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Books Children Love

A lot of parents understand the bankruptcy of the "read-and-regurgitate" educational method in which kids mostly just learn to hate any subject they have to study via textbook. But, almost as many parents aren't sure where to start instead, being unfamiliar with what many call "living books." Living books are usually written by a single author (as opposed to a board of experts) with a particular enthusiasm for his or her subject who passes that excitement to readers through an accessible narrative style.

The 19th-century British educator Charlotte Mason believed living books were the best way to teach children whatever they couldn't learn through simple observation, and so does Elizabeth Wilson, whose Books Children Love provides a great starting place for the uninitiated as well as an excellent resource for more experienced families. Besides a short introduction and a brief note on the book's organization, Wilson hasn't muddied her waters with explanations, instead opting to present hundreds of books in list form.

Each chapter (there are 25) simply contains a list of books grouped by subject. Subjects include history and geography, celebration days and seasons, talking animal stories, crafts and domestic arts, language, poetry, music, nature, etc. Two chapters at the end offer recommendations for parents with special needs kids, as well as supplemental teaching resources. A comprehensive index including authors and titles at the back helps with easy reference.

In every chapter, books are listed alphabetically by author (except in the "Biography" chapter, where books are listed alphabetically by subject). Wilson offers very helpful descriptions of each title, so you can find books particularly suited to your kids and family. Just about every type of book you'd ever want to read can be found here, and all of them are suited to younger readers—you won't find poorly written books or stories with sketchy content here, just books to expand kids' horizons by imparting a love of the subject and a curiosity to know more.

You also won't find books that controvert a Christian worldview. That's not to say every book listed is explicitly Christian, or written by a Christian author; simply that all these books support a Judeo-Christian values system, point kids to virtue, and help them learn more about God and His world by simply showing rather than telling. Wilson is a Christian and understands the need for kids to be given books that will support rather than challenge their faith, and she's done an excellent job assembling appropriate resources.

