These books about books are my bread and butter when it comes to a really great read—for myself and my children. Each guide lists hundreds of excellent titles. I’ve linked each title to a online thrift store. I receive no support from ThriftBooks. These handbooks are also widely available at public libraries.
The Read Aloud Handbook | Jim Trelease
Jim Trelease began as a dad reading aloud to his kids. And he discovered that the more you read to children, the better chances they have to succeed. I put this book in my list first because I truly believe that a little time invested in reading aloud to your child will return one hundred fold. If you hate reading aloud, books on CD are a great alternative.
Books Children Love: A Guide to the Best Children’s Literature | Elizabeth Wilson
This is an old book that my mother gave me and I include it for the broad range of topics it covers, including history, art, poetry, science, fiction and more. Elizabeth Wilson writes with a Christian worldview, but her work is thorough and broad.
Honey for a Child’s Heart | Gladys Hunt
Gladys Hunt is a gold mine. Her carefully crafted book brings to life the benefits, the beauty, and the scope of reading to and with children. She emphasizes the true importance of sharing books with each other as a way to not only connect with the world around you, but as a way to deeply connect to each other.
Honey for a Teen’s Heart | Gladys Hunt and Barbara Hampton
Teaming with a friend, and young adult literature fan Barbara Hampton, Gladys Hunt composed a companion to her previous book, Honey for a Child’s Heart. In this latest addition, Hunt and Hampton deluge readers with hundreds of titles for teens, ages 11-18.
A Landscape With Dragons | Michael O’Brien
This book is a close look at symbolism in story and how it affects the mind of children (and adults.) O’Brien writes with an openly Catholic Worldview on why and how parents should cultivate an understanding of traditional symbolism through reading. O’Brien exposes how reading will shape the minds of human beings.
The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction | Alan Jacobs
This short book is richly packed with observations for all people who want to read and reclaim it as an enjoyable activity. No more “reading because you should.” Reading can be, and should be, fun. Alan Jacobs gives his reasons for why he never gives recommended reading lists, and also gives his permission to readers to not finish that book you can’t stand.