I asked my daughter to pick out 5 books that she thought other similar aged children would like. I said children but being a girl, these tended to lean more towards the girl side of life. 😉 This post is going to give you information on the books but I also suggest you watch the video that corresponds with this so that you can get her thoughts on this. I am adding RL’s and any additional thoughts I, the mom, might have. Enjoy.
Shadows and Secrets, Cloaked in Secrets, and Beneath the Cloak are the trilogy series to the Annals of Wynnewood by Chautona Havig. Now, first of all, this author is my own dear mother! 😀 But second of all, she created more of what we longed for as children. More adventure and fantasy without all the dark magic and darkness. For example, my daughter didn’t get too far into the Percy Jackson before she brought me the book and said she just didn’t want to read it. However, she did dress up as Dove and walked around in a cloak up and down our street. My mother had more standards for us when we were kids than I have for my own. If you are ok with Narnia, The Giver Series, George MacDonald (one of her favorite authors) then you will be just fine with these. Recommended in Middle Grade.
The American Girl Series. Classic I know and probably something you have already thought of. Why did I include these? Well, again, it was all about what Emma chose that she thought your children will love. I grew up reading Kirsten series, Samantha, Felicity, and Addy (my all-time favorite). However, when I became a mom and I picked these books up for beginner reader (7-8 years old at the time), I had some doubts about the character qualities of the characters. The seemed very disobedient and it was more about the end justified the disobedience rather than promoting the fact that two wrongs do not equal one right. As she got older, however, I was more open to reading the books because the ground work had been laid. At that point she knew that obedience was what was required from us first and foremost and that if she was in a similar situation she could come and talk to us about what was wrong and we could take it from there. My daughter has read many different ones but some of her favorites have to be Kit , Nanea , MaryEllen, and Josephina
We have found the best price on these at your local Costco (which for us, “local” is about 2 hours away). Check your library and thrift stores! Recommend in the 4th-5th grade.
The Who Is/Was/Where/and What Series. Whew! What a mouthful!
Emma’s favorites include, Amelia Earhart, Helen Keller, Joan of Arc, Clara Barton, and Jane Austen. She also shared Rain forest and Coral Reef, but there are MANY more. One of the things I have heard is that these are from a liberal or contemporary perspective. I have read many of these with my children and what I have found is that the content reflects the perspectives of the subject of the book, not necessarily of the author. For example, when we were learning about Franklin Roosevelt, we learned a lot about the policies he wanted in place and why the Republic party was against them and why Roosevelt pushed it because of his beliefs as a democrat. When we did the Lewis and Clark Expedition we learned that they had some prejudices against the natives of all kinds, however, we also gathered that from our own studies from books written back in the early 1900’s. Again, I am not reading these books to pick apart the good from the bad, but trying to give a good overview of the person, place, or event that we are studying. A lot of the content of these books works with our Christian-based biographies that we do have and I have not noticed a huge shift in presenting the information. Perhaps I have not found the correct ones because I choose books based on things we want to know more about or that work within our curriculum. Some of the books (Coral Reed and Rain forest) have an evolutionary presentation. My children are not sheltered from these things. I am selective but not sheltering. If they have the foundation principles then they understand viewpoint vs beliefs and then they can compare the two when they are reading any material. I really love how these books because some of the other resources we have can get a bit heavy and lengthy whereas these are concise and engaging. I have not read them all. Again, I choose base on our beliefs. For example, my daughter brought home What Was Woodstock and I did not think she was ready for that kind of content yet. However, my husband and I weren’t really sure what Woodstock was and so we read it just so we could be more informed. Wow.
Various Grade/Reading Level but averaging 3rd-5th grade.
The Princess Academy Series by Shannon Hale
Mom confession: I have never read any of these books. My daughter loves them and I have yet to preread them! GASP! HORROR! SOUND THE ALARM! Actually, I want to read them because I know she enjoys them so much, not because I am afraid of what she is reading. The simple fact is I saw the Newberry Honor and handed it to her. I knew that Ella Enchanted was over her head at the time and thought this would still give the princess feel without Disney (cause I can’t stand Disney). She loved it and was begging for the second book before she was finished with the first. These were also her first thick books: Up until this point it had been 250 pages at most. That being said, I read some of the other books that this author has written and gave a firm, No. (Princess Black Series and the Monster High stuff). However, I did just add Austenland to my cart. Oh Amazon, you are so bad for my budget. Anyway, had to throw that disclaimer out. Grade Level 4-6th
A Wrinkle In Time Quintet Series by Madeleine L’Engle
So many wonderful things about this book. I have only read book 1 but I hear the complete series is the best. Underlined with Christian themes throughout the book, this story has delighted readers young and old for decades. Kind of like the Narnia books! While it has been MANY years since I read this book, I remember my delight at going along with Meg and Charles. I once found a quote by L’Engle that said, “If I’ve ever written a book that says what I feel about God and the universe, this is it”. Of course, I only remember that quote not that I have put together this post for you, so now I want to read the book again. 4th-5th grade reading level.
Anyone else just LOVE the War Room? We did enjoy a nice clean family movie! When I learned that the young actress that plays Danielle wrote her own series, I knew my daughter would love them. Emma really enjoyed how the Lord was brought into the series. So often we can get books that have Christian themes but not really relate-able. Again, another series that I have not read but have had some pretty awesome conversations with my daughter. These are geared towards a 2-4th grade reading level.