We offer a fair number of Wilson's chosen titles, though we want to bring in more; those we currently carry are listed below. Whether you intend to give your kids a Charlotte Mason education, or just want to open them to the world of great reading, Books Children Love deserves an honored place on your bookshelf. These aren't your typical recommended books: these are the sorts of books you need to hear about secondhand because you aren't likely to find many of them on your own. We recommend you let Elizabeth Wilson show you.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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Parent Categories
289 Items found Print
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Sterling Classics
by Jules Verne
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 5th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: A04-04A)
500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
by Dr. Seuss
from Random House
for 2nd-4th grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
$11.89
Adam of the Road
Puffin Newbery Library
by Elizabeth Gray
from Puffin Books
Historical Fiction for 4th-8th grade
1943 Newbery Medal winner
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Adam of the Road
Puffin Modern Classics
by Elizabeth Gray
from Puffin Books
Historical Fiction for 3rd-8th grade
1943 Newbery Medal winner
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Adventures of Tintin - Young Readers Collection
by Herge
for 2nd-6th grade
in Adventures of Tintin (Location: A11-03B)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Puffin Classics
by Mark Twain
from Puffin Books
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Aesop's Fables
by Aesop
from Signet Classics
Fairy Tales & Fables for 10th grade-adult
in Ancient Literature (Location: CLT-ANC)
Aladdin and Other Tales from the Arabian Nights
Puffin Classics
by Anonymous
from Puffin Books
Fairy Tales for 2nd-6th grade
Alexander Graham Bell
by Elizabeth MacLeod
from Kids Can Press
Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
Anne of Green Gables
Anne #1
by L. M. Montgomery
from Bantam Books
Orphan Stories for 5th-9th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
Anne of Green Gables
Sterling Classics
by L. M. Montgomery & Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Orphan Stories for 5th-9th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: A04-04A)
Apple and the Arrow
by Conrad & Mary Buff
from Sandpiper Books
Realistic Fiction/Historical Fiction for 4th-6th grade
1952 Newbery Honor Book
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
Archimedes and the Door of Science
by Jeanne Bendick
from Bethlehem Books
Biography for 5th-8th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
As I Was Crossing Boston Common
by Norma Farber
from Dutton Children's Books
for K-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
At the Back of the North Wind
Everyman's Library Children's Classics
by George MacDonald
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Fairy Tale for 4th-Adult
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: A07-02A)
Bartholomew and the Oobleck
by Dr. Seuss
from Random House
for 2nd-4th grade
1950 Caldecott Honor Book
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Bear Called Paddington
by Michael Bond
from HarperCollins
Animal Fantasy for 2nd-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: A07-02A)
Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo
from Candlewick Press
Realistic Fiction for 3rd-6th grade
2001 Newbery Honor Book
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo
from Candlewick Press
Realistic Fiction for 3rd-6th grade
2001 Newbery Honor Book
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
Benjamin Franklin
by Edgar & Ingri D'Aulaire
from Beautiful Feet Books
Picture Book Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: A12-01A)
$15.95
Betty Greene
Christian Heroes: Then & Now
by Geoff & Janet Benge
from YWAM Publishing
Biography for 4th-7th grade
in Christian Heroes: Then and Now (Location: A12-06E)
Big Book of Questions & Answers
by Sinclair B. Ferguson
from Christian Focus Publications
for 1st-3rd grade
in Family Worship (Location: C07-01E)
$10.49 $4.50 (1 in stock)
Big Red
by Jim Kjelgaard
from Holiday House
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Biggest House in the World
by Leo Lionni
from Dragonfly Books
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Legends for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
$4.89
Birthday for Frances
by Russell & Lillian Hoban
from HarperCollins
Animal Fantasy for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
$5.24
Black Arrow
by Robert Louis Stevenson
from Signet Classics
Historical Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Black Beauty
Puffin Classics
by Anna Sewell
from Puffin Books
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Black Beauty
Sterling Classics
by Anna Sewell & Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: A04-04A)
Black Stallion
Black Stallion #1
by Walter Farley
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Fiction for 5th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Blue Willow
Puffin Newbery Library
by Doris Gates
from Puffin Books
for 4th-7th grade
1941 Newbery Honor Book
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
Book of Pirates
by Howard Pyle
from Dover Publications
for 4th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Book of Three
Prydain Chronicles #1
by Lloyd Alexander
from Henry Holt and Company
Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: A07-02A)
Borrowers
Borrowers Series #1
by Mary Norton
from Harcourt
Fantasy for 3rd-6th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: A07-02A)
Boy Who Loved Music
by David Lasker
1st edition from Viking Press
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Brady
by Jean Fritz
from Puffin Books
for 4th-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
Bronze Bow
by Elizabeth George Speare
from Houghton Mifflin
Historical Fiction for 5th-9th grade
1962 Newbery Medal winner
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
Cabin Faced West
by Jean Fritz
from Puffin Books
Historical fiction for 4th-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
Caddie Woodlawn
by Carol Ryrie Brink
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Realistic Family Fiction for 3rd-7th grade
1936 Newbery Medal winner
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
Call of the Wild
Dover Thrift Editions
by Jack London
from Dover Publications
Action/Adventure for 7th-10th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Carpentry for Children
by Lester Walker
Ninth Printing from Overlook Press
for 4th-8th grade
in Carpentry for Kids (Location: CGA-08A)
Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
by Jean Lee Latham
from Houghton Mifflin
Biography for 5th-9th grade
1956 Newbery Medal winner
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
Castle
by David Macaulay
from Graphia
Architecture for 4th-8th grade
1978 Caldecott Honor Book
in Middle Ages (Location: B02-04A)
Cathedral
by David Macaulay
from Houghton Mifflin
Architecture for 4th-8th grade
1974 Caldecott Honor Book
in Middle Ages (Location: B02-04A)
$9.59
Charlotte's Web
by E. B. White
from HarperCollins
for 2nd-6th grade
1953 Newbery Honor Book
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: A07-02A)
Child's Story Bible
by Catherine Vos
2nd edition from Eerdmans
for 2nd-6th grade
in Bible Stories for Kids (Location: C08-10A)
Children of the Covered Wagon
by Mary Jane Carr
2nd edition from Christian Liberty Press
Historical Fiction for 3rd-5th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
Church Mouse
by Graham Oakley
from Kane/Miller
for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Cinderella
by Marcia Brown (translator)
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Fairy Tales, Fables, and Legends for Kindergarten-3rd grade
1955 Caldecott Medal winner
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
$5.59
City
by David Macaulay
from Houghton Mifflin
for 4th-8th grade
in Ancient Rome (Location: B02-03C)
Colonial Living
by Edwin Tunis
Reprint from Johns Hopkins University Press
for 4th-10th grade
in Colonial America (1690-1765) (Location: B01-09A)
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