Having trouble finding well-written, godly literature for your children to read?
Tired of searching the shelves of your local Christian bookstore, but not sure where else to go?
We have encountered the same challenge and have put together a list of five sources of quality Christian books to add to your arsenal.
1. Digital Archives
My absolute favourite source for Christian books is online collections of public domain writings. Christians have been writing fiction for hundreds of years. Many older books are very well-written and cover numerous historical and scientific topics under the umbrella of fiction. They make a great addition to any homeschool curriculum. There are thousands of books available for free online. Two of our favourite sources are:
The Project Gutenberg collection, and
The Internet Archive collection.
For more detail on both of these resources, see our post entitled Good Books from Digital Archives.
2. Christian Publishers
You may be surprised to find that there are dozens of Christian Publishers currently printing in North America. If you have a book that you and your children already love, look inside the front cover and see who the publisher is. Visit their website and check out the other books they have available. Most have comprehensive lists with descriptions and appropriate age ranges.
We have found a handful to be particularly helpful and reliable:
Lamplighter Publishing is a wonderful printer of edited public domain material that we have enjoyed over the years.
Bethlehem Books has a ‘living history’ collection that can be used in conjunction with your current history curriculum.
Three Anabaptist ministries that are worth mentioning are:
All three provide books that are biblically based and modestly priced.
Our post on Christian Publishers gives a more in depth description of each of these organizations.
3. Homeschool Curriculum Companies
Home school curriculum companies are another worthy source of good books. History and literature courses often come with recommended book lists for supplemental reading. These books are frequently sold by the curriculum companies. At the beginning of our homeschool journey I often used the book lists found in these catalogues. I found two websites which have comprehensive lists of curriculum companies that you could visit:
I give a concrete example of how to go through the search process in this post.
4. Book Review Sites
There are three great book review sites that we can recommend you explore when looking for good books. Of course, not all of the books reviewed are going to be acceptable to everyone, but they are each good sources to determine whether or not a book is going to be a fit for your family.
Focus on the Family is well known for doing movie reviews, but did you know that they also review books? They do a good job of it too!
Squeaky Clean Reviews is another excellent review site. It is, unfortunately, not currently reviewing books, but has been bought and maintained as a separate site by our third recommendation,
For a description of the distinctive features of each site, click here.
5. Your Library’s Inter-Library Loan System
I can’t believe that I went to our local library for years and never knew about the inter-library loan system. You might be in the same boat, or perhaps you have been using this resource forever and are astonished that we missed out on such a gem. I used to come across intriguing descriptions of books that I could never find in our local library, and was too cautious to purchase them without first being able to browse through them. We moved from the city into the country and it was at our little local library that I first found out about inter-library loan. In the years following, we spent many hours reading books that our lovely librarian, Lottie, got in for us from libraries all over the country. Ask your local library about their inter-library loan system; it is a free resource that you might find very valuable.
While we have found a few other sources, these are by far our top choices. What are your favourite sources for finding good books? As always, we are looking to add to our catalogue and we would love to hear your thoughts. Are there any that you can recommend?
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