Books for Kids

Thank You, Mr. Faulker
by Patricia Polacco

I cry every time at the end of this book about a teacher who helps a little girl who has dyslexia.
by Sarah Perry

Open the world of imagination with this creative, unique book! Your kids will love this!
by Peter Reynolds

If you have a little perfectionist in your home, this is a good book to read together!
by Peter Spier

Profusely illustrated book about cultural geography. So much to look at and discuss!
by R.J Palacio

My kids loved this book about a boy with a facial disfigurement who decides to go to middle school. Helps build sensitivity to those who are “different.”
The Napping House
by Audrey Wood

Great book for babies and toddlers!
The Aesop for Children
by Aesop

Be sure to get a version illustrated by Milo Winter! This book is on every Classical and Charlotte Mason book list. Not to be missed!
A Nest for Celeste: A Story About Art, Inspiration, and the Meaning of Home
by Henry Cole

I have such great memories of reading this aloud to my kids. They colored in the Dover Audubon coloring book while I read. We all remember it fondly.
Eloise Wilkin Stories
by Golden Books

Cute Vintage golden books illustrated by Eloise Wilkin!
The Empty Pot
by Demi

Great lesson about living with integrity.
The Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Treasury
by Betty MacDonald

My teens bring Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books with them when they babysit. It calms kids right down – they are so enthralled with the stories. Warning: don’t read the chapter “The Selfishness Cure” aloud. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Ella Enchanted
by Gail Carson Levine

Every girl I know has loved this book! Excellently done on audio by a child narrator!
How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World
by Faith McNulty

A picture book about the layers of the earth. Kids always love this one!
Twenty and Ten
by Claire Hutchet Bishop

Introduces elementary aged kids to the idea of Jewish children having to hide from German soldiers. May be too scary for sensitive kids. Great book.
A Treasury of Princesses: Princess Tales from Around the World
by Shirley Climo

This book was pulled off the shelf often! A great multicultural book for your little princesses!
The Llama Who Had No Pajama
by Mary Ann Hoberman

Cute poems that kids love.
Understood Betsy
by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

This book is a hidden gem. It takes a bit to get into it, but push through and you will be SO glad you did! This is the perfect book for fearful/shy children or overly controlling parents. (We’ve got both here!) Beautiful story.
National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry
by J. Patrick Lewis

STUNNING photography paired with excellent poetry. This is one to keep on your shelf and read often!
The Chronicles of Narnia
by C.S. Lewis

Classics that you don’t want to miss. Start with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. End with The Last Battle. Perfect for a wide range of ages. Some parts may be scary for sensitive children.
A Long Walk to Water
by Linda Sue Park

This book impacted my middle daughter so much that she wrote a letter to the author and sent money to an organization that helps provide water for people in impoverished areas of Africa.
Elephant and Piggie: The Complete Collection
by Mo Willems

These books are worth your shelf space. Toddlers love listening to them. Early readers love practicing with them. Older kids love reading them to younger kids. We even did some literary analysis on one of them during middle school. Clever. Cute. Not your average kids’ books.
Thomas Edison, Young Inventor
by Sue Guthridge

Thomas Edison’s mother must have been a saint! All the scrapes he got into were hilarious. We all remember this book fondly.Get all the books in this series! Kids eat them up! There are even more in the vintage set.
The Princess and the Goblin
by George Macdonald

This book was so captivating that even our neighbor kids listened in! Ages 8+. Look for other fairy tales by this author.
Pooh’s Library
by A.A. Milne

YOU NEED THESE BOOKS! Tippy top #1 read alouds in my opinion for any age! Milne was a genius. These books speak truth.
Boynton’s Greatest Hits
by Sandra Boynton

This author and these books are great for babies and toddlers! So funny!
The Wednesday Wars
by Gary D. Schmidt

This is a great middle school author! We used this book for literary analysis during school, and it went great!
Kisses from Katie
by Katie Davis

Excellent biography of a young woman who gave up her comfortable life to work with orphans in Africa. Not written specifically for children but mine loved it.
Letters from Father Christmas
by J.R.R. Tolkien

Really cute book. Even my 14 year old enjoyed hearing it. I’m so impressed at the effort Tolkien put into these letters and drawings/paintings. What a great dad!
by Francesco D’Adamo,
Ann Leonori (Translator)

This one really made an impression on my children. It made them aware of the issue of child slavery in an age appropriate way. Good book for middle schoolers.
The Green Ember
by S.D. Smith

Great adventure series!
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens

Difficult language (it’s Dickens!), but we all enjoyed this book. I think it helped that the kids had watched the old Disney cartoon already, so they knew the story line going into it!
Seven Daughters and Seven Sons
by Barbara Cohen,
Bahija Fattuhi Lovejoy

