Monday, July 27, 2015

Christian Children's Literature

Finding good books to give our children can be so hard. Increasingly, I'm thinking more about Christian character development than I am about whether a book is on the recommended college-prep list. As a mom and a teacher, I'm still growing.

Today, I share character-building devotionals with you, as well as a list of Christian literature books for grades 1 - 8.

Over the past year I've read aloud consistently from character development devotional books. I see clearly now that my children were missing these in the prior years; I just didn't know all that was available. My children love our daily devotional time as we learn more about following God, together. They feel encouraged, uplifted, strong in the Lord, and full of love for their neighbor as we finish yet another wholesome story.

I've learned that the best use of these books is to read one story in the morning, and another in the evening, because we always need more Christian teaching and encouragement by the end of the day. I often print out related verses to supplement the verse from the story, making our lessons even meatier. And we always close in round-robin prayer, asking God, among other prayer items, to help us live the verse.

Here are some character-building devotionals:

The Miller Family Series

A Hive of Busy Bees

Another Hive of Bees

Vivian Gunderson Books

Grace and Truth Character Classics

A Child's Book of Character Building

Loving One Another: Beginner's Stories on Being a Good Friend

Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories Vol. 1 (some of these can be scary so preread each little story)

Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories Vol. 2

Reading Scripture is very important ( both to our children, and having them read it themselves), but so is reading stories that illustrate scriptural passages in ways children can understand. It's one thing to read "a harsh answer turns away wrath", but quite another to read a beautiful story illustrating this principle. As children recall the lessons from the stories, they remember the verses more readily, too. Having verses come alive is very effective character training.

In addition to devotional materials, there are many Christian books written for children to read themselves, that also illustrate specific Scriptural passages and overarching ideas from the Bible. These treasures really are honey for your child's heart. 

I've listed some Christian titles and book series to get you started, some of which were written long ago and are excellent history lessons as well (such as Elsie Dinsmore, written in the 1800's). Some are definitely for children to read alone, while others will work either way. I inserted links so you can check prices, find different editions, and read reviews. If you have a Kindle, you can definitely save money on some of these. We recently downloaded the Sugar Creek Gang series (several books to start) for less than $10 on our Kindle.

Some digital editions lack quality (especially some free ones), so check around and read reviews.

Happy Reading!

Grades 1 - 3

Cul-De-Sac Kids (a series) (First one deals with adoption of Korean boys into a Christian family--the boys having been sent by "mistake" (two Korean girls were expected). The family keeps the boys and they play a minor part later in this book series too. Some adoptive parents may take issue with the storyline of this first book. No child is a mistake, our course, so that word is an unfortunate choice. It could be edited out if a parent reads the first one aloud. This is a well-loved series and even older children enjoy them.)

Darcy J Doyle, Daring Detective (This link is the author page on Amazon. You will have to buy used it looks like, or find in Christian library.)

The Prodigal Cat (a series)

The 3 Cousins Detective Club

Mandie Mysteries (a series - a couple reviews out of many warn the message is a works-based one. I haven't started this series so I can't comment on that, but many Christian families love it--I know that.)

The Christian Heritage Series

Grades 4 - 6

The Mars Diaries (a series)

Mice of the Herring Bone (a series)

The Elsie Dinsmore Series - 28 books (Kindle Edition free)

The Complete Mildred Keith Series (Mildred is a relative of Elsie Dinsmore's, same author)

The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew

Horsefeathers (a series)

The Drummer Boy's Battle (part of Trailblazer series)

The Sugar Creek Gang (a series)

Viking Quest Series

The Fate of the Yellow Woodbee: Nate Saint (part of Trailblazer series)

Grades 7 - 8

The Cooper Family Adventure Series

The Warrior's Challenge: David Zeisberger (part of Trailblazer series)

Bonnets and Bugles (Civil War series with Christian content)

The Daystar Voyages (science fiction series)

Sierra Jensen Series (Christy Miller's friend)

No comments: