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1000 Good Books List

This 1000 Good Books List is by no means exhaustive. It is a listing of the books that 25 homeschooling mothers have come up with over the course of a year’s time through discussions of criteria to use in choosing a good book, and many other discussions about individual titles to include or exclude. If you know of books that are good that are not included in this list, by all means, do not let their exclusion stop you from reading them with your children. And similarily, if a book is included on this list that you just plain don’t like for whatever reason, then don’t read it. We firmly believe in the parents right and responsibility to have the ultimate choice in choosing reading material for their children. We have posted this list as a place to start, not necessarily as a place to end; since many of us did not have the benefit of careful discrimination in our reading material in our own childhoods and education.

The criteria we used to judge inclusion are: Does the book have literary value? Does the book re-emphasize a Biblical worldview or the Judeo-Christian heritage in some way? Does the book teach, through whatever means, what is moral or just or true? Does the book encourage to love and good works? Does the book exemplify warmth, tenderness, courage, humor, and other values and characteristics that we desire our children to be exposed to? Does the book nourish the intellect and fire the imagination? Does the book cross age barriers to be enjoyed by all?

The Bible, the best of the good books and the greatest of the great books, is the backbone of this good books / great books list. The books listed are offered in addition to the Bible, but certainly never in replacement of it.

The books have been divided into reading levels for your convenience. The reading levels are as follows: 1-3 corresponds to beginning readers in 1st through 3rd grades; 4-6 corresponds to fluent readers in 4th through 6th grades; 7-9 corresponds to maturing readers in 7th through 9th grades; and 10-12 corresponds to college-bound readers in 10th through 12th grades. The suggested reading levels are guidelines only and are not meant to be chiseled in stone. Individual children vary in their reading ability regardless of their grade; some will need easier books and some more challenging. The books listed with an “RA” designation after the entry are not-to-be-missed read alouds for young children. (Of course, any of the books will make wonderful read alouds, but the ones so marked are ones we feel are MUST read alouds that no child should grow up without hearing.)

A final note: one of the things that makes a good book “good” is its timeless quality, and its ability to cross age barriers from preschool children to great-grandparents. Please do not think that simply because a wonderful book like Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne, for example, is categorized in 4-6, that it could not be enjoyed by younger and older children. That is the beauty of the truly good and wonderful books.

If the text of the book is available online, we have provided a link to it. We have also provided a link to Amazon.com for those desiring to purchase quality copies for the home library. Purchasing books through links on the 1000 Good Books List supports our attempt to provide helpful and useful information on the internet. Thank you! If a book is out of print, you can search for it at BookFinder.com, AddAll.com, or eBay.com.
Up One Level: Reading and Literature
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