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With the advent of Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, it’s unfortunate that a generation of children are growing up on a steady diet of books with such little depth. One of the challenges I have found as a homeschool mom is to find books worth reading for my kids. I want my kids to learn how to enjoy classic books like Swiss Family Robinson, The Secret Garden, and The Chronicles of Narnia Series. Childhood is such a critical time for learning how to love books, especially books worth reading.
Over the years, I have searched high and low for lists of books worth reading for my kids. My criteria is simple, I want only the best books for my kids’ reading pleasure. I want stories with depth and characters with heart and soul. I want books that will challenge their language skills, without frustrating them too much. The following are books which include lists of great books worth reading.
The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
This is the book you want to start with if you have younger children at home. Trelease begins the book with a solid argument about why reading aloud to kids is so critical to their language development. He also discusses what the best readers have in common and when to start and stop reading aloud to your kids. He pretty much covers anything and everything you want to know about reading aloud to your kids. Of course, half of the book is dedicated to a list of quality books worth reading aloud to your kids.
The Book Tree by Elizabeth McCallum and Jane Scott
This book covers books worth reading for all grade levels, from preschool all the way to high school. The authors begin their book with an introduction explaining what their criteria was for selecting the several books on their list. When putting the list together, they looked for well-written and reader-friendly literature, ethical standards, visual appeal, and accessibility in all the books they recommended. The book has over 200 pages of books worth reading for your kids!
Read For The Heart by Sarah Clarkson
Sarah Clarkson includes almost 300 pages of reviews for books worth reading. With every review, she gives the name of the author, date of original publication, award (if the book has received one), illustrator (if the book has one), general age category, a short review of the book, and any cautions (regarding mature or questionable content that may concern some families when needed). She reviews books worth reading for everybody from young children to high schoolers to books families would enjoy reading together. Clarkson’s list of books is definitely a thorough one.
Honey For a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt
“Children don’t stumble onto good books by themselves, they must be introduced to the wonder of words put together in such a way that they spin out pure joy and magic.” This is how Gladys Hunt begins to discuss the importance of a parent’s role in selecting books for their children to read. In the first part of Honey For a Child’s Heart, Hunt writes about everything from what makes a good book, to how to raise a reader, to the different genres of children’s literature. The second half of the book consists of the book list and covers ages 0-14. She did write another book addressing books worth reading for teens called Honey For a Teen’s Heart, which I would highly recommend as well.
No matter whether you choose one of these books or all of these books, just make sure your kids always have books worth reading!
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