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One thing that is really important to me, as someone who has a BA in English, is to establish a love of reading in my household. I was always in my room as a child reading and learning. I even held the record in my elementary school for the Accelerated Reader tests. So to say I love books would be an understatement. Imagine my surprise when I had boys and reading was a chore. I knew I had to find a way to make reading exciting and interesting for them.
First, I had to be sure they could read well. Reading Eggs (goes from ages 2-13) has been a true gift. We tried everything (Hooked on Phonics, Homer, the McGuffie Readers etc.) all before we found Reading Eggs. And even though they still need help they can both read pretty well. Next, it was important I found books they could love and provided solid moral truths.
Here are some of my favorite books so far!
The Sugar Creek Gang
The Sugar Creek Gang book series is a beloved set of books that has been enjoyed by readers of all ages since the 1940s. The series follows the adventures of seven children who live in rural Indiana and often find themselves involved in various misadventures, mysteries, and escapades. Written by author Paul Hutchens, these classic stories introduce readers to children they can relate to. Each child is learning how to apply their faith to real-life situations and encourages them to seek God’s guidance and rely on one another. The chapters are short so it’s really easy to encourage the boys to read a chapter a day.
The Little House on the Praire
The Little House on the Prairie book series was written by Laura Ingalls Wilder in the 1930s and 1940s. The series tells the story of a family living on a farm in Wisconsin during the late 1800s. The books follow their adventures as they strive to make a home while facing all sorts of challenges and hardships along the way. These books teach children the importance of family, hard work, and never losing faith. This series is a classic for a reason.
The Little Britches Series
Similar to The Little House on the Prairie, this series is much more masculine-focused. Written by Ralph Moody, the books chronicle the adventures of a young boy growing up on a ranch in Colorado during the early 20th century. The books are full of stories about ranching, farming, and life in general. They teach important lessons like working hard, never giving up on your dreams, and cherishing family relationships.
Little Pilgrim’s Progress
Little Pilgrim’s Progress is a book series written by Helen L. Taylor. According to Amazon, “Perceiving the need for a simpler version of a timeless classic, Helen Taylor faithfully adapted John Bunyan’s allegory of the Christian life, The Pilgrim’s Progress, for young readers—hoping to bring its treasury of wisdom nearer to children’s hearts and minds. That version has sold over 800,000 copies! It preserves the original plotlines of Bunyan’s classic while telling the story of Little Christian and Christiana in a way that kids can understand…This book will help children see the trials and triumphs of faithfulness with fresh eyes, leading them to declare along with Christian, ‘I am going to the King!'” This series is perfect for your children in the 8-10 age range.
Similar to the Magic Treehouse Books, this series is full of excitement without the magic and wizards. As the name suggests, this series takes your child on a journey of adventure with two cousins as they travel through time in an Imagination Station. They get to explore new places, meet interesting people, and learn about different cultures. Each book focuses on a character trait such as courage or understanding that is emphasized during their adventures. The books are perfect for children in the 7-10 age range. They are full of mystery and excitement while being entertaining yet educational at the same time.
The Adventures of Geraldine Woolkins
This is a great series for children 8 and 9. Focused on learning from her parents and God’s intentions, Geraldine sets out to create her own adventures. Through her experiences, she learns many important lessons. Each book is filled with fun and adventure while teaching children the importance of listening to their parents and trusting in God. The books also help children understand that no matter what happens or what mistakes they make, God will always be there for them.
The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls
This is a great series for children of all ages. Written by M.J. Thomas, it follows the adventures of two siblings, Peter and Mary, and their dog, Hank. As they discover ancient scrolls they are transported back to a biblical time and must find clues to solve a secret or be stuck in biblical times forever. This series is filled with action, adventure, and mystery while teaching children important lessons and values from the Bible. It is a great way to introduce biblical stories in an exciting and engaging way!
The Dead Sea Squirrels
I know my boys love to laugh and this book delivers. Written by Mike Nawrocki, this book follows (as per Amazon), “ten-year-old Michael and his friend Justin sneak into the Dead Sea caves near the archaeological dig where Michael’s dad is working. Michael finds two 2,000-year-old squirrels petrified in sea salt. Hijinks ensue as Michael tries to bring them back to the U. S., hidden in his backpack. What Michael thinks are just cool souvenirs may turn out to be something much more! The Dead Sea Squirrels series is humorous, fun, and filled with character-building lessons.” Perfect for children 8-10!
Children’s literature is full of exciting stories that can capture a child’s imagination and help them learn important life lessons. Whether your children are looking for an adventure, want to laugh out loud or explore biblical stories, there is something perfect for all ages. The books we highlighted in this article are just some examples of great reads that will keep kids entertained while helping them grow spiritually and emotionally. Investing in quality children’s books like these is always time well spent! I always recommend a chew and spit method and be ready to answer your child’s faith-related questions.