This book list is intended for an entire family with young children, although some books would be found in the adult section of a bookstore. When I would read aloud to my children, I usually read a book appropriate for the oldest children (ones in school) and had the younger children listen and learn what they could. They would often color, do copywork, look at books, do puzzles, or do some other quiet activity that kept their hands busy but left their mind open to listening.
It is amazing what a 4 or 5 year old can learn from an interesting biography or missionary story written for adults. There are times that I would skip a sentence or paragraph if I thought it was too graphic or frightening for the younger children.
Our goal is not to have books for only entertainment. A truly great book will offer pleasure and entertainment while teaching good character and morals. Time is a valuable gift
from the Lord; therefore, we should spend it wisely. Reading should strengthen our minds and challenge us to greatness in character. Not every book is overtly Christian but it must come to the standard of Philippians4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are
true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” I believe even fiction can fit this category if the principles are based on truth. Unfortunately, many books, even from Christian bookstores. do not portray truth,
virtue, or lovely things!
TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION is still true today; I find that most of our favorites are missionary stories and biographies.
Nowadays, I only have four left in my reading group! Time flies and season change. I would encourage you to take the time to invest in reading aloud often when your children are young.
DISCLAIMER: While our family does not agree with every single aspect of each one of the books listed below, we have been edified and encouraged by the examples of faith,
love, and other virtues taught in these books. In your reading, remember that all books except the Bible are written by imperfect authors; therefore, when we read them, we should always be aware that they will contain imperfections.
Also a reminder: this motherhood series is written specifically to mothers with young children/children still in school.
“Mary Jones and Her Bible” (You will gain a new appreciation for Godʼs Word as you read of Maryʼs effort to get a Bible.) M.E.R.
***“The Basket of Flowers”, “Rosa of Linden Castle”, “The Little Lamb” Christopher Von Schmid
“Zuma and the Secret of Peru” author unknown
***”Sweet Revenge” E. A. Bland
“True to the Last” (This book is on the top of the list of favorites!! An amazing story of integrity and character in a young child.) Evelyn Everett-Green
“Stick to the Raft” Mrs. George Gladstone
“The Beggarʼs Bible”, “Ink on His Fingers”, “The Bible Smuggler”, “The Secret Church” Louise A. Vernon
“Daring Deeds”, “Boys of Grit Who Changed the World” Archer Wallace
“The Children of Cloverly” Hesba Stretton
“Alone Yet Not Alone” Tracy Leininger
***“Sir Malcolm and the Missing Prince” Sidney Baldwin (Our favorite version of this book is the audio by Lamplighter Theatre.)
***”The White Gypsy” Annette Lyster (this is another Lamplighter audio that we love listening to)
“The Wanderer in Africa” A.L.O.E.
“Tears of the Rain” (Have your kleenex nearby as you read of this familyʼs love for children who had such desperate needs.) Ruth Ann Stelfax
“When Things Seem Impossible” Jean Dye Johnson
“Under His Wings” Urie Sharp with Dorcas Sharp Hoover
“What Happened to Tad” Mary E. Ropes
“Saved at Sea”, “A Peep Behind the Scenes” O. F. Walton
***“Hidden Rainbow” and “Light From Heaven” Christmas Carol Kauffman (I read these books many times in my childhood and another 3-4 times as an adult, to my children)
“The Hedge of Thorns” John Hatchard, rewritten by Mark Hamby
“Joel….a Boy of Galilee” Annie Fellows Johnston
“Me and Nobbles” Amy LeFeuvre
“Seven Days Left” Charles Monroe Sheldon
“The Golden Thread” Norman Macleod
“Titus, a Comrade of the Cross” Florence Morse Kingsley
***“The Lamplighter” Maria S. Cummins (I read this book the first time when the older children were 10 and under. When I read it the second time to our younger children, we were traveling in the bus and I think the older children enjoyed it just as much the second time around!)
***“Ten Peas in a Pod” (It would be a shame to read this book to yourself. You will laugh and cry together as you read about this familyʼs commitment and dedication to sharing the Gospel through song.)
“Penny Parcel” Avery Hitch
“These Are My People” Mildred T. Howard
***“Sunshine Country” Kristina Roy (this is a story with a most unpredictable ending but one that tells of unselfishness and kindness.)
“Just David” (You wonʼt want to lay this book down.) Eleanor H. Porter
“Tsunami!-From a Few That Survived”, “God Knows My Size”, “Angels in the Night”, “Into Their Hands” (This book is a collection of stories about Christians who were willing to do whatever it took to the Bible into the hands of those who lived in countries where it was difficult or even illegal to obtain the Bible. It will remind you how powerful our God is!), “Wing Ping’s Sacrifice” Harvey
***“Columbian Jungle Escape” (An incredible story of Godʼs deliverance when a missionary family was taken captive by the Columbian guerrillas.) Ed & Doreen Dulka
“Christian Heroes: Then and Now” Series Janet and Geoff Benge
“Heroes of History” Janet and Geoff Benge
“Trailblazer Books” Dave and Neta Jackson
Historical Fiction by GA Henty
“The Rock Pile”, “Home on the Blue Ridge”, Pablo Yoder
Especially For Younger Children
“Happy Days With Pablo and Juanita” Evelyn Hege
***“Teddyʼs Button”, “Jillʼs Red Bag” Amy LeFeuvre
***“The Little Great Ladies” W. Percy Smith revised by Sandi Queen
“Missionary Stories with the Millers”** Mildred A. Martin
“A Hive of Busy Bees”, “Another Hive of Busy Beeʼ**editor DeVern F. Fromke
“Hero Tales” Dave and Neta Jackson
“The Moody Series” Sarah Maxwell
***“Even Donkeys Speak” Mary McDonald (This is a book written specifically to tell children of Godʼs miracles in Asia but adults will enjoy these books, too.)
“Summer of the Lost Limb” Janis Good (A sweet story of a little girl whose courage, persistence, and faith in God that will encourage you to keep going in spite of difficulty and trials.)
***”When They Killed the Moon” Aunt Theresa (These incredible stories tell how God used young missionaries to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others. When I read this book to the children, we didnʼt want to quit reading!!)
“The Little Faith” Mrs. O.F. Walton
“Little Miriam of Galilee” Edith Martin
***“A Home at Last” Marilyn Friesen (Amidst the toil, pain,and anguish of a country torn apart by war, God is watching over one small family. We love this story.)
“Tanglewoodsʼ Secret”, “Star of Light”, “Three Go Searching” Patricia St. John
“Little Prairie Girl”, “Little Prairie Girl Grows Up”, and “Little Pennsylvania Boy” Sharon Schnupp Kuepfer
This is just a sampling of some of the good books we have enjoyed.