Some Of Our Favorite Books

This post was originally posted in October, 2013. Our kids are older now but this list of books is still our favorite!

Books, books, the magical fruit. The more you read, the more you…

Oh wait. Wrong poem.  Sometimes I get confused. Although I’m sure if I threw that poem starter out to my boys, they’d be sure to finish it with something creative. And by creative, I mean gross.

I am excited to share that all four of our boys are now all independent readers. It was a little slow in coming for our youngest, who is now a 3rd grader. But late this summer, it all clicked for him. He now loves reading! Last week he said, “I can’t believe math used to be my favorite. Now reading is so much fun!”  Awesome – just what I love to hear. (Although you still have to do your math, Buddy.)


Our Family’s Favorite Books

Boxcar Children Books
These books were some of my favorites when I was little. (You know I had my very own boxcar, right? Okay, it wasn’t my very own.  I shared it with my cousins.)  All of our boys have loved the Boxcar Children books, and now I am reading them to Malachi (age 8). Elias (age 11) has already read most of these books, but sits in to listen when he can, because who can resist?


Ralph Moody Books

We read through most of the books in this series (as a family) a year ago, and now I’m having my two older boys read the last few on their own. What I love most about these books is that they show how important it is to be a hard worker, how much fun it can be to work together as a family, and how if you put your mind to it – you can always find a way to provide. I am so inspired by these books, and my boys love the adventure aspect they include.

Books by Clyde Robert Bulla

These are the first chapter books our boys have read. We have about eight of them on Malachi’s shelf this year – and he’s made his way through two of them already. I love that Clyde Robert Bulla keeps his vocabulary simple and easy to read – all while teaching history and making his books fun and intriguing.  When I pulled these books out for Malachi, all three of his brothers said, “Oh, he gets to read those this year? Malachi, you will love them.”  I love hearing the boys talk together about books they’ve all read.


Ramona the Pest Series

Malachi pulled his first Ramona book off the shelf this year, too. So far he’s loving it, just like his brothers did. I read this series several times when I was younger. It’s so much fun re-reading these books with my kids.


Christian Heroes Books

I can’t say enough good about all of the Christian Heroes: Then and Now books by Janet and Geoff Benge. We’ve actually decided to use about 15 of these books this year to go along with our History/Geography studies with Justus, Elias, and Malachi. What better way to study the culture and history of a country than to learn about missionaries who worked there? These books are so well written and inspiring!

I also have to share that as we reach the end of each book, Justus (age 13) likes to point out, “You know Mom, this is the chapter when the missionary dies and you cry.”  Pshaw.  Okay, fine. So I cry at the end of all of these (and the Ralph Moody Books, and just about every other book I read aloud to the boys). I can’t help it.


In addition to these sets of books, our three older boys are all reading lots of books from the Sonlight reading lists for their grade level. Asa (a junior in high school) is reading some Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, The Hiding Place (you MUST read this!), and quite a few others Sonlight recommends.

What books are you and your kids reading these days?  I know I’m not the only mom who cries at the end of a good book. Help me out here – do you get choked up when you’re reading books to your kids?



  1. Carrie says

    Have you seen the Kingdoms Quest series? I just saw them on a Teach Them Diligently email and bought the whole series… they have the thumbs up of approval from 3 adults and 3 boys so far! Ages 8, 8, and 10. The 10 year old has read three and is waiting impatiently for the remaining 3.


    Angela Reply:

    My husband and I have read a few of Chuck Black’s books. They are great! Chuck is a wonderful godly man with a heart of gold.


    Birdie Reply:

    Thumbs up here, too!! We wish he would do more!!


  2. Deb says

    LOVED all those, but REALLY loved Ramona. Your boys might like Hank the Cowdog, The Great Brain series and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Light reads but my kids loved them!


    Heather D. Reply:

    We love to do Hank the Cowdog on audio for trips – it is hilarious! (I as an adult get more of the puns and such, but that’s ok)


  3. Renee says

    I haven’t cried at the end of a book…yet (my oldest is only in Kindergarten, I’m sure I’ll get there). But O My Goodness! We were talking about Germany and I showed him a youtube newscast video of the Berlin wall coming down. I was trying to read subtitles through my sobbing. A friend who homeschools older children just laughed and told me: Welcome to it!
    Thanks for sharing your reading lists. I grew up with just 1 sister, so I’m digging into more boy-friendly books as fast as I can. He’s loving the Wizard of Oz books right now. Narnia’s in his near future.


