Best Kids Books

Emma with Jane Kurtz, author
of Fire on the Mountain and Saba
I am a book-lover, and I've given birth to three more. We recently counted all the books in our house just for fun. Would you believe we currently own 849 children's books?! Children's literature is a lot of fun when stories are well-told. Below are some of our all-time favorites. If you study this list, you'll discover that by the time kids are 6 years old, in addition to the classics of American Children's Literature, I want to start exposing them to cultures other than their own. We've discovered some absolute gems. Each one has shown us the world through someone else's eyes, and that is a priceless gift. If you need more ideas, my go-to for book ideas is Sonlight curriculum. They are a Christian homeschool curriculum built around captivating historical novels. If they recommend a book, you can be sure it will be well-written and thought provoking!

For 2-5 Year Olds

The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm
Firebears: The Rescue Team by Rhonda Gowler Greene
Alfie series by Shirley Hughes
Thomas and the School Trip by Rev. W. Awdry
So Many Bunnies: A Bedtime ABC and Counting Book by Rick Walton
Home for a Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
Babybug magazine

For 5-7 Year Olds

Frog & Toad books by Arnold Lobel
Mr. Putter and Tabby series by Cynthia Rylant
Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey
The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book
The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
Ish by Peter H. Reynolds
High Five magazine by Highlights
Clubhouse Jr. magazine by Focus on the Family

For 6-10 Year Olds

The Children's Bible Storybook by Anne de Graaf
The Clementine books by Sara Pennypacker
The Alex books by Nancy Simpson Levene
The Gold-Threaded Dress by Carolyn Marsden
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
The Blind Hunter by Kristina Rodanas
Stone Soup by Jon Muth
Fire on the Mountain retold by Jane Kurtz
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Goodbye, Vietnam by Gloria Whelan
Twenty and Ten by Clare Huchet Bishop
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan
The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Charlotte's Webb by E. B. White
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Grandma's Attic Series by Arleta Richardson
American Girl Series (especially the Addy books)
American Girl Magazine
Clubhouse Magazine by Focus on the Family
Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz
Frindle by Andrew Clements
No Talking by Andrew Clements

For 9 Year Olds and Older
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
And the Word Came with Power by Joanne Shetler
Bruchko by Bruce Olsen
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (my personal favorite is the Voyage of the Dawn Treader)
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkein
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry
Day of Tears by Julius Lester
David Livingstone: Africa's Trailblazer by Janet and Geoff Benge
Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar by Janet and Geoff Benge
Teresa of Calcutta by D. Jeanene Watson
Li Lun, Lad of Courage by Carolyn Treffinger
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Daughter of the Mountains by Louise Rankin
Star of Light by Patricia St. John
Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin
Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Auggie & Me by R. J. Palacio
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Written in Stone by Rosanne Parry
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate
Straw into Gold by Gary D. Schmidt
The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood
Rules by Cynthia Lord
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien
The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg 
Trial by Poison: Mary Slessor by Dave & Neta Jackson

For 11 Year Olds and Older
Life as We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer
Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher
Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
Boys without Names by Kashmira Sheth
mockingbird (mok'ing-bûrd) by Kathryn Erskine
The Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins
Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
City of Orphans by Avi
Saba: Under the Hyena's Foot by Jane Kurtz
Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Holes by Louis Sachar

For 13 Year Olds and Older
The Chosen by Chaim Potok
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien