Monday, April 17, 2017

Wholesome Chapter Book Series for Kids

When my kids were younger, I was always on the look out for good, wholesome, yet entertaining reading for them. I was always leary of them just picking up any old book and reading because, well, not everything is appropriate for young aged voracious readers. With four children I also didn't have the time (or energy) to pre-read every single book that they wanted to read. Of course I would browse book lists from curriculum companies that we trusted, but I found the task of finding single books overwhelming. What I loved was when I found a single book gem that was actually part of a larger series. I knew that if the kids were hooked on book one, they would continue reading through the entire series. I also knew that I would be able to trust the authors--I would either read aloud the first book in the series or quickly scan book one before handing it over to my kids.
Instilling a love of reading in my kids has always been a top priority for me. Helping them to develop discretion has become a close second. Modeling good reading behavior by reading aloud frequently and often has helped them all grow into readers. Of course some like to read more than others, but regardless of how much they like to read, they all enjoy it to some extent.

In addition to reading aloud, I pause often to discuss potential issues with whatever we are reading--perhaps there is some language in the novel, or a potentially frightening situation--I stop and ask questions. We compare what the character is facing or how their behavior is compared to scripture. There have been times that I have simply put a book down and suggested that we wait to read that title until they are little bit more mature--and even explain why we are setting this book aside. This has in turn helped my kids to learn to ask questions, which helps develop their discretion. Now that they are older, I trust that if they come to a potential problem in a book they are reading they will either come to me for advice, or better yet, make the decision on their own whether or not this is a book they should truly be reading.

As my kids were growing up, these are books that we all loved. Many of these titles are still picked up on a daily or weekly basis. They have become like best friends in our homes. And these are also titles that I know will be saved and passed on when they grow up.
Moody Family Series
We love this series written by Sarah Maxwell. The Moody family is a Christian family, who also homeschool their children. The entire series follows the family as they grow, learn, and serve together. There are 10 chapter books in the entire series and one short story. You will want to read these in order since each one builds on the previous one. We discovered this series when Sarah first began writing them, so we had to wait several months after finishing one book for the next book to be completed. As the series grew, we couldn't wait to find out what would happen in the next one. This is a series that I read aloud to my kids, and then would find them picking up the books and reading them again.
Sonrise Stable Books
If you have a horse lover in your home, then she will love this series. Each chapter book is an adventure that the homeschooling, 4-H participating, horse loving family has. These are written for girls ages 8-12, but older girls will enjoy them just as much. The back of each novel includes facts to learn more about horses, discussion questions, drawing tips, and much more--something different in each book. There are 8 books in this series. The Christmas themed book (#8) would be a really nice one to read aloud at Christmas time. I love how the Bible is woven into each of the books. These can be read in any order without losing any of the story line. Previous events may be mentioned in a later book, but there are no spoilers making these great stand alone titles as well.

Circle C Books
Any age of reader will enjoy reading about the adventures of Andi and her pony written by Susan K. Marlow. What I love about each of these series is that they are accessible for all readers. Each series has its own website with extras like lapbooks, printables, paper dolls, coloring pages, and activity pages. Andi grows up throughout the entire collection of books. Kids of all ages will enjoy reading about her antics and adventures in the Old West.
Circle C Beginnings follow Andi and her pony Taffy. These are beginning chapter books perfect for the newest readers, who are ready to begin reading real chapter books. The font is larger and the chapters are shorter--perfect for encouraging young readers. There are six books in this series.

Circle C Stepping Stones chronicle more adventures of Andi in chapter books that are a bit longer and a bit more challenging. These are perfect for readers who are not quite ready to read full length chapter books. There are currently two books in this series geared towards boys and girls ages 7-10.
Circle C Adventures are chapter books that follow Andi as she grows up in 1880s California. Andi has her fair share of adventures. There are six books in this series and one book full of short stories.
Circle C Milestones follows Andi as she grows up in her teens--from ages 14-18--as she grows up and yes, falls in love. These novels are perfect for ages 12 and up. There are four novels in this series.
Goldtown Adventures
These books are also written by Susan K. Marlow about some Gold Rush adventures in the Old West. This series follows Jem and his sister on some pretty amazing adventures. Girls and boys ages 8-12 will love these books, but so will older kids. Don't forget to check out the website for extra activities and information for you as you read along with these adventures.

Viking Quest Series
Lois Walfrid Johnson created this amazing adventure series of five books. I read the first book aloud to my son during his story time in a curriculum that we were using. Then I realized that we actually owned the second book as well. We had to read it immediately in order to find out what happened. Well book 2 left us sitting on the edge of our seat as well, so we checked out the next 3 books from the library and just kept on reading. Now even though these books are a series, each one could stand alone. The author does plenty of back tracking to cover previous events in the preceding books. But we found that they were better to understand by reading them in order. We couldn't wait to find out how Bree would eventually get home after she is taken by the Viking Raiders. There is enough suspense in these novels to keep you on the edge of your seat and keep reading. Briana has a strong faith in God and learns to trust him completely during her entire time away from her family. The author also has several other series that we would love to get our hands on as well.

Little House on the Prairie
I realize that these are obvious, wholesome reads, and I even hesitated whether or not to include them. I read this entire series aloud to my kids when they were quite little--I think my oldest was in second or third grade--and we thoroughly enjoyed them. And while this exact series sat on my bookshelf at home when I was little, I am pretty sure that I never even read them. So I'm mentioning them here because they really are such good reading material and so descriptive of Laura's journeys and the struggles that faced her family. We read straight through the series in order. It was fun to read about Laura as she grew up and at times heartbreaking to read about some of the devastating and surely trying times they faced as well. I could not imagine persevering through some of these hard times myself.
Maidens of Malidone
Katherine Wilson wrote these books set in the middle ages. Each book tells the tales of the maidens of Malidone. Each protagonist must find courage within herself to overcome the challenges that face her. Teen girls will enjoy these books and there is nothing inappropriate in them if a younger one were wanting to read them. There are currently three books in this series, and my daughter hopes there will be several more.
The Thirteen Series
Written by Trisha White Priebe and Jerry B. Jenkins. My daughter devoured the first two books and is bemoaning the fact that there are only three in this captivating and imaginative series. Each book follows Avery as she strives to solve some problem presented before her. My daughter couldn't put these books down. These are excellent chapter books with an honorable heroine striving to do her best. My 13 year old says these are the best books she has read in a long time and enjoys how fun and easy they are to finish. I think she has read each one a couple of times.

What wholesome book series are on your kids' lists?

Connect with me here:

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'm always interested in hearing what you think! Share your thoughts here: