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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Christian Children's Books (A Long List!)

Over the years, we've built up quite a collection of Christian books for children, ranging from those aimed at toddlers to those suitable for younger teenagers too. This list is a fairly comprehensive outline of our favourite Christian books for children, organised into categories. These are not all the books that we own, but they are the ones that I think have been particularly beneficial. I hope it's helpful!

Some Good Books

Children's Bibles

The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm

This tells the story of the Bible from Creation to New Creation in simple but clear language. There are lovely illustrations which help to tell the story, and point to the themes that run through scripture.

The Beginner's Bible by Kelly Pulley

A great first Bible for toddlers, with a wide variety of Bible stories told simply and clearly.

The Gospel Story Bible by Marty Machowski

This is a new addition to our collection, and I really like it. There are many more Bible stories included than in any of our other Bibles, and the author clearly ties the individual stories into the bigger narrative of the Bible, pointing to Jesus all the time.

The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung

In many ways, this does the same job as The Big Picture Story Bible, but both the text and the pictures are aimed at slightly older children. It's only ten chapters long, but we have enjoyed it. My older children enjoy studying the illustrations.

Christian  Fiction

Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John

One of my favourite books as a child, I have loved sharing it with my own children. They all highly recommend it too. Patricia St. John writes beautifully, with exciting and engaging stories, which are full of Jesus. At the heart of all her books are children who come to know Jesus for themselves.

Treasures of the Snow is set in Switzerland, and tells the story of a bitter argument between two very different children which has awful consequences, and how reconciliation only comes as they each turn to Christ. It deals with sin, pride, bitterness, fear, and the love of Christ. Tears flow freely in this house whenever I read it!

The Mystery of Pheasant Cottage by Patricia St. John

Lucy lives with her grandparents as her mother died when she was a baby. There is a mystery about her father which she seeks to unravel, and as she does so she comes face to face with what it means to trust Jesus.

The Tanglewoods' Secret by Patricia St. John

A story about a naughty girl with a short fuse, her angelic-on-the-outside older brother, and a boy they befriend. Beautifully written, and dealing what it means to trust Jesus in the face of death, this is another favourite in our home.

Rainbow Garden by Patricia St. John

A spoilt girl from London moves to Wales to live with a large, Christian family. She has to learn about her own selfishness and sin, and about where real joy can be found.

Star of Light by Patricia St. John

This story is set in Morocco, and centres on the lives of two poor children from a Muslim family who learn about Jesus.

Twice Freed by Patricia St. John

The author imagines the backstory to Onesimus, the slave that we read about in the book of Philemon in the New Testament. A great story about forgiveness and true freedom, set all over the Roman world.

The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson

This is a series of four fantasy books with clear Christian themes and ideas woven all the way through. I have written about them here. The picture of redemption is particularly beautiful. I would recommend them for any children who enjoy fantasy books.

Jungle Doctor Books by Paul White

These stories (written from the 1940's on) are based on the real life experiences of the author as a missionary doctor in Africa. They are entertaining, thought provoking, inspiring, and funny. Our children have loved them.

Crown & Covenant Series by Douglas Bond

This is a series of three books, beginning with Duncan's War, which is set in 17th century Scotland. It tells about trials and persecutions faced by the Scottish Covenanters through the lives of the M'Kethe family.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis

Classic stories set in the magical world of Narnia; full of gospel truth, these are family favourites.

The Roman Mystery Series by Caroline Lawrence

These are not strictly Christian books; they are sold in secular bookshops and are widely read - but the author is a Christian and this shows in her writing. The stories are set in ancient Rome and feature key characters who are Christians, and throughout the series Christianity is portrayed positively. Forgiveness found in Jesus is shown clearly, and some characters become Christians. They are also brilliant fun to read - and there are 17 of them, which is great if you have children who read quickly and need lots of material!

Biography

There are lots of Christian biographies for children, but I have found that many are not all that well written. I've included our favourites!

When Lightning Struck by Danika Cooley

This is a new biography of Martin Luther written for older children. My 10 year old loved it, and was able to tell us about what he had been reading when we were studying the Reformation recently.