I read this aloud to my 13, 11, and 9 year old daughters. It is a captivating story set in a faraway place and time, and we all loved it. I did skip several parts that I felt were too mature/inappropriate for them. Not sure I’d hand it to them to read, but it was a wonderful read aloud!
Shadow Spinner
by Susan Fletcher

Spellbinding. The kids reread this many times after I read it to them aloud.
D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths
by Ingri d’Aulaire,
Edgar Parin d’Aulaire

Years later, my children still smile when this book is mentioned. Great illustrations! Try other books by these authors, too!
Music of the Hemispheres
by Michael Clay Thompson

Excellent introduction to a deeper study of poetry for late elementary or middle school (or beginners of any age).
The 13 Clocks
by James Thurber

Beautiful language. Odd book. Memorable!
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain

13, 11, 9 year old and I laughed our way through this. One scary scene (for young kids) in the graveyard. Well done on audio!
William Shakespeare’s: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare Retellings, #2)
by Bruce Coville

This series of picture book retellings of Shakespeare plays is a wonderful way to introduce children, or even older beginners, to Shakespeare!
Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna
by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton, Herman Viola

My children begged for more every time I read to them from this book. Definitely one of the most memorable (especially the circumcision chapter! Yikes!).
A Child’s History of the World
by V.M. Hillyer

My kids were so-so about this book at first, but after we had been reading it for a while they decided they loved it! (Ages 6+)
Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths
by Bernard Evslin

Excellently done on audio! My 10 and 12 year olds listen to this over and over again.
The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1) 
by Maryrose Wood

Cute. Clever. Filled with great vocabulary. My Classical/Charlotte Mason educated kids loved all the references to Latin, literature and poetry! And they were captivated by the story, too! Excellent read aloud for the whole family. The audio is fantastic!
Little Men
by Louisa May Alcott

One of our favorite read alouds ever! (Ages 14, 12, 10) What a delightful bunch of characters and stories! This is one of those books (like Winnie-the-Pooh) that makes you nod and think, “Yes, this is exactly the way life is. This is truth.” It doesn’t matter that the setting is over a hundred years ago. Children are the same. Like when we read Anne of Green Gables, there were so many points where we laughed together and found favorite lines to quote. Wonderful author. Wonderful book.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
by Barbara Robinson

The kids love this one so much! Cute Christmas read for the whole family.

2nd read (2018): This book is just as delightful as the first time – maybe even more so because we now go to a traditional (Presbyterian) church, so it is more relevant to my kids lives.

A Taste of Chaucer: Selections from the Canterbury Tales
by Anne Malcolmson

Great for middle or high school students. Gives a feel for the time period.
The Children of Odin: The Book of Northern Myths
by Padraic Colum

My 10 year old and I enjoyed this book together. Great stories. Strong vocabulary. Great for building cultural literacy.

Books for Moms

The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief
by Francis S. Collins

A scientist gives his reasons for believing in God and in evolution. This book was the first that helped relieve me of some extremely intense cognitive dissonance. Highly recommended if you are struggling with this topic.
The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius
by Kristine Barnett

Such an interesting story! Both my husband and my preteen daughter thought so, too. This might even make a good family Read Aloud for teens.
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
by Brene Brown

Helpful book about vulnerability – not the most comfortable topic but well worth reading!
Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World
by Henry J.M. Nouwen

A simple yet beautiful book, the first I’ve read by this author. I loved his humility. Though it is a different genre, this book reminded me of the book Gilead by Marilynn Robinson. Both are from the perspective of an elderly spiritual father speaking of the deepest truths he has learned during his life. Both made me feel like I just wanted to curl up and listen, learn, and soak in the wisdom. Beautiful writing, beautiful thoughts in both books.
Ethics: A History Of Moral Thought
by Peter Kreeft

This is an excellent, succinct, clear introduction to the history of ethics. Highly recommended for anyone interested in both history and philosophy. I found it helpful during my first time listening through these lectures to listen to each one twice before going on. I was very new to studying philosophy and needed the extra time to sort through everything. In my second time listening through I’m enjoying it even more than the first time. Perfect to listen to while exercising!
How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture
by Francis A. Schaeffer

This is a “framework” book. It gives a lens, model, framework with which to view past, present, and future within the western world. It is clear enough that I will most likely have each of my children read it in the last year or two of high school. I feel like my eyes were opened and I have a greater understanding of the world I live in. I love books that do that! I have a feeling that when I reread this book in the future I’ll find things to disagree with (I’m unsure about his analysis of the medievals and Thomas Aquinas as well as Soren Kierkegaard.) But this first read through was very helpful!
For the Children’s Sake
by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

