This is my personal reading list for my own kids. These are all the books we’ve read up through about 6th grade, and we’ve read them aloud and with our kids.
When I was growing up, I was a very avid reader… like 1-2 books per day. At 200-400 pages each, you can image how many books I read!
What I didn’t realize is how much of my character and values were shaped with those books!
I did not have strong role models within my family growing up, so I found my role models in my books. I spend a lot of time with the characters in the stories and biographies I read, and I realize today how much of who I am was shaped by specific titles.
As a parent, I realize that this can be really useful in teaching strong values and life lessons to my kids. Sadly most books published today are pure “eye candy”, meaning that they are like sugar for the body – empty calories that do not contribute to what the body needs. There’s no character development, life lessons… nothing in there for kids to model their behavior after that I’d want to see in my house.
It’s so easy to publish a book today compared to 50 or 100 years ago, so it’s no wonder the market is flooded with books! It can be hard to tell the good from the junk.
I want more for my kids, and so I have spend a lot of time and energy over the years cultivating a list of books that I think are the important for them to learn from.
So here’s my reading list – I have more titles now that they are older, but these are the ones that I am really excited about sharing with you.
Also, I didn’t just hand them the book. We would read them *together*, which also means I taught them not only how to decide if a book is good for them to read (there’s a whole art in learning how to choose which book to spend your time on), but also how you read a book.
It surprised them when they learned that you don’t have to read every single word, you don’t have to read it all at the same pace, and you don’t even have to like the ending. In fact, most authors of decent books have over a dozen different endings they come up with before deciding on the one that is to be published int he book, so we make it a game to figure out what all the possibilities are.
The older ones are now starting to learn how to see the author in what they read, that invisible connection that binds reader and author in a woven tapestry of words.