Nate Saint: On a Wing and a Prayer by Janet and Geoff Benge

I find many Christian biographies written for children frustratingly poorly written, but this was excellent. Nate Saint was martyred with four other missionaries in Ecuador, and this book tells the story of his life and faith. I have a house full of boys, and they loved the stories of his inventions and the account of his unusual childhood, and were also gripped by the story of Nate Saint's life as a missionary pilot.

Jim Elliot: One Great Purpose by Janet and Geoff Benge

An engaging, dramatic account of the inspirational life of Jim Elliot, one of the other missionaries martyred in the Ecuadorian jungle.

Augustine: The Truth Seeker by K.C. Murdarasi

This is a simple, clearly told biography of Augustine.

John Calvin: After Darkness Light by Catherine Mackenzie

This is a great introduction to a key figure in the Reformation.

Hudson Taylor: An Adventure Begins by Catherine Mackenzie

Hudson Taylor was a pioneering missionary to China, and this is a good, simple account of his life.

John Paton: South Sea Island Rescue by Kay Walsh

This is a dramatic account of the life of a missionary to South Sea Island.

Little Light Series by Catherine Mackenzie

We have a number of these picture books, and they are a great set of books for young children. In simple, appropriate ways, they introduce children to the lives of those who have lived for Christ is all sorts of contexts.

Christian Living

How to be a Bible Warrior by C.M. Mackenzie

The author looks at various warriors in the Bible, and their trust in God.  She also points clearly to Jesus, and his work on the cross in defeating sin and death. She also shows what it means to fight against sin as followers of Jesus.

A Boys' Guide to Making Really Good Choices by Jim George

Practical, Biblical guide for boys who want to know how to put their trust in Jesus into practice.

A Boy After God's Own Heart by Jim George

Similar to A Boys' Guide to Making Really Good Choices - lots of good, practical examples of how to live for Christ. My boys liked the fact that you have to think for yourself as you read it.

Commanded: Your Mission: Loving Others God's Way by L.H. Martin

Another practical book about how to live out your life as a forgiven follower of Jesus.

A Young Person's Guide to Knowing God by Patricia St. John

Illustrated by stories with a message, Patricia St.John teaches truth about God from the Bible. There are key points to learn and simple prayers to pray.

The Radical Book for Kids by Champ Thornton

This is a new addition to our family library, and contains a whole mix of material: from biography to activities to do, from background to Biblical history to apologetic material, from Bible facts to thoughts about how to live for Jesus. It's a great resource for children who like leafing through fact books.

Theology

The Ology by Marty Machowski

This is an excellent, beautifully illustrated systematic theology for children. I have written more about it here.

Everything a Child Should Know About God by Kenneth N. Taylor

This is a simple book of truths about God written for very young children. It has been much loved in this house.

Prayer

My First Book of Bible Prayers by Philip Ross

This is a very small book for young children. My 8 year old really likes using it as it gives him ideas from the Bible for his prayers.

Apologetics

Case for Christ for Kids by Lee Strobel with Rob Suggs & Robert Elmer

A good introduction to the reasons why we can be confident in what we believe from the Bible.

Case for Christ for Youth by Lee Strobel with Rob Suggs & Robert Elmer

As above, but aimed for older children/teenagers. My older boys have enjoyed this and found it helpful.

Church History

Chronicles of the Ancient Church by Mindy and Brandon Withrow

These volumes tell the story of church history by focusing on the lives of key individuals. The accounts are very well told. There are also short sections which explain key ideas in Christianity along the way, which is very helpful.

The Church History ABCs by Stephen J. Nichols

This is a great picture book for children which looks briefly at the lives of 26 Christians throughout history. Fun to read, and a good way to get children engaged with church history from a young age.

Reformation ABCs by Stephen J. Nichols

An illustrated introduction to the Reformation, featuring key people, ideas and places. An excellent book about the Reformation for young children.

2 comments:

  1. Lots I recognise here but some new ones! Thanks for sharing, Lizzie :-)

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    Replies
    1. No problem - it was fun to look through our collection!

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