinces you of the critical importance of reading aloud to your children, but it also has lists and lists of the "best of the best" books that all ages can read aloud and enjoy. (See our list of great "read-alouds.")
Invitation to the Classics by Louise Cowan and Os Guiness. Subtitled, “A Guide to the Books You Always Wanted to Read,” the authors have prepared a history of literature by presenting, in chronological order, important literature in the history of Western civilization. They start with Homer, through the Greek poets, the Romans, the Middle Ages, and so on to the twentieth century. Each chapter analyzes a different author’s work from a Christian perspective, explaining his or her worldview, and summarizing the plot of some of his or her most important writings. A large, hardcover book. Young adult and up.
Books Children Love by Elizabeth Wilson is a wonderful book derived from the insights of Charlotte Mason who believed education should take place mainly through reading books that make a subject come alive. It lists hundreds of “living books” by subject area and grade level.
Books by Gladys Hunt
Honey for a Child’s Heart gives many suggestions for making reading more rewarding and includes an 85 page annotated booklist of the best children’s literature by subject and age level. Honey for a Teen's Heart is the sequel to Honey for a Child’s Heart and has teen reading lists and lots of ideas for creating teen readers and keeping them reading. Honey for a Woman's Heart is another great reading compilation, this time for busy Christian women. Full of great summer reading ideas.
Reading Lists for College Bound Students contains suggested reading lists from 100 top colleges, an annotated list of the 100 books colleges most often recommend, and suggestions for planning a high school reading program.
(See also the College Bound Reading List recommended by The College Board.)
Books for Increasing Reading Skill
Reading Strands by David Marks teaches children and parents how to analyze and discuss a work of literature. It has practice discussion scenarios to show you how to get your children to think about what they are reading. Very useful for Jr/Sr highs.
For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay is the best book we can recommend to help you encourage thoughtful reading. Mrs. Macaulay shares ways to interact with living books.
How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren. This is the best guide to reading comprehension for the general reader. It explains various levels of reading and how to achieve them—from elementary reading, through systematic skimming, to speed reading. You learn how to extract the author's message with different reading techniques for reading literature, plays, poetry, history, science, etc. This is an excellent book to help parents choose books for their children or it can be used with senior highs to boost reading skills.
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