Everyone has a favorite book. Whether it's a picture story from the pre-dawn murk of earliest childhood, the first chapter book you ever read, or a massive tome about Incan civilization between 1429 and 1503 you just discovered last year, some volume crashed more loudly and brightly on your horizon than any other and you never forgot it.
And likely never will forget it—the books that affect us most are those that lodge somewhere between our emotions, intellect and soul, a place not easily erased or ignored or closed off. It's no surprise that so many books are such universal favorites: beauty and wonder are universal, and it stands to reason that a book that appeals to one person on those levels will make its way into the hearts of many others.
The categories we've included here represent some of our favorites, though we think they have broad appeal. Half of modern literature is based on the legends of King Arthur, Jane Austin has an almost rabid following, and the Lord of the Rings continues to enjoy a revival in the wake of Peter Jackson's visually stunning film adaptations.
If you've never experienced these books and authors for yourself, please do so now. Some of the lesser-knowns like R.M. Ballantyne and G.A. Henty are ripe for rediscovery, while Anne of Green Gables has never gone out of style. We've specifically selected series and authors that represent a Christian worldview, or at least who honor virtue, so that you and your kids can simply enjoy these stories without having to worry about content.