  4. Megan says

    Growing up, I read nearly everything that Beverly Cleary wrote…just a few exceptions. Absolutely wonderful. There is one she has about a set of twins. I don’t recall the title, but the boy struggles with reading and ends up loving it. Your boys might also enjoy Otis Spofford (a mischievious spunk) or the books about Henry Huggins (nice kid, dog, paper route). Dear Mr. Henshaw and Strider are about a boy and a dog.


    Jennifer Reply:

    It’s called “Mitch and Amy”. Loved it.


  5. says

    I’m a sucker for books about animals; even when they have happy endings, I still cry. From Lassie Come Home to The Incredible Journey, my girls know I’m going to be sobbing near the end. And when Laura’s dog, Jack, dies in the Little House on the Prairie series…reading is over for the night! :)

    And then there’s The Bronze Bow…not about animals, but it gets my every time!


  6. Heather D. says

    This summer and year so far we’re enjoying Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series of child adventures in the Lake District in England, going to read the Sword in the Tree this year too! Picture books (my boys are 6 and 8) Any of the Bear Snores On (and others by same author, like Mortimer’s Christmas Manger) and a new favorite Mr. Murry and Thumbkin about two mice, one who worries too much and one who worries too little in rhyme. Capyboppy by Bill Peet (a true story!), The True Story of a Brave Sea Dog (ok, I cried at this one!), Wind in the Willows ill. by Inga Moore, Heidi…. I love books… happy sigh. Just starting to read this past semester, but pleased with their progress.


  7. Kim S. says

    Thank you for sharing. I just started reading chapter books to my oldest son who is in kindergarten. I’m adding these to my wish list as he gets a little older! I LOVE reading to my kids and am always looking for more books to read.


  8. karli says

    I am reading Little House on the Prairie to my-almost-4 yr old. we are almost done and will go backwards a bit to read Little House in the Big Woods… We are just getting started with chapter books, but the very first one was Teddy Robinson-I got it in a “cheap bin” and it was probably one of the best purchases I’ve made, bookwise! my daughter would highly recommend it. Each chapter is almost like its own story so we go back and re-read a few of our favorites sporadically… Thank you for adding more choices to our list:) we LOVE reading!


  9. says

    Wow, thanks for the new additions to our list! My boys are readers too–we’ve covered some of the classics like Mark Twain, the Little House series, Beavery Cleary and are now starting the Narnia set.


  10. Sarah W says

    My sister is 13 and I am 21 and these are our absolute favorites:

    The Peleg Chronicles by Matthew Christian Harding (#1 series ever!)
    “There be dragons. There be giants. And God: our maker, our help, and our righteous judge.” The Warrior’s broad hand rested upon the eager shoulder of a boy. “Does it not stir your soul?”
    It was in the days of Peleg, when the world was divided. After the flood of Noah, after the tower of Babel and the dispersion, when men wondered where they were upon the earth, and where their fellows had gone to, when beasts were more numerous than men – predators in the wood, in the water, and in the air. But men struggled and fought, carving their place. And in the process of time they once again began to multiply on the face of the earth….

    The first book started off a little slow and the style took a little getting used to, but midway into the book, I was hooked. I read books two and three in the course of two days; they were so good!! I would highly recommend. (Warning: books 1 and 2 have major cliff hangers. Be aware of this when buying…)

    The Cooper Kids Adventure Series by Frank Peretti
    This series is about a Christian archaeologist and his two kids. His flair for storytelling is obvious and his characters are realistic. I liked almost all of his books, especially ‘Escape From the Island of Aquarius’. With the exception of ‘The Door in the Dragon’s Throat’, which I didn’t like the concept of, they are all very good reads.

    The Arcrean Conquest Series by Nicole Sager
    These books are new on the scene of Christian fiction, but I was very impressed with them. The author does an excellent job developing the characters, the dialog is engaging and the setting is fascinating. My favorite was probably the second (I couldn’t put it down!), my sisters was the first.

    All of these have strong Christian themes and are good wholesome reading material. I would encourage anyone to read these.


  11. Rhoda says

    Glad to know that I’m not the only one that cries while reading books to the kiddos. We have one book (When Jessie Comes to America) my kids won’t let me read any more–I cry every time. Thank you for the listing–look forward to checking them out as I have two getting ready for chapter books.


