Choosing 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
- Learn moral values
Here are some helpful resources to help you in choosing books for your children.
- There are several practical ways to choose books your reading list:
- By grade level—when you need a nice reading list for your child’s portfolio
- By reading level—when you need to match the book with your child’s reading ability
- By historical time period—to supplement history studies
- By location—to supplement geography and history studies
- By subject matter—for additional reading in science, social studies, fine arts, etc.
- By author—a librarian once told me that when you find an author you like, it’s good to read more books by the same.
- By genre—great when you study different types of literature
- Some of these guides offer short reviews to help you make your selection.
- We encourage you to review books before your children read them until they gain wisdom to judge for themselves.
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 The Fallacy Detective and The Thinking Toolbox. 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.
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, plays, 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.
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.”