November 19, 2013

Top Ten Books I'd Recommend to My Children

The possibilities were seemingly endless for this prompt: Top Ten Books You Recommend to X. But I'm always finding books and thinking, "I want my kids to read this. I think it's important"--for any number of reasons depending on the book. Here are 10 books I'd love for my children to read when age appropriate.


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I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt - By far, my favorite children's book. I mean, I know there are countless classics, but this one just makes me melt. My niece and nephews love it, so hopefully my future little ones will, too!

Elementary School

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Charlotte's Web by E.B. White - A classic that I explicated in college and led me to change my major to English. A great story about friendship and teamwork, not to mention the implications of spiritual relationships and breaking free of expectations. This goes without saying for most of these books, but I hope my kids read the book before watching the movie.

The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis - Another classic with a lot of great lessons and spiritual implications. I love teaching through entertainment and I know this series had a big impact on me when I was little.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - I will be so sad if my kids don't like Harry Potter! Too many great things to list, but if you're reading a book review blog I think you already know why this made the list!

Middle School

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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and Upon the Head of a Goat by Aranka Siegal - One of the biggest ways I learned to think outside my self is through learning about the Holocaust. The best way for me to learn about this horrific piece of history, to this day, is through children's literature because of the way it delicately handles the subject. Both of these are first hand accounts of young girls and their different experiences and I think they are must reads for any kids middle school and up.

Wild Grace by Max Lucado - A great non-fiction book about God's grace that isn't too cheesy or serious. It's fun and doesn't speak down to kids. I think it's a great book to use to help instill faith in kids and generate conversations about spirituality.

High School

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Graceling (and companion novels) by Kristin Cashore - Let's face it, high school is when reading starts to become a chore. There are a zillion better things to do when your hormones are racing and the peer pressure is at its peak. But Graceling is sure to capture the attention of high schoolers with its fantasy world, action and romance. It's a perfect blend for any reader and there are great lessons about identity along the way.

The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins - Another attention-grabber, I think this book is important for high schoolers to read because of the lessons of right versus wrong, doing what's best for society, and being selfless with your talents. Most of all it teaches readers to be brave, which is something we could all learn in high school!

Anna and the French Kiss (and companion novels) by Stephanie Perkins - Obviously I won't push this on any of my sons, but this is a must read for any teenaged girl. With lessons of identity, realistically blurring the lines of right-and-wrong, and teaching readers to step outside their comfort zone, I really wish I had this book when I was 16.

I could probably really come up with 50 books I want my kids to read, but these make up the general consensus. If you have or plan to have kids, what books do you want them to read?


  1. Fabulous list for all ages :) I love how you've made it so there's something for everyone.

  2. one thing that i'll make sure is that my kids will read Harry Potter series ;p

  3. Great list! I don't plan on having kids, but if I did, I would want them to read certain things, and I plan on helping my nieces out a lot =) I think Harry Potter is a must, and Chronicles of Narnia, and WWII books like you mentioned. I think I would want them to read classics, and I would want boys and girls to read stuff that isn't "targeted" towards them so they're more open to other perspectives. Like, guys always acted like it was lame to read Pride and Prejudice when I was in high school, so I would want to make sure any son of mine would be less likely to act that way. But I also wouldn't want to force them to read things they don't like or click with, because that can be painful. Haha, it is probably just a good thing I don't plan on having children!


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