Dave, can you please provide a list of books that your family enjoyed and used as you “encouraged lots of intellectual exploring by reading widely”? Our family would truly appreciate whatever guidance you choose to give or titles you might suggest.
Thanks for your question. Sincere, honest questions are always a good thing.
To gather an answer to your question, we talked to our adult kids, and here’s the list that we gathered. Note that this will be a living list, a living post, that we will add to over time as we remember other titles or learn of new ones that we wish to include.
MormonPanorama Reading List for Creating Strong Families (for children, youth, and young adults). These are for a general audience unless otherwise marked, and parents are encouraged to read beforehand and judge for themselves.
- A Wrinkle in Time (1962), by Madeleine L’Engle
- Brian’s Winter, also known as Hatchet: Winter (1996), by Gary Paulsen
- Bridge to Terabithia (1977), by Katherine Paterson
- Caddie Woodlawn (1936), by Carol Ryrie Brink
- Call It Courage (1940), by Armstrong Perry
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), by Raold Dahl
- Charlotte’s Web (1952), by E. B. White
- Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car (1964), by Ian Fleming
- Crispin: The Cross of Lead (2002), by Avi
- Ender’s Game (1985), by Orson Scott Card
- Fahrenheit 451 (1953), by Ray Bradbury
- Foundation Trilogy (1951-53), by Isaac Asimov
- Ghost in the Noonday Sun (1965), by Sid Fleischman
- Harry Potter Series (1997-2007), by J. K. Rowling
- Hatchet (1987), by Gary Paulsen
- James and the Giant Peach (1961), by Raold Dahl
- Johnny Tremain (1943), by Esther Forbes
- Hood (2006), by Stephen R. Lawhead, of The King Raven Trilogy, followed by Scarlet and ending with Tuck
- Lord of the Rings Trilogy (1954-1955), by J. R. R. Tolkien
- My Side of the Mountain (1959), by Jean Craighead George
- Number the Stars (1989), by Lois Lowry
- Stotan! (1986), by Chris Crutcher
- Stuart Little (1945), by E. B. White
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), by Mark Twain
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), by Mark Twain
- The BFG (1982), by Raold Dahl
- The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (2013), by Daniel James Brown
- The Call of the Wild (1903), by Jack London
- The Catcher in the Rye (1951), by J. D. Salinger
- The Cricket in Times Square (1960), by George Selden
- The Dark is Rising Series (1965-1977), by Susan Cooper
- The Forgotten Door (1965), by Alexander Key
- The Giver (1993), by Lois Lowry
- The King Raven Trilogy (2006-2009), by Stephen R. Lawhead: Hood, next Scarlet, and ending with Tuck
- The Marvellous Land of Snergs (1927), by E. A. Wyke-Smith
- The Mr. Tucket Series (The Tucket Adventures) (1969-2003), by Gary Paulsen
- The Sea-Wolf (1904), by Jack London
- The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 (1995), by Christopher Paul Curtis
- Tuck Everlasting (1975), by Natalie Babbitt
- Any of The Cadfael Chronicles, by Ellis Peters, including but not limited to:
A Morbid Taste for Bones (1974)
One Corpse Too Many (1979)
Monk’s Hood (1980)
Saint Peter’s Fair (1981)
The Leper of Saint Giles (1984)
The Rose Rent (1986)
The Hermit of Eyton Forest (1987)
- Any of the plays by William Shakespeare, including but not limited to:
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
As You Like It
Much Ado About Nothing
Romeo and Juliet
The Comedy of Errors
The Merchant of Venice
The Taming of the Shrew
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Winter’s Tale
What we were looking for in books for kids as they grew up:
- Books that have tons of material to discuss – especially about what is right and what is wrong and how to resist wrongs that are embraced by so many others around you.
- Literature that builds up rather than drags down, that uplifts and inspires.
- We avoided literature which stated that our moral standards are silly or which encouraged us to become less than we should be.
We hope this answers your question and helps you understand us better and how to become a more effective family, create strong citizens, and develop better young adults.
And let us know how we may help you further! If you find that you have any questions about religious issues that you’ve been wondering about or that you haven’t been able to get good answers to, feel free to continue on discussion with us. It turns out that there are a lot of people with questions, and most of them have given up on churches as a source of answers. In our family, it is our experience that answers are out there, that God wants us to have them, and that they tend to be answers we like and have learned to appreciate. Working together with Heavenly Father allows anyone to find certainty in uncertain times.
-Dave and the MormonPanorama Family
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WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:
- Photo, ocean-rialto-beach—www. lds.org/media-library/images/oceans?lang=eng
- Photo, ocean-emerald-island-beach—www. lds.org/media-library/images/oceans?lang=eng
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My kids really enjoyed “Witch of Blackbird Pond” by Elizabeth Speares. It’s a Newberry winner (1958) that talks about religious tolerance, family loyalty, and unselfishness.
Also, “The Penderwicks” by Jeanne Birdsall. It won a National Book Award in 2005. It’s the closest modern children’s book to Alcott’s “Little Women.” I love it with my whole heart.
Finally, I recommend “Where the Mountain meets the Moon” by Grace Lin. A sort of Oriental Wizard of Oz book that talks about being happy with what you have. It was a Newberry runner-up.
Thanks for adding these, Ami!