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Books Children Love: A Guide to the Best Children's Literature

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A love for reading is one of the most precious gifts that we can give children. It nurtures their imagination and creativity, lets them explore other worlds, and opens their minds to new truths and knowledge in appealing, inspiring ways. But how can we sort through thousands of children's books to discover the really worthwhile ones? Elizabeth Wilson offers us a newly revis A love for reading is one of the most precious gifts that we can give children. It nurtures their imagination and creativity, lets them explore other worlds, and opens their minds to new truths and knowledge in appealing, inspiring ways. But how can we sort through thousands of children's books to discover the really worthwhile ones? Elizabeth Wilson offers us a newly revised, comprehensive guide to the very best in children's literature. Just as in the original volume, she comments on the tone and content of excellently written, captivating books in over two dozen subject areas. Hundreds of new titles have been added while retaining timeless classics and modern favorites-all of which respect traditional values. So that no matter what the children's ages are or whether they love fact or fiction, you can trust these books to share things that you can believe in and kids will delight in.


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A love for reading is one of the most precious gifts that we can give children. It nurtures their imagination and creativity, lets them explore other worlds, and opens their minds to new truths and knowledge in appealing, inspiring ways. But how can we sort through thousands of children's books to discover the really worthwhile ones? Elizabeth Wilson offers us a newly revis A love for reading is one of the most precious gifts that we can give children. It nurtures their imagination and creativity, lets them explore other worlds, and opens their minds to new truths and knowledge in appealing, inspiring ways. But how can we sort through thousands of children's books to discover the really worthwhile ones? Elizabeth Wilson offers us a newly revised, comprehensive guide to the very best in children's literature. Just as in the original volume, she comments on the tone and content of excellently written, captivating books in over two dozen subject areas. Hundreds of new titles have been added while retaining timeless classics and modern favorites-all of which respect traditional values. So that no matter what the children's ages are or whether they love fact or fiction, you can trust these books to share things that you can believe in and kids will delight in.

51 review for Books Children Love: A Guide to the Best Children's Literature

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Great resource! I'm ALWAYS looking for quality book recs for my voracious readers. It helps tremendously that the books were chosen by a discerning Christian reader for a similar audience. I don't really need all the nonfiction suggestions-but the fiction and biography sections are fantastic! Now to find all the ones I want....

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ruth E. R.

    I am amazed at the range of book genres indexed by Elizabeth Wilson! The only setback for me was that it was completed in 2002 and as far as I know there is no 3rd Edition in the works. The other great thing about this is that the source has a trustworthy Judeo-Christian worldview yet the bulk of her list contains "secular" selections, including books about conservation of the environment (God's magnificent Creation and our responsibility). There is something for everyone here, not just the fict I am amazed at the range of book genres indexed by Elizabeth Wilson! The only setback for me was that it was completed in 2002 and as far as I know there is no 3rd Edition in the works. The other great thing about this is that the source has a trustworthy Judeo-Christian worldview yet the bulk of her list contains "secular" selections, including books about conservation of the environment (God's magnificent Creation and our responsibility). There is something for everyone here, not just the fiction and poetry you would expect. Other genres included nature, architecture/engineering, math, crafts, dance, humor, language, special needs/disabilities. All were chosen with a hope that children aged preschool through 8th grade (and older!) would discover the endless possibilities and joys of reading. Also, that this discovery would coincide with molding a stronger family. The descriptions included summaries of the subject matter or the plots, and also the reason the book was selected. I also appreciated how the author categorized into age-appropriate divisions of Level I (preschool through grade 2); Level II (grades 3-4); Level III (grades 5-6 and up). Along with that, included with each individual book she gives a full range (e.g., grades 3-7) suggestion. She also cross references topics with her age divisions, making it an easy guide to pick up and follow on any occasion. The motivation for me is to expose myself to the best books in order to make reliable suggestions to my nieces and nephew, and to have a bunch of quality books to read as I work on my own creative writing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shanna Gonzalez

