Not only are we always on the lookout for fun books for our kids, but the market seems flooded with good and not-so-good books. So it’s nice to get a little help with the search.
Years ago Gladys Hunt wrote Honey for a Child’s Heart, which is a book about books, listing suggestions for young readers. I believe it is in its fourth edition now, and it has a great article in the beginning about the wonder of words. Another book along the same lines is The Book Tree by McCallum and Scott. This is based on the same idea, that we want our children exposed to the best sort of books. Both these are great resources for reading choices.
And, how could I forget this one: Books Children Love, by Elizabeth Wilson. I’ve had this one on my shelf for quite a while as well.
Also, I noticed that one of the Femina readers has a blog with book reviews called Written Windows. Check out these sources, because, as you know, Christmas is coming! But you don’t have to wait until Christmas to be shopping for books.
17 thoughts on “Books for Kids”
Honey for a Child’s Heart is truly an invaluable resource. I haven’t read The Book Tree, but another good booklist book is Books Children Love.
I also have a kidlit blog (aslanslibrary.wordpress.com) where a friend and I review and reflect on theological books for kids. We’d love to get feedback from you and your other readers!
Thanks Nancy! I am always on the lookout for new books. Blessings to you.
Oooo, Honey for a Child’s Heart just moved up to the top of my shopping list. Already have and love The Book Tree, thanks to Veritas.
Thanks so much.
Honey for a Child’s Heart has been a huge resource for our family.
While I don’t have it yet, Read for the Heart- Whole Books for WholeHearted Families by Sarah Clarkson has been recommended to me.
As a side note, I just watched your husband and Christopher Hitchens debate on YouTube that took place last year at Westminster Seminary. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed it. I am so thankful your husband spoke the truth in love. It was a pleasure to watch -yet painful for those in darkness!
Gladys Hunt just passed away here in Michigan. She leaves a lasting legacy. Love her book!
As a young mom, Honey for a Child’s Heart has been such a delight and help!
Also, I was going to recommend Aslan’s Library (aslanslibrary.wordpress.com), but I am glad see that the creator is also a Femina reader. (Hi Haley!!! I love your blog!)
Thank you very much for the good resources
I am always on the look for good books
I realy like the Lamplighter books
What do you think abouth tham
I have a question. I have a 12 yr. old son who is a voracious reader, and he has read most of the books that he is willing to read that have been recommended in these books. We have a deal, for every three fantasy books he reads, he has to read one book I pick and he generally complies with this. The problem I am having is monitoring his choices when it comes to fantasy books. Right now he is reading James Patterson, the ones that are geared for younger people. How much do I let him choose for himself? How much risk should I take in allowing him to choose for himself? Where do I draw the line and say no more books of this genre, unless they are ones you have already read that I know are good? How much do I force the issue? He won’t read Henty, so is reading anything else a a justifiable substitute because he is reading and loves it, or is it just like bad television and I need to say “no more” pick something decent or pick nothing at all? I get concerned about what he is putting into his mind with these fantasy books, but I also remember that when I was that age I read anything I could get my hands on and half of it I don’t remember.
I know you are busy but this is really on my mind. Thanks.
Jim Trelease’s Read-Aloud Handbook is good, too.
Though it’s great to have an avid reader, you are right to be concerned about monitoring. I suggest you read a few samples of the books yourself. It’s impossible to read everything he reads, but read a couple of the Patterson books and then talk to him about them to see if his filters are in place. Just glancing at the titles by Patterson, they don’t look wholesome to me, but I have not read any of them so I can’t speak about their content. The other thing I would suggest is to get that boy into some sports if you haven’t already. You want him engaged in real life, and not exclusively in books.
Thank you Mrs. Wilson. I think that reinforced what I already knew, but just needed to hear. We have done sports, and we will do sports again, but our christian school just closed their JR and SR high this year and we are scrambling and praying for a suitable alternative.
The James Patterson kids books look, at a glance, almost more like sci-fi than fantasy. Does he like Narnia/Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings books, or does he prefer science fiction like Star Wars? You might try selecting books from the genre he likes that are worthwhile. Has he tried N.D. Wilson’s Hundred Cupboards series? Percy Jackson and the Olympians? If he prefers sci-fi, there are a number of interesting futuristic dystopian novels: The Hunger Games series, The Giver, Farenheit 451, etc.
The problem is that he has read all those books. Narnia, Wilson, Tolkein, The Giver, Bradbury, etc…. But I talked with him yesterday about no more Patterson and he was fine, it’s just that we have run out of books in that genre that I feel comfortable with… so I just will have to try harder and dig deeper to steer him in a good direction. Thanks for the input.
Oh, and there is a Honey for a Teen’s Heart and they recommended the Potter series, which I was surprised about because I had always heard it was bad, but it probably isn’t any better than what he is reading.
I think there are differing views about Harry Potter among Christians because of the use of magic in it. However, Rowling is a Christian (at least nominally), and I thought this came out pretty clearly in the themes of good vs. evil, particularly in the last novel where Harry, like Aslan, becomes a Christ-figure. I had heard the same comments as you about the books, but I read them myself and felt them to be pretty strongly Christian in theme.
PS – Christianity Today had an article on the series a while back that was interesting:
Give your kids those fun books that are educational at the same time. Giving them books that are based on their interests isn’t bad, provided with a parent’s guidance. Anyways, I don’t think kids could relate to The Hunger Games series…