Honey for a Child's Heart

Gladys Hunt is right: kids don't stumble on great books by themselves, they read the titles they're given. Most adults discover books the same way, which is why she's written guides to help families choose only the best stories for their children and teenagers (as well as one for Christian women, Honey for a Woman's Heart).

These aren't simply book lists. Both Honey for a Child's Heart and Honey for a Teen's Heart are divided into two parts: the first discusses the importance of reading, various genres (science fiction, poetry, animal stories, etc.), the question of censorship, the elements of a good book, etc.; the second part offers extended book lists to direct you to the right titles for your family.

Part I of both books is equal parts information and encouragement. While Hunt identifies the two levels of reading (for the story, and for the ideas) and the place literature holds in the formation of good character and critical thinking skills, she also talks about how much fun it is to read good books, especially together as a family.

In Part II Hunt presents extensive lists of books. Each title is organized by age-level, genre and author, with a brief synopsis for each one. Honey for a Teen's Heart is more oriented toward students on their way to college, so the reading level is pretty high, but there's nothing most high schoolers won't be able to handle (thought parents will want to know some of the titles include fairly mature content).

Neither of these books are intended simply as "suggested entertainment," lists of books kids will enjoy. There is an emphasis on enjoyment, but there's an equally strong emphasis on reading for instruction and development. Hunt chooses books that will both delight and stretch readers, helping them to think clearly about themselves, the world around them, and God.

There are also a lot of books: over a thousand in Honey for a Child's Heart, and 400 in Honey for a Teen's Heart. No one will be able to read all the titles listed here; these are intended as general guides, not rigid models. There's no real curriculum element here, either—Hunt wants families to read because they want to and understand the benefits of good books, not because they must.

We decided early on at Exodus Books that we wanted a strong selection of quality literature for children. Honey for a Child's Heart was the first book we turned to, and it proved an immeasurable help. Whether you're a parent who wants to find great books for your kiddos but don't know where to start, or a veteran who's run out of ideas, these are some of the best available guides to building a reading list and library, and knowing how to make the very best use of them.

You'll find a good number of the books listed in Hunt's guides below. We're constantly working on expanding this section, so if you don't see a book she recommends let us know and we'll do our best to bring it in. As your kids make their way through these titles, be sure to discuss with them often, as the goal of reading is growth, not simply knowledge or fun. Gladys Hunt is a capable and enthusiastic guide, and we offer her books without reservation.

