Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Do Your Kids a Big Favor -- Buy 'Em Books for Christmas.

Just in time for your Christmas shopping is this nifty list of book suggestions for young readers compiled by Gina Dalfonzo over at BreakPoint. Each title listed there also has a link to a review from Gina or one of her colleagues. How's that for being helpful?

And they do this (at least, I think they do) every year about this time. Example? Check out these BreakPoint suggestions from 2011.

But I've got a few ideas of my own to pass along. Indeed, I'll simply re-post an excerpt from a short column I wrote for The Book Den last year dealing with this very topic.

Over at Breakpoint, a few of the contributing writers (among them, Gina Dalfonzo and Kim Moreland) have put together a list of "books to buy your kids at Christmas." Not having read (or even heard of) most of the recommended titles, I don't have much to comment on. Nevertheless, for you parents and grandparents looking for some ideas, I figured you'd do well to check it out. They're smart, principled people over there.

However, reading their lists encouraged me to drop in a few suggestions of my own. Ready?

For little kids (of all ages), you can't go wrong with the Winnie the Pooh books by A.A. Milne; the Freddy the Pig series by Walter Brooks; The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame; the collected fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm; or stories about such heroes as Robin Hood and the Knights of the Round Table.

As these kids grow older, toss in C. S. Lewis' Narnia series; Arthur Conan Doyle; Laura Ingalls Wilder; Robert Louis Stevenson; Robinson Crusoe; James Barrie; Jules Verne; John Buchan; James Herriot; O. Henry; and biographies of missionaries, explorers and warriors.

By the time they are in their mid teens, let's hope they've become acquainted with J.R.R. Tolkien; Randy Alcorn's fiction; G.K. Chesterton's poetry and his Father Brown series; Agatha Christie and others of the Golden Age of Mysteries; Louisa May Alcott; G.A. Henty; Charles Dickens; Alexandre Dumas; Thor Heyerdahl; Rafael Sabatini; and plenty of history books. In the latter category, please be sure and include Shelby Foote, Samuel Eliot Morrison and Walter Lord.

Happy Christmas shopping. And don't feel bad that you're going to go out and order the books for your kids that you really want to read too! Literature should promote sharing!