Tips for Choosing Good Books for Your Children
Selecting the right books for your children to read is important for many reasons. Reading well written books helps your child to:
- Grow analytical thinking skills,
- Create a strong foundation of knowledge,
- Extend vocabulary,
- Experience different writing styles, and
- Learn moral values.
If you need help choosing books for your children, then the resource books on this page are useful.
There are several ways to choose books your reading list: by grade level, by reading level, by historical time period, by location, by subject matter, by author, genre, etc.
Some of these guides offer short reviews to help you make your selection.
Hand that Rocks the Cradle
Hand that Rocks the Cradle Revised and Expanded 5th Edition
Nathaniel Bluedorn reviews 400 carefully selected and conservative classic books that are “full of perilous adventures, delightful characters, and sound values” in Hand That Rocks the Cradle. Listed by subject and author, most of the books are fiction. These were read to or by the author and his siblings as they were growing up.
The Hand that Rocks the Cradle makes choosing books for children a lot easier. It summarizes the plots for each book. Each listing gives the time period of the story, the geographic setting, and the publication date. The author divides books into three reading levels:
- Level 1 language and plot are easy – for all ages,
- Level 2 language is more difficult or plot more complex – for ages 10 and up,
- Level 3 language is advanced or plot more mature – for ages 13 and up.
“Reading levels help many parents. My mother didn’t stick to these reading levels; I’ll forgive you if you ignore them.” according to Nathaniel Bluedorn who also co-authored Fallacy Detective. Spoken by a true homeschooler!
- Reading Aloud Excerpt from Hand that Rocks the Cradle about why and how to read aloud to your children.
- Sample Pages (in PDF format)
This is a 4.5″ by 9″ quality paperback with 113 pages.
All Through the Ages History Through Literature Guide
All Through the Ages: History Through Literature Guide
An excellent multi-level guide, the long awaited revision to All Through the Ages is a “compilation of over 5,600 of the best living books and great literature, arranged by chronological era, geographical region, and reading level, from many respected resources.”
Use All Through the Ages to choose great books for your history studies if you use a literature approach, a unit study approach. If you are using a traditional curriculum, use the guide to find supplementary reading for your children. It’s a Lamp Post Homeschool Store Favorite!
Evaluating Books What Would Thomas Jefferson Think About This? 2nd Ed.
Learn to identify the philosophical slant of writers and media commentators on the subjects of law, history, economics, and literature in Evaluating Books.
Artner Reader’s Guide to American History
The Artner Reader’s Guide to American History
A reading guide for grades 3-8, the Artner Reader’s Guide to American History is divided into eight units by historical time period. In each unit there is a Basic Facts Sheet, Study Helps and the Reading Lists.
It has useful sections on finding out-of-print books, creating a home library of classical books, and finding related poems and songs. If you are studying United States history, this will be a useful for choosing additional books to supplement your curriculum.
Books Children Love
Books Children Love: A Guide to the Best Children’s Literature
This revised, comprehensive guide to choosing children’s books includes comments on tone and content of excellently written, captivating books in over two dozen subject areas. Hundreds of new titles have been added to the list of timeless classics and modern favorites in Books Children Love.
Books on Reading for Comprehension
How to Read A Book
A guide to reading books. A good tool for the college bound.
In How to Read a Book “you are told about the various levels of reading and how to achieve them–from elementary reading, through systematic skimming and inspectional reading, to speed reading, You learn how to pigeonhole a book, X-ray it, extract the author’s message, criticize. You are taught the different reading techniques for reading practical books, imaginative literature, pays, poetry, history, science and mathematics, philosophy and social science.”
In addition, there is a recommended reading list and supply reading tests whereby you can measure your own progress in reading skills, comprehension and speed.
How to Read Slowly
Not a book list but a book to teach reading comprehension to high school level or higher.
More Help to Choose Books
Invitation to the Classics
Invitation to the Classics is a guide to introduce the Christian student to world-class literature. I recommend this for your high school student.
Out of Print Limited Quantity
Invitation to the Classics
In paperback, this guide introduces the Christian student to world-class literature.
I recommend this for your high school student.
A Literary Education
The author uses the Charlotte Mason approach, and A Literary Education lists her favorite resources for many areas of homeschooling, including math, poetry, art, science, literature, and more.
Best Books for Kindergarten Through High School
Best Books for Kindergarten Through High School by Donna Hess is no longer available. The publisher, BJU Press, is offering Best Books for Kindergarten through High School as a free PDF format download in two parts.
“Lists and comments on hundreds of books for recreational reading–kindergarten through high school; includes an annotated list of books for analysis and discussion; concludes with guidelines on how to evaluate a book’s literary quality and moral tone.”