I am always in search of good books that my children will enjoy. From the moment my eldest daughter could read she has devoured book insatiably. As a result I am constantly looking for books that are not only entertaining, but compelling and appropriate for her age group. When last she was tested for reading she was up at college level. I think this is more a sad reflection on our college kids than a compliment to my daughter. Any kid can read like her if kept away from the two fold threat of mindless t.v. and video/computer games.
Sadly I have had to search high and low for books that are not full of sexual messages or witchcraft. The most popular books are vampire, zombie, witchcraft, or magic books. Most contain a constant disrespect and disdain for adults, and since I was a prolific reader as a child as well, I know that what we take in as children influences how we view the world.
So I thought I'd share books that not only are fun and entertaining, but also contain good messages that we as Christians can approve of. Many of the books are adventure books that boys would love as well. So here is my first recommendation. I think I'll do this every Friday.
Anne Of Green Gables Series by L. M. Montgomery
This is the best series for little girls and most of us remember it from the popular movie. It follows Anne as she goes from a desolate childhood to be adopted by the strict Marilla and kind hearted Mathew. These book are funny and exciting as Anne gets into all sorts of scrapes. But it always has a good message and moral. As Anne ages you see the blossoming of young womanhood and all that promises but still the books are funny and lighthearted. I also like the books because they show the harder side of life in a way that teaches children that there are real consequences for our actions.
I discovered these books as an adult and really enjoy when Anne becomes a mother. Instead of the snide and ambivalent slant most modern books give for motherhood the Anne Series show a mother who loves her children and loves being a mommy. What an encouraging example for our girls! Anne's children are not perfect and go through the usual highs and lows of growing up, but Anne and her husband show grace and understanding instead of the annoyance and teasing we see now as the norm.
I just love these books and they are perfect for ages 7 and up. The books about Anne's adulthood tend to deal with more mature situations, in one book her first baby dies and it shows a young mother and father dealing with the grief of a child leaving too soon so that may need to wait until your kids are older. But I think it is a good thing for children to learn empathy and an understanding that life is sometimes painful. The book deals with that in a very intelligent way.
There are countless offshoots from the Anne Series and Montgomery wrote many other books. All of them are excellent and my daughter loves them and re-reads them all the time. There are many movies, cookbooks, and you can even visit Anne's Green Gables on Prince Edward Island and see the preserved home and farm. I will warn you that the movies that are so popular veer from the books after the first Green Gables and put a much more feminist slant on it.
As Mark Twain put it: " The most lovable childhood heroine since the immortal Alice“.