I love to read. Books have been my greatest mentors. Through the years I have read an enumerable amount of books. We have read books out loud as a family as well as listened to audio books in the car. Our family has a love of books.
Over the years I have become pickier and pickier about the books we read. Charlotte Mason called books of lesser quality 'twaddle.' We also call books of lesser quality 'brain candy.' We are striving to eliminate books that are not the best books from our personal library. We are also striving to read less and less twaddle. Doctrine and Covenants 88:119 says, "...Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom..."
Below are some of the books I currently consider the best. These books are only my opinion. Always preview all books with care. Book have the power to lift us higher, but they also have the power to drag us lower. The written word has a powerful affect on our lives.
You may visit goodreads.com to view my reviews on these and other books I have read.
Children's Readers (to teach children to read)
The Robinson Crusoe Reader
Early Chapter Books
Please preview these books to see if they are appropriate by age and content for your family. I have found, from experience, that I can not turn my children loose on books I have not looked at. These books are listed in a 'sort of' progressive order of reading difficulty.
Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan (for boys)
Narnia series by C.S. Lewis
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L'Engle
A Swiftly Turning Planet by Madeleine L'Engle
The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale (for girls)
The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale (for girls)
Johnny Tremain by Ester Forbes
The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgsen Burnett
Little Britches by Ralph Moody
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel DeFoe
The Sackett Series by Louis L'Amour (I suggest only the first four or five books in the series. Don't forget Jubal Sackett it is sometimes not listed with the series).
Lonesome Gods by Louis L'Amour
The Work and the Glory series by Gerald N. Lund (omit book 6 for a young independent reader or edit aloud when reading)
Fishers of Men series by Gerald N. Lund
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Older Reading or Read a Louds for Younger Children
I have learned that I should not underestimate a child's ability to comprehend hard books. In the past I have tended to dumb my children down with easy reading, I'm striving to remedy that.
Also, I have read hundreds and hundreds of books. I am in the process of rereading my books to see what books truly are the best. Here are the books that have made the cut so far. This list will continue to grow as I "shift" through my books lists.
Silas Marner by George Elliot
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The Constitution of the United States of America
The Declaration of Independence
The Gettysburg Address
The Iliad by Homer
The Odyssey by Homer
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe