|Best Family Read Alouds|
The first category are suitable to download onto your electronic reader, read once, and after that they're as good as good as "Kindle-ing" (pardon the pun). You've gotten the fun out of them, you've been entertained. You're done with them. A fun read, but not a life changer.
The second category are those books that change your life. You give them a special place on the shelf. You treasure them. You read them to your children. You remember them years after you've read them. And, your kids might even debate who gets them when you've passed away.
This post is about THOSE books!
The Little Pilgrim's Progress by Helen L. Taylor -
This is the book that my Grandparents read to my Mother, and my Mother read to her children and grandchildren. When she passed away, it was the single item that more than one person asked for! (Thank goodness, she had multiple copies : ) It is an allegory that tells of the Spiritual Journey of young Christian in a way that children enjoy and recall many years later. There are scenes from this story that still pop to my mind when I see something that is spiritually dangerous. It helps to keep me on the right path, even now. I have read it with my daughter more than once, and pray it will be helpful to her, too. It is one of the few books in which I find the original (Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress) falls short of the copy. I guess the expression "We stand on the shoulders of giants" is true sometimes. (Bunyan's had some anti-Catholic parts, but I find no such issues with Taylor's - it seems to me to be wonderful for Catholic, Orthodox AND Protestant readers)
|My Mother's Childhood Copy of Little Christian's Pilgrimage (Little Pilgrim's Progress)|
From I-Ville to You-Ville by Mersine Vingopoulou
This book is a treasure! It was a gift to us while we were traveling a couple of summers ago, and how it has blessed us! (May God Bless the Giver : ) Like Little Pilgrim's Progress, it is an allegory of the Spiritual journey for Children. We read it aloud in the car as we drove along the highway just after receiving it (I know that sounds horrible, but I wasn't driving & reading at the same time - Daddy was driving!), and have read it more than once since then. We never tire of it. It has profound life lessons for all ages of reader, despite being written for children. It is from a distinctly Orthodox perspective, but I noticed no content that would be disturbing to Christian readers of other faith backgrounds.
Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally
Imagine a world in which we didn't let children know anything about cars before we put them behind the wheel and then shouted frantic directions to them while they nervously tried to drive a machine they'd never seen before! Sadly, that is how we treat our children with the world of dating and preparation for marriage. Oh, most modern children know too much about the physical aspects of relationships, but we tell them next to nothing about the emotional and Spiritual dimension of finding a mate until they have their first crush, or until they're "in love" - then parents desperately try to issue directions on how to proceed, when they're in no frame of mind to listen! This book is written for young girls - and it is meant to be read before the dating years start. It talks about the value of leading a Godly single life, and "what if all my friends have boyfriends" and the value of parental guidance in choosing a spouse. How to deal with friends who want to discuss boys. What qualities to look for in a spouse. Stuff like that. Like the above books, it is written as a allegory about a Princess. It is not a classic literary work like the others in this list, but it is still of immense value for young women. It is sweet and innocent, and doesn't expose young girls to things that aren't yet appropriate for them, yet it does discuss many things they need to know. Even if you don't agree with all the points in the book (and I don't) it gives a great "jumping off point" to discuss these life issues.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
This classic children's tale re-tells the story of Christ's sacrifice in a way that resonates with young children and brings the story to life for them. I treasured it when I was young, and my daughter loves it. And the movie is amazing, too!
And, I saved the Best for Last:
The Bible - this Book (or collection of Books) is history's number one best-seller. It is the book that has done more to change the world for the better than any other book ever printed. In fact, it was the FIRST book ever printed on the printing press. If you don't read this book with your children (and you're able to read) you're not being as good a parent as you can be. It doesn't matter how well-fed or well clothed your children are, or how well they're educated in math or science, if you have not obeyed Deuteronomy 6:9, you've dropped the ball. Pick it up, and run with it! Read the Bible with your kids. If you prefer that the whole family listens, while someone else reads, try this Audio Bible Free link.
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