A “must read” for every Christian parent, no matter where your children go to school. This will give you a vision for what a good education and a good childhood can and should look like.
How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World
by Robert J. Joustra, Alissa Wilkinson
4.5 stars.
Excellent introduction to the works of Charles Taylor (A Secular Age, The Malaise of Modernity), James K.A. Smith, and others as they relate to the apocalyptic and dystopian stories we find in current media. I haven’t seen or read the media mentioned but was still able to follow the authors’ points. This is a more academic book than the title would lead you to believe.
Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakeable Peace
by Sarah Mackenzie

This is a yearly read for me now. Any time I feel anxious about homeschooling I listen to this book and get peace back again. Highly recommended!
Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition
by Karen Glass

Favorite homeschooling book of 2017. I am in love with the idea of a synthetic approach to knowledge. This is also an excellent resource to show where the classical and Charlotte Mason methods overlap and work together. I’ve always been drawn to both but never could fully commit to either (especially since what I thought was Classical was actually neo-Classical and didn’t have the *heart* in it that CM seemed to have). This is an excellent resource for those interested in both methods. It may have won for most Commonplace passages this year!
How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor
by James K.A. Smith

Click here to read my full review of this book!
by Marilynne Robinson

John Ames is now one of my favorite literary characters. I kept thinking as I read that I wish he were a real person that I could get to know. He is just so GOOD – but not perfect, which makes him even more likable. I love his love for his family, his sincerity, his love for God, and his quest to live rightly. He reminds me of my husband in some ways which may be why I like him so much!This is a quiet, gentle, thoughtful book. My favorite of the series.
How Do We Know?: An Introduction to Epistemology
by Mark W. Foreman

One of my favorite reads of 2017. I wish there were more popular level books available about epistemology (how we know what we know). This was an excellent introduction although probably too academic for the average reader to pick up. It was exactly what I needed to read, though. I practically underlined the whole book!
The Philosophy of Tolkien: The Worldview Behind the Lord of the Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien

I liked this book, but my favorite part was the introduction where he writes about the intersection of philosophy and literature. Really good stuff!A few Commonplace entries:“Philosophy and literature belong together. They can work like the two lenses of a pair of binoculars. Philosophy argues abstractly. Literature argues too – it persuaded, it changes the reader – but concretely. Philosophy says truth, literature shows truth.”“Literature not only incarnates philosophy; it also tests it by verifying of falsifying it. One way literature tests philosophy is by putting different philosophies into the laboratory of life, incarnating them in different characters and then seeing what happens. Life does exactly the same thing. Literature also tests philosophy in a more fundamental way. It can be expressed by this rule: a philosophy that cannot be translated into a good story cannot be a good philosophy.”
The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative
by Florence Williams

Well, if I wasn’t convinced before I firmly am now that I need copious amounts of time in nature for my mental health. When the Covid-19 crisis hit, I began spending several hours outside every day in my hammock by the water and trees or swimming. It helped ground, center and calm me. This book helps explain the scientific research happening to confirm and explain this type of phenomenon.I had my 16 year old read this. She’s not a nature person, but I wanted her to at least know how good it is for us humans. This is a great book for teens with a logical, analytical bent. Lots of stats thrown in amidst the narrative. FYI, there is swearing throughout the book, including the f-word. One mention of sex. Mild stuff compared to what most teens are exposed to. I think it’s a great book for 14+.
Postmodern Times
by Gene Edward Veith, Jr.

Essential reading for everyone. This will probably land in the list of my top ten favorite/most influential books because of its ability to reshape and organize how I view the world. This is the kind of book that helps me breathe a sigh of relief internally because it tames the chaos by bringing understanding. It’s not that any problems are solved, necessarily, but at least I can know what I’m looking at now. That is a step toward a solution.
84, Charring Cross Road
by Helene Hanff

Short and sweet. Unexpectedly delightful. The perfect feel-good read during difficult times. I even teared up at the end. I didn’t realize until halfway through that this was not fiction! That made it even better!
The Great Divorce
by C.S. Lewis

Read along with the Literary Life Podcast. Excellent.
Poetic Knowledge
by James S. Taylor

Click here to read my full review of this book!
The Teenage Liberation Handbook
by Grace Llewellyn

Click here to read my full review of this book!
Grammar Island
by Michael Clay Thompson

Click here to read my full review of this book!

Book Reviews

These are book reviews that I (Rosie) have written on books that I have personally read and that have influenced me in some way in my journey of life and homeschooling.