Thursday, August 27, 2009

My favorite books for children

As a mother of ten children who has homeschooled for 18 years, I have many bookcases full of good, moral, character building books that I have collected. My children have learned that if they can’t talk me into candy or a toy, they can almost always get me to buy them a book.
Some of these books are only read by a few of my children, but others are timeless books that they have all read and loved. Here are a few of those favorites:

1. The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder I guess almost every parent has heard of the Little House series, either by watching it on TV, or by read the books. Our family has worn out copy after copy of these books. This series, especially the books rather than the television series, are a true account of a pioneering family. They are timeless and well loved.

2. Little Britches by Ralph Moody This is another series of books, geared more towards boys, but my daughters have enjoyed some of them as well. These are the true story adventures of a young boy in the early 1900’s. His father dies in the first book, and the son takes on the role of helping his mother earn a living. A warning, there are a few bad words in this series, mostly taking the Lord’s name in vain, as young Ralph spends much with cowboys.

3. The Elsie Dinsmore series by Martha Finley This is a superior series of Christian books for girls that follows the life of young Elsie Dinsmore. Girls from ages ten and up will love this series.

4. The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner Although this is a series of books, we tended to mostly like the first one. They seemed a bit unbelievable after that. Four children are on their own, running from what they perceive as a mean grandfather after their parents die. The first book deals with them surviving after finding an old boxcar to live in. In the end, they meet their grandfather, who turns out to be a loving man who wants to care for them.

5. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter This was a movie I grew up on, and after I had children of my own, I found the book. I loved it every bit as much as the movie. Pollyanna is an orphan who goes to live with a less than loving aunt. Her mother died young in her life, and her missionary father raised her until his death. They were very poor, but her father taught her to play the ‘glad game’. After his death and her move to her aunt’s house, she transforms a whole town, including her aunt’s life, by playing the ‘glad game’ with everyone she meets.

6. Toby Tyler by James Otis This is a book I never mind reading to my children. Orphaned Toby Tyler runs off from what he thinks is an unloving foster father and joins the circus. He quickly finds cruelty and hard work there, and learns he should have appreciated what he had. He befriends a monkey, and finally runs off yet again to find his way back to his foster father. This was another book that I found after growing up on the movie.

7. The Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope This is a very old series of books that is found more easily on Ebay or in the nostalgic section of the Half Price Book Store. It’s about two sets of twins in one family, Bert and Nan are the older ones, and Freddie and Flossie are the younger. Each book finds the twins solving a mystery. I am reading these books with my five year old daughter right now, and she loves them.

8. The Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain There are many of these books. They are usually teaching books that cover things like manners, eating junk food, going to the dentist, jealousy, and many other subjects. Our family has worn out copies of these books over and over again too. The only drawback to these books is they often make the father look fumbling, while the mother has all the wisdom.

9. Authur By Marc Brown Authur is also a television series, but since our family doesn’t have a TV in the house, we really enjoy getting the books. Arthur is also usually a teaching type book, covering things like having a new puppy, learning to read, and dealing with friends. They are sweet books that show family life in a nice light.

10. The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward A friend sent this book as an adoption present when we adopted our youngest child recently. My children have enjoyed it. It has beautiful pictures as it shows the story of a young boy who wants to hunt a bear, and ends up bringing home a cub to raise instead.

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