  12. Sheri Beeker says

    Thank you for sharing the books your boys are reading. My oldest is a reader and we are always looking for good recommendations for him to read.


  13. Avon shields says

    Two books I really liked, but would NOT recommend for the kids… Only for you. Prayers For Sale and. The Book Thief. Also enjoyed the set of The Therr Wives of King David


  14. Jessica says

    I love all of these suggestions, thank you to everyone who has shared. I am very excited about all these new adventures!

    My 5 year old has recently enjoyed Redwall as well as Farmer Boy. When he was younger, I read The Little Prince to him- it may have been his first chapter book ever, and he loved it.


  15. Joy says

    Yes, I cry (and get teased by my kids) when I read aloud! The last book to do this was The Great and Terrible Quest by Margaret Lovett – wonderful book – and I was so choked up I could barely read the last page!


  16. Kelly says

    I may be the only one but I DETEST the ‘Ramona’ books. I remember liking them as a child but when my daughter picked them up a few years back I realized how much I disliked that little monster and what a terrible little kid she was. I quickly steered my daughter onto other books. My daughter loves series and is very into Science Fiction and Fantasy. She devoured the ‘Dune’ series (preferred many of the ones written by the son) and loved the ‘Narnia’ books and ‘Lord of the Rings’ though the last had a bit too many battle scenes for her taste. Right now she is liking Anne McCaffrey’s ‘Dragon’ trilogy. And I completely choked up when reading ‘Where the Red Fern Grows’ to her years ago.


    Lenetta Reply:

    I’m reading Ramona the Pest to my 6yo daughter and I’ve edited quite a bit of Ramona’s bad behavior out! :)


  17. says

    I think we’ve read about 90% of what you have there. My children are currently into a set called the “Roman Mysteries”. They’ve been reading and re-reading these for weeks now. I cry too when it’s a good book. That’s one reason my daughter doesn’t want me reading “A Tale of Two Cities” out loud with her in literature this year.


  18. Elaine says

    We Love Hank the Cowdog and found it particularly funny that Hank is based on an Aussie Shepherd…knowing our Aussie…I totally believe it.

    We’ve also greatly enjoyed C.S. Lewis and Lamplighter books and many of the Christian Heroes series, Men of Faith (& others), several from Answers in Genesis, Creation Proclaims, & ICR, etc. Lots of great memories. Right now we’re reading Mark Cahill (family) and Grace Malley (mom/daughter) books…both on witnessing.

    Have fun reading.


  19. Jenny says

    I finished reading “Alone Yet Not Alone” by Tracy Leininger Craven to my 7 and 9 year old girls. My 9 year old and I sobbed through the last few chapters. A very moving book based a a true story in the author’s family. I highly recommend it.


  20. Rae says

    Our family’s favorite series are Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga and Jonathan Roger’s Wilderking series. I highly recommend both!


  21. Angie says

    We have a book about Martin Luther King that I read to my girls every year on MLK Day and I cry every.single.time. Thanks for sharing your reading list – so many good ideas!


  22. Christina says

    Wow, it is neat to see so many suggestions from others, too! We have a struggling reader who has really enjoyed the Billy and Blaze books by C.W. Anderson. They are very easy books about a boy and his horse, but they built up quite a bit of confidence in my son that he could read “real” books. My children have also really enjoyed the Adventures in Odyssey Books, Narnia, Little House, etc.


  23. Melissa says

    I absolutely get choked up when I am reading aloud to my children. They still talk about the time I couldn’t make it through “Where the Red Fern Grows”! Such a sad story. I come from a family where my mom read aloud to us kids (mostly when we were out fishing in the boat to keep us sitting still and quiet!) and that is absolutely my favorite thing to do with my kids who are 14, 17 and 19.


  24. says

    I recently finished reading “Little Britches” by Ralph Moody with my four boys, and we LOVED it. We went to Colorado shortly after finishing the book, and we could just picture Ralph’s family’s ranch and the creek. Love the Boxcar children, and we will have to check out some of your other recommendations!


  25. says

    Thank you for your suggestions everyone. We went to the library today and I picked up a Boxcar Children book and my daughter, Gwen, read the first chapter to me and exclaimed, “I’m pretty good at reading!” She’s struggled a bit, so it was good to see this confidence booster. :)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *