The folks at Rod & Staff are adamant in their assertions that fiction ought always to serve a higher purpose, and that higher purpose ought to be the building up of the saints in Christ. While that's certainly a laudable goal, we don't think all fiction needs to be explicitly Christian. That said, if you're looking for books you can give your kids without having to worry about inappropriate content, you can't go wrong with these.
Stories are either taken straight from Scripture, or follow the adventures of missionaries, or are character-building family tales. Not a lot of attention is paid to literary style—the purpose isn't to enthrall kids with well-crafted sentences, but to make them see the value of doing good and avoiding sin and disobedience. Because of the simplistic style, kids much older than middle school will likely find them too young.
We don't go out of our way to promote these, but we also don't discourage them. There's a lot of bad content in children's writing of the last several years, and books like these can be a refreshing break or alternative from the standard fare. That said, there's plenty of very well written classic literature available that teaches virtue and goodness while still maintaining high literary quality.
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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