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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895 Items found Print
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Sterling Classics
by Jules Verne, translated by Lewis Page Mercier and illustrated by Scott McKowen
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 5th-10th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: FIC-SCI)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Bantam Classics
by Jules Verne, translated by Anthony Bonner
from Bantam Books
Science Fiction for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$5.99
Abigail Takes the Wheel
An I Can Read Chapter Book
by Avi
from HarperTrophy
for 3rd-5th grade
in I Can Read Books (Location: EAR-ICR)
Abraham Lincoln
by Edgar & Ingri D'Aulaire
75th Anniversary Edition from Beautiful Feet Books
Picture Book Biography for 3rd-6th grade
1940 Caldecott Medal winner
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
$17.95
Adam of the Road
Puffin Newbery Library
by Elizabeth Gray
from Puffin Books
Historical Fiction for 4th-8th grade
1943 Newbery Medal winner
in Action & Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
$8.99 $5.00 (2 in stock)
Adam of the Road
Puffin Modern Classics
by Elizabeth Gray
from Puffin Books
Historical Fiction for 3rd-8th grade
1943 Newbery Medal winner
in Puffin Classics (Location: FIC-PUF)
$8.99
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Puffin Classics
by Mark Twain
from Puffin Books
for 6th-10th grade
in Puffin Classics (Location: FIC-PUF)
$8.99
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Sterling Classics
by Mark Twain, illustrated by Scott McKowen
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 6th-10th grade
in Action & Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
$11.96
Adventures of Pinocchio
Illustrated Junior Library Series 3
by Carlo Collodi, translated by M.A. Murray and illustrated by Fritz Kredel
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Adventures of Pinocchio
Illustrated Junior Library Series 1
by Carlo Collodi, translated by M.A. Murray and illustrated by Fritz Kredel
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-8th grade
in Illustrated Junior Library (Location: VIN-IJL)
Adventures of Pinocchio
Illustrated Junior Library Series 2
by Carlo Collodi, translated by M.A. Murray and illustrated by Fritz Kredel
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-8th grade
in Illustrated Junior Library (Location: VIN-IJL)
Adventures of Pinocchio
Illustrated Junior Library Series 4
by Carlo Collodi, translated by M.A. Murray and illustrated by ??
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Adventures of Pinocchio
Illustrated Junior Library Series 2
by Carlo Collodi, translated by M.A. Murray and illustrated by Fritz Kredel
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-8th grade
in Illustrated Junior Library (Location: VIN-IJL)
$8.00 (2 in stock)
Adventures of Pinocchio
by Carlo Collodi, translated by M.A. Murray and illustrated by Charles Folkard
from David McKay Company
for 3rd-8th grade
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
Adventures of Pinocchio
by Carlo Collodi, illustrated by Robert Ingpen
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 3rd-8th grade
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Whole Story Series
by Mark Twain, illustrated by Claude Lapointe
from Viking Press
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Puffin Classics
by Mark Twain
from Puffin Books
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in Puffin Classics (Location: FIC-PUF)
$8.99
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Sterling Classics
by Mark Twain, illustrated by Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in Action & Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain, illustrated by Ted Lewin
from Simon and Schuster
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain, illustrated by Kamil Lohták
from Simon and Schuster
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in Action & Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Adventures of Tom Sawyer / Tom Sawyer Abroad / Tom Sawyer, Detective
by Mark Twain
from Nelson Doubleday, Inc.
Realistic Fiction for 6th-10th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
by Judith Viorst
from Atheneum
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.99
Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse
by Leo Lionni
Reissue from Dragonfly Books
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
1970 Caldecott Honor Book
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.99
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Penguin Classics
by Lewis Carroll
from Penguin Classics
Fantasy for 5th-8th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$11.00
All Things Bright and Beautiful
James Herriot Series Book 2
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 8th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
All Things Bright and Beautiful
James Herriot Series Book 2
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 7th-12th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$18.00
All Those Secrets of the World
by Jane Yolen
1st edition from Little, Brown & Company
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
All-of-a-Kind Family
by Sydney Taylor, illustrated by Helen John
from Yearling
Family Stories for 2nd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$7.99
Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin
by James Cross Giblin
from Scholastic Inc.
for 1st-4th grade
2001 NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
$7.99
Amelia Bedelia and the Surprise Shower
by Peggy Parish
Revised from HarperCollins
for 1st-3rd grade
in I Can Read Books (Location: EAR-ICR)
America's Paul Revere
by Esther Forbes
from Sandpiper Books
Biography for 2nd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
$12.99
Amos and Boris
by William Steig
from Square Fish Publishing
Animal Fantasy for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.99
And Now Miguel
by Joseph Krumgold
from HarperCollins
Realistic Fiction for 5th-8th grade
1954 Newbery Medal winner
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$5.99
Angel on the Square
by Gloria Whelan
from HarperCollins
for 4th-7th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$9.99 $5.50 (1 in stock)
Angus and the Cat
by Marjorie Flack
from Sunburst Book
Animal Realistic for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.99
Animalia
by Graeme Base
from Puffin Books
for Kindergarten-3rd
in Oversized Picture Books (Location: PIC-OVER)
Animalia
by Graeme Base
from Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
for Kindergarten-3rd
in Oversized Picture Books (Location: PIC-OVER)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Anne of Green Gables - Boxed Set
by L. M. Montgomery
from Bantam Books
Orphan Stories for 5th-9th grade
in Boxed Sets & Literature Packages (Location: FIC-BOX)
Anne of Green Gables 1-3 - Boxed Set
by L. M. Montgomery
from Bantam Books
Orphan Stories for 5th-9th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Annie and the Wild Animals
by Jan Brett
from Sandpiper Books
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.99
Anthony Burns
by Virginia Hamilton
from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-8th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
Are You My Mother?
by P. D. Eastman
from Random House
Animal Fantasy for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Beginner Books (Location: EAR-BB)
$9.99 $4.50 (1 in stock)
Around the World in Eighty Days
Sterling Classics
by Jules Verne, illustrated by Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Adventure for 6th-10th grade
in Action & Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Around the World in Eighty Days
Books of Wonder
by Jules Verne, illustrated by Barry Moser
from William Morrow & Company
Adventure for 6th-10th grade
in Action & Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
Ask Mr. Bear
by Marjorie Flack
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for Kindergarten-1st grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.99
At the Back of the North Wind
Everyman's Library Children's Classics
by George MacDonald, illustrated by Arthur Hughes
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Fairy Tale for 4th-Adult
$20.00
At the Back of the North Wind
by George MacDonald, Illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
Fairy Tale for 4th-Adult
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Aurora Means Dawn
by Scott Russell Sanders
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Baby Sister for Frances
by Russell & Lillian Hoban
from HarperCollins
Animal Fantasy for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.99
Baby Sister for Frances
by Russell & Lillian Hoban
from Scholastic Inc.
Animal Fantasy for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Baby Sister for Frances
by Russell & Lillian Hoban
from Atlas Editions
Animal Fantasy for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Badger's Parting Gifts
by Susan Varley
from Mulberry Books
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.99
Bambi
by Felix Salten
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Animal Stories: Fantasy for 4th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$8.99
Bambi
by Felix Salten, illustrated by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher
from Charles Scribner's Sons
Animal Stories: Fantasy for 4th-6th grade
in Scribner Illustrated Classics (Location: FIC-SCRIB)
$29.99 $18.00 (1 in stock)
Band of Angels
by Robert Penn Warren
from Louisiana State University Press
for 11th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Bastable Adventures Set
by E. Nesbit, illustrated by Cecil Leslie
from Living Book Press
Family Stories for 4th-8th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$39.56
Bear Called Paddington
by Michael Bond
from HarperCollins
Animal Fantasy for 2nd-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$10.99
Bear Called Paddington
by Michael Bond
from HarperCollins
Animal Fantasy for 2nd-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$8.99
Bear Called Paddington
by Michael Bond
50th Anniversary Edition from Houghton Mifflin
Animal Fantasy for 2nd-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Bear That Heard Crying
by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock & Helen Kinsey
from Puffin Books
Realistic Fiction for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.99
Bears on Hemlock Mountain
by Alice Dalgliesh
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Realistic Fiction for Kindergarten-2nd grade
1953 Newbery Honor Book
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$5.99
Beauty
by Robin McKinley
First Paperback Edition, 2018 from Greenwillow Books
Fantasy/Retold Fairy Tale for 5th-8th grade
$7.99
Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo
from Candlewick Press
Realistic Fiction for 3rd-6th grade
2001 Newbery Honor Book
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$4.00 (2 in stock)
Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo
from Scholastic Inc.
Realistic Fiction for 3rd-6th grade
2001 Newbery Honor Book
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo
Updated from Candlewick Press
Realistic Fiction for 3rd-6th grade
2001 Newbery Honor Book
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Bedtime for Frances
by Russell Hoban
from HarperCollins
Animal Fantasy for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.99 $4.50 (1 in stock)
Bedtime for Frances
by Russell Hoban
from HarperCollins
Animal Fantasy for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$16.99
Beginner's Bible
by Karyn Henley, Kelly Pulley (illustrator)
from Zonderkidz
for Nursery-Kindergarten
in Bible Stories for Kids (Location: BIBR-STO)
$22.99
Belle Prater's Boy
by Ruth White
from Yearling
for 9th-12th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$6.99 $2.50 (4 in stock)
Belle Prater's Boy
by Ruth White
from Square Fish Publishing
for 9th-12th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$8.99
Ben and Me
by Robert Lawson
from Little, Brown & Company
Humor/historical fiction for 2nd-5th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$4.50 (2 in stock)
Benjamin Franklin
by Edgar & Ingri D'Aulaire
from Beautiful Feet Books
Picture Book Biography for 3rd-6th grade
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
$17.95
Berlioz the Bear
by Jan Brett
from Puffin Books
for Preschool-1st grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.99
Best Christmas Pageant Ever
by Barbara Robinson
from HarperCollins
Humor for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$8.99
Best Nest
by P.D. Eastman
from Random House Books for Young Readers
for 1st-3rd grade
in Beginner Books (Location: EAR-BB)
$9.99
Best Read-It-Yourself Book Ever!
by Richard Scarry
from Golden Books
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Best-Loved Doll
by Rebecca Caudill
from Henry Holt and Company
Personification Stories for
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$12.99
Betsy-Tacy
Betsy-Tacy #1
by Maud Hart Lovelace
2nd edition from HarperCollins
Family/Friendship Story for 3rd-6th grade
HarperTrophy
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$9.99
Big Red
by Jim Kjelgaard
from Holiday House
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
Big Red
by Jim Kjelgaard
from Holiday House
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$17.99
Biggest Bear
by Lynd Ward
from Sandpiper Books
Realistic Animal Stories for Preschool-1st grade
1953 Caldecott Medal winner
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.99
Biggest Bear
by Lynd Ward
from Houghton Mifflin
Realistic Animal Stories for Preschool-1st grade
1953 Caldecott Medal winner
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Biggest Bear
by Lynd Ward
from Houghton Mifflin
Realistic Animal Stories for Preschool-1st grade
1953 Caldecott Medal winner
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Biggest Bear
by Lynd Ward
from Houghton Mifflin
Realistic Animal Stories for Preschool-1st grade
1953 Caldecott Medal winner
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Black Beauty
Puffin Classics
by Anna Sewell
from Puffin Books
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
in Puffin Classics (Location: FIC-PUF)
$8.99
Black Beauty
Sterling Classics
by Anna Sewell, illustrated by Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
Black Beauty
Illustrated Junior Library Series 3
by Anna Sewell, illustrated by Fritz Eichenberg
from Grosset & Dunlap
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
in Illustrated Junior Library (Location: VIN-IJL)
Black Beauty
by Anna Sewell, illustrated by Dinah Dryhurst
from Breslich & Foss
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
Black Cauldron
Prydain Chronicles #2
by Lloyd Alexander
from Henry Holt and Company
Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
1966 Newbery Honor Book
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$7.99
Black Cauldron
Prydain Chronicles #2
by Lloyd Alexander
from Holt, Rinehart and Winston
Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
1966 Newbery Honor Book
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Black Cauldron
Prydain Chronicles #2
by Lloyd Alexander
Revise Edition from Henry Holt and Company
Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
1966 Newbery Honor Book
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Black Ships Before Troy
by Rosemary Sutcliff & Alan Lee
from Frances Lincoln
Greek Mythology for 3rd-8th grade
$22.99
Black Ships Before Troy
by Rosemary Sutcliff
from Laurel-Leaf Books
Greek Mythology for 4th-8th grade
$8.99
Black Stallion
Black Stallion #1
by Walter Farley
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Fiction for 5th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
$7.99
Black Star, Bright Dawn
by Scott O'Dell
from Fawcett Books
for 7th-9th grade
in Action & Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
$1.50 (1 in stock)
Black Star, Bright Dawn
by Scott O'Dell
from Sandpiper Books
for 7th-9th grade
in Action & Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
$7.99
Black Star, Bright Dawn
by Scott O'Dell
from Houghton Mifflin
for 7th-9th grade
in Action & Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Blind Colt
by Glen Rounds
from Scholastic Inc.
for 3rd-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: FIC-ANI)
Blind Colt
Weekly Reader
by Glen Rounds
from Weekly Reader
for 3rd-6th grade
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
Blind Colt
by Glen Rounds
from Holiday House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
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