    There are a number of annotated book list books available for Christian parents and teachers, and this is one of the best. In her introduction, Wilson explains that her philosophy grows out of Charlotte Mason’s concept of “living books,” and states that to be included in her list titles must be: (1) interesting to children, (2) of excellent literary quality, and (3) reflective of a view of human life that does not conflict with Judeo-Christian moral and ethical values. The preface is written by There are a number of annotated book list books available for Christian parents and teachers, and this is one of the best. In her introduction, Wilson explains that her philosophy grows out of Charlotte Mason’s concept of “living books,” and states that to be included in her list titles must be: (1) interesting to children, (2) of excellent literary quality, and (3) reflective of a view of human life that does not conflict with Judeo-Christian moral and ethical values. The preface is written by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay (daughter of Francis Schaeffer, a leading thinker in formulating the concept of the Christian worldview). While I haven’t read every title recommended, in general Wilson’s selections seem to be well within the bounds of her criteria. Her eye for literary quality, reader interest and moral value is good. She does make some recommendations that I disagree with (for example, Hatchet by Gary Paulson, The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings, and A String in the Harp by Nancy Bond), primarily because they express a cultural view of childhood and the role of parents that I believe is unbiblical. Unlike many other book lists, this one includes not only fiction and biography sections, but also a number of nonfiction topics such as music, geography, science, mathematics, performing arts, and the natural world. This makes the book an excellent supplement to a young reader’s formal education. The chapters are organized by topic, and the reading level is given for individual citations. Obviously, adults need to read the titles rather than merely selecting them on someone else’s say-so, but Wilson’s recommendation is an excellent place to begin. And in that five minutes before the library closes, four out of five times you can count on her to provide you with a good take-home read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    One of the things I appreciate most about the booklists in this guide is the sheer volume of nonfiction titles.... excellent resource.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Henning

    Such a nice resource. It's been a while since I looked at this one and it was great to revisit it for my older and newer readers :)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Romie

    Found some great new reads for my children and myself!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    This book is an excellent compilation of what Charlotte Mason would call "living books" for children. It is divided into categories, history, music, biographies, literature, etc. Each book states the age-appropriate level plus a brief synopsis. The level of reading ranges from preschool to high school. I have marked multiple books for E to read and have already checked out ones on Thanksgiving and Christopher Columbus; topics where I would have no idea to turn for a little one. Elizabeth Wilson This book is an excellent compilation of what Charlotte Mason would call "living books" for children. It is divided into categories, history, music, biographies, literature, etc. Each book states the age-appropriate level plus a brief synopsis. The level of reading ranges from preschool to high school. I have marked multiple books for E to read and have already checked out ones on Thanksgiving and Christopher Columbus; topics where I would have no idea to turn for a little one. Elizabeth Wilson read every single book listed in this guide; quite a feat if you ask me! My only complaint is that this edition of the book was published in 2000 so there are some outdated books (for example those on technology) and good books have been written since then. So perhaps it's time that Crossway published an updated edition of this book. . .

  8. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    For some reason, books about books have a special place in my heart. I especially like this guide to children’s books because the recommendations are described in enough detail that I have a pretty good feel for the book and its appeal just from the description. My only quibble is that it hasn’t been revised since 2002, and isn’t as comprehensive as I would like. However, the titles listed will definitely keep even the most avid readers busy for some time. I really like the mix of old and new (o For some reason, books about books have a special place in my heart. I especially like this guide to children’s books because the recommendations are described in enough detail that I have a pretty good feel for the book and its appeal just from the description. My only quibble is that it hasn’t been revised since 2002, and isn’t as comprehensive as I would like. However, the titles listed will definitely keep even the most avid readers busy for some time. I really like the mix of old and new (or newish in relation to the publication date) books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Janine Jensen

    This has been, and will continue to be, a great resource for choosing books for our home school and home. I only wish it had updates, most books listed are from before the 80s.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    WORLD review here. WORLD review here.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    Books selected by the principles set forth by Charlotte Mason, in a variety of subjects, annotated list. Animals Art/Architecture Spiritual and Moral Teaching Biography Celebration Days and Seasons Crafts, Hobbies, and Domestid Arts Dance, Drama, and other Performances Growing Plants History and Geography Humor Language Literature (split between 3 levels of complexity) Poetry and Rhymes Mathematics Misc. Music Nature, Science, and Techology Outdoor Activities Organized Games Special Needs (Loss, adoption, disabilit Books selected by the principles set forth by Charlotte Mason, in a variety of subjects, annotated list. Animals Art/Architecture Spiritual and Moral Teaching Biography Celebration Days and Seasons Crafts, Hobbies, and Domestid Arts Dance, Drama, and other Performances Growing Plants History and Geography Humor Language Literature (split between 3 levels of complexity) Poetry and Rhymes Mathematics Misc. Music Nature, Science, and Techology Outdoor Activities Organized Games Special Needs (Loss, adoption, disabilities Good list, but slightly difficult to use based on their use of grade level instead of age. Youngest age is preschool.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Megan Larson

