I'm ecstatic that all three of my children like to read, but I've noticed that they tend to gravitate toward the same kinds of books time after time.
So for our next 6-week school term, I decided to help them expand their book repertoire a bit. I still gave them some freedom in choosing which books to read, but I guided their choices a bit more than I have in the past. I aimed at including at least one biography, one non-fiction, one 'classic', and one historical fiction in each list.
So here's what's on deck for each of them.
Booklist for 12-year-old boy
Jaden has been reading a lot of books in the fantasy genre lately. Most of the books he's been reading have been recommended to him by my husband who is an avid fantasy reader. So with his list I'm trying to expose him to some more reality-based, historical fiction.
- Abraham Lincoln, by James Daughtery. A very well-written biography about our 16th president.
- The Story of Flight: the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, by Judith E. Rinard. This short non-fiction book is full of interesting photographs depicting the history of flight as well as concise chapters describing the fascinating evolution of flight.
- Across Five Aprils, by Irene Hunt. Historical fiction about a young boy coming of age during the Civil War.
- Twice Freed, by Patricia St. John. Historical fiction about Onesimus, the freed slave mentioned in the Bible in the book of Philemon. I read this book in high school and remember it fondly.
- Theras and His Town, by Caroline Dale Snedeker. Jaden just finished read Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, so this historical fiction about a young boy born in Athens is a nice segue.
- The Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes (9 selected stories), by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Jaden hasn't seemed interested in mystery books, but he has been intrigued by humor in writing, so he just might enjoy Doyle's tongue-in-cheek style, even if the narrative is a bit more challenging than he's used to.
Booklist for 11-year-old girl
Jerah's been an avid reader for years, and she's been fairly good at choosing books from different genres already, but planning this list out ahead of time will help her focus specifically on variety. Jerah chose all these books on her own and decided she wanted to read seven books this term, not just six.
- If Animals Could Talk, by Dr. Werner Gitt. Jerah's an animal lover, so this treatise on the complexity of animals is right up her alley.
- The Runaway, by Patricia M. St. John. This historical fiction book follows the life of Philo, a first-century Phoenician boy, and his experience with Jesus of Nazareth.
- The Hidden Girl: A True Story of the Holocaust, by Lola Rein Kaufman. This biography is about a young Jewish girl whose mother is killed by the Gestapo during World War II.
- Crying Wind. This is an amazing autobiography of a twentieth century Navajo Indian who is abandoned by her parents. Her life is an amazing testimony to the saving grace of Christ.
- One More River, by Lynne Reid Banks. This book follows the story of a young girl who emigrates to Israel with her parents to live in a border kibbutz. This is definitely not a typical youth fiction book.
- Soft Rain: A Story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears, by Cornelia Cornelissen. Historical fiction following the life of a young Cherokee girl as she struggles through the Trail of Tears.
- Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell. This classic book has been on Jerah's shelf for years, but she's never made it all the way through it before.
Booklist for 7-year-old girl
Joely loves to read, but she has a hard time finishing a book. She loves to start them though! Hopefully this list will give her a goal that she can work hard to meet.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder: a Biography, by William Anderson.
- Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
- Christian Liberty Nature Reader, Book 3. Like her sister, Joely loves animals, so she was really excited to see this on her reading list.
- The Light Princess, by George MacDonald. We all love George MacDonald's books, and this unique, classic fairly tale is no exception.
- James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl. Jerah read through all of Dahl's books a few years ago, so we have almost all of them on our bookshelves at home. This is the first Dahl book Joely will have read.
- James Herriot's Animal Stories, by James Herriot. I read all of James Herriot's books when I was a child, and loved each and every one of them. This book is a great introduction to his works.
Do you have any book suggestions to add to future booklists?