Jane Sveska sent us the following question:
I would like to know the thoughts of other librarians with tiny libraries regarding "Christian" fiction for elementary and middle school kids.
I have read some of the Danny Orlis books by Bernard Palmer, and one of the Sugar Creek Gang books and they are OK. But I don't know of any others. Can anyone help me find Christian books for elementary and middle school kids?
I hope you can share these thoughts with the other librarians and I might get some good recommendations. Thanks!
We are ready to add Christian graphic novels to our Juvenile collection. Any suggestions?
I checked our shelves today and will mention several series that are popular. The Focus on the Family Christian Heritage Series is historical. The Salem Years; The Chicago Years; The Charleston Years; The Williamsburg Years; the Santa Fe Years--by Nancy Rue. The Green Ember series by S. D. Smith. Daughters of the Faith by various authors. Sisters in Time by various authors. The Lily Books by Nancy Rue. WingFeather series by Andrew Peterson. The kids are really loving that series. Keystone Stables--good horse stories. Rachel Yoder Always Trouble Somewhere series by Wanda Brunstetter. New to our library is the National Park Mystery Series by Mary Morgan. It's an interesting series--has been read by a few kids but I don't have a real review of it. The Little Britches series by Ralph Moody was recommended by a home school family. It's not a Christian series, but portrays good values and behavior. The Grandma's Attic Series by Arleta Richardson is older, but mostly still in print and kids still like it. It has local interest for us because we are close to North Branch, MI which is the setting of the books. I'll mention a book, Legend of the Wapa, by Ernie Bowman. It was written by a young pastor that I know personally. He wrote it hoping to expose young people to missionary life and hopefully, create an interest in considering it for themselves. It was inspired by his experience at Wayumi Camp as a teen. I've read the book and it kept me interested right to the end! A fun read with a purpose.
this discussion has been very informative.. Thank you
Frankly, we have been increasingly disappointed with the quality of Christian fiction for children. We have many of the books/series recommended here, but despite often searching for more options which we believe to have any level of excellence, we have not been impressed. Consequently, some years ago we began adding what we call "Good Reads", which are not Christian, but are well-written books which promote character qualities and morals that are consistent with the Biblical standards we all want to teach our children.
That said, one Christian series we like very much is the Chosen Daughters books, by a variety of authors.
My granddaughter is 7 and has been enjoying "The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls" series by M.J. Thomas... sort of a Magic Tree House with a Biblical slant.
I agree with all of the suggestions and our church library has almost all of them. We actually pay a LOT of attention to the books for younger age groups. That's where much of our usage lies. Left Behind >the kids< by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye is another series that is still popular and read a lot. I don't have access to our inventory right now, and will add others when I go in to work tomorrow.
Oops! The Narnia series of course was written by C. S. Lewis. Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which some older children and adults may enjoy. Sorry for the error. Dianne Callender
Gilbert Morris has a couple series for kids Too Smart Jones and Dixe with various animal Mandie by Gladys Leppard and American girl are still popular Glimmer Girl Mysteries by Nataile Grant Bernstien Bears Matt Christopher for sports related I can almost 'see' the covers of several more but not clearly, Jannette Oke wrote a half dozen about animals, Mona Hodgson also wrote some for kids and R Greene (Rhonda? Rachael?)
Some of the schools here put alot of emphaisis on AR points and reading level so I go to AR Finder and if they are AR books the AR goes on spine label and the book level (BL) and points go inside the cover Makes it easy to search the shelf if AR is important Many Christian schoo; also use AR so there are plenty of Christian books on list
maybe gives you a starting point
If you have limited space and budget, and as a way to narrow the field, you may want to consider the annual book awards from Christianity Today (there's a Children/Youth category) or the Triple Crown Awards-https://www.triplecrownawards.org
For middle schoolers, I would recommend The Prince Warriors series by Priscilla Shirer, Melanie Dickerson's retelling of fairy tales with a Christian slant, and the Focus on the Family series, Imagination Station (also popular with elementary school kids). The elementary school crowd also likes The Cul-de-Sac Kids series by Beverly Lewis and The Three Cousins Detectives Club by Murphy. For younger readers, the Auto-B-Good series is particularly popular with boys because of their fascination with cars/trucks, etc. The Otter B series and Adventures with the King series are also good. Two older series that I've liked, but are difficult/sometimes expensive to find are Little Epistles for Kids (Barney Wigglesworth) by Murphy and Adventures of Adam Raccoon by Keane. I have liked everything I have read by Dandi Daley Mackall, but my favorite series is probably My Favorite Verses. Although these are all series, there is no thread running thorugh them that would require you to have the whole series, with the exception of The Prince Warriors series, a 4-volume set. When it comes to books that stand alone, there are several wonderful children's books by Max Lucado and Beverly Lewis. Hope this helps!