    As annotated bibliographies for children go, this one is truly excellent. It is well-organized, thoroughly researched, and lovingly planned. It was inspired by the need for homeschooling (or even involved non-homeschooling) parents to have access to well-written books that reflect, or at least do not blatantly denounce, Judeo-Christian values. Parents of children beginning in preschool and continuing up through about 9th grade (and even later in a few cases) will benefit from this resource, whic As annotated bibliographies for children go, this one is truly excellent. It is well-organized, thoroughly researched, and lovingly planned. It was inspired by the need for homeschooling (or even involved non-homeschooling) parents to have access to well-written books that reflect, or at least do not blatantly denounce, Judeo-Christian values. Parents of children beginning in preschool and continuing up through about 9th grade (and even later in a few cases) will benefit from this resource, which covers every thinkable subject requisite in a thorough education (and then some!). Now, may I request that Mrs. Wilson put together one of these for grown-ups?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    This is a thorough reading list offering summaries of each book. It is divided by theme, and each selection is designated for a specific age group. I appreciated the Charlotte Mason-inspired philosophy to book selection, and the summaries are helpful. But I found the book itself to be difficult to read (although it's not meant to be read straight through obviously). I think I would have preferred it to be divided according to age groups instead of themes, but that's just personal preference. See This is a thorough reading list offering summaries of each book. It is divided by theme, and each selection is designated for a specific age group. I appreciated the Charlotte Mason-inspired philosophy to book selection, and the summaries are helpful. But I found the book itself to be difficult to read (although it's not meant to be read straight through obviously). I think I would have preferred it to be divided according to age groups instead of themes, but that's just personal preference. Seems to be a good reference, especially as kids get into middle/upper elementary and beyond.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    This is just an index of great books for children. It was quite useful though, and I wanted to keep it longer but another library patron requested it. So I tried to type up a bunch of books I want to read with my kids into a google doc, and I spent over an hour doing that, but there were just too many! So I'll probably be checking this out again. I recommend this to those interested in pursuing a Charlotte Mason approach to literature-based education.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cindi

    More than a book to read, this is a great reference. It holds a special place on my "about books and reading aloud" list because it includes a lot of categories that my other books don't have: art, music, crafts & hobbies, history & geography, dance & drama, humor and more. I've already requested some books in the art section of this book from the library. More than a book to read, this is a great reference. It holds a special place on my "about books and reading aloud" list because it includes a lot of categories that my other books don't have: art, music, crafts & hobbies, history & geography, dance & drama, humor and more. I've already requested some books in the art section of this book from the library.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Trace

    GREAT compilation of children's titles!! Some titles are out of print, but I respect the author for still including them. A great book is a great book and still worth reading, even if it takes a bit of effort to track down. I've already used this book to choose some of our read aloud books. I have a feeling I'll be referring to this book quite a bit over the years.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Hope

    Like Honey for a Child's Heart, this book points parents to the best books for children. What a treasure trove. The suggestions are for the kind of enduring classics that you can read over and over rather than the silly stuff that's out now that makes you cringe as you read it out loud.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Megan Triplett

    While this is mostly a helpful tool in finding good literature, I found the foreword and the introduction to be really insightful and helpful!! I'm excited to have this book in our home and in our pursuit learning.

  19. 5 out of 5

    faithful

    A++ Must have for every parent that desires to encourage quality reading in their children. The shelves are not carefully stocked with great books so parents mst search for them. This reference tool is very helpful.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Like "Honey for a Child's Heart" this book has a great list of classic books for kids. Useful reference when running low on ideas.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    This was one of my guides when I started the Logos Library, and also a reading guide for my own children around 1990.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    My favorite book about children's books! I've been through it a hundred times, checking off my finds as I am able to purchase these great recommendations.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is a great collection of books for children. In my opinion, every parents should have a list like this.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cortney

    This looks like a valuable resource...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    I went through and made a list of books for the preschool/kindergarten age. It is great to have this on-hand to help when we go to the library to choose books!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeniann

    A great collection of books for children by someone who likes the Charlotte Mason method. There are many books here on many topics. Lots of fun books to read just for the love of reading.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I love reading lists of suggested books to read aloud to children. I found books like this one to be a great resource when my children were younger.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Diane

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jaimee

  30. 4 out of 5

    Snyder

  31. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  32. 4 out of 5

    Tricia

  33. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  34. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

  35. 5 out of 5

    Scott

  36. 4 out of 5

    Grace Wing-Yuan Toy

  37. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    An excellent resource that is currently on my wishlist...

  38. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  39. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

  40. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  41. 5 out of 5

    Diane

  42. 4 out of 5

    Renee

  43. 5 out of 5

    Christie

  44. 5 out of 5

    Becky

  45. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  46. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

  47. 5 out of 5

    Jillberry

  48. 5 out of 5

    Tana

  49. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

  50. 5 out of 5

    Tanya W

  51. 4 out of 5

    Ebookwormy1

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