Children’s Classics: Chapter Books

Children's ClassicsThe 5 Minutes For Books site us starting a monthly focus on children’s classics, and this month the topic is chapter books for 8-12 year olds.

My oldest son was my only avid reader at this age, and one of his favorite series was Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective. He was analytical and enjoyed figuring things out, so detective stories fit the bill for him. As far as I can remember they were clean and wholesome: looking them up now I see they’s updated the covers: I hope they haven’t “updated” the stories, because that usually doesn’t bode well. He read them in the mid-90s: I am not familiar with any in the series after that.

He read some of the Hardy Boys when he got older, but didn’t seem to take to them as well.

The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder is good for this age as well. We read one or two of them out loud together when we were homeschooling.

Unfortunately, I don’t remember as many of these books as I do the books for younger kids, probably because at this point he branched off into reading on his own rather than our reading together. For a while I tried to read everything he read, but he had a lot more time to read than I did then. 🙂

And though I was a voracious reader as a child, I don’t remember what specific books I read then, either.

But you can find others’ recommendations here.

And although the subject is classic books, and, though what is a classic is loosely defined, these books haven’t been around long enough to be called classics, I would highly recommend the Journey Forth division published by BJU Press. They are well written, wholesome, character-building books. Our absolute favorites were the Peabody Adventure series by Jeri Massi, and we also enjoyed A Father’s Promise by Donnalynn Hess, about a boy living through WWII, Medallion by Dawn Watkins, the Bracken Series by Jeri Massi, The Treasure of Pelican Cove by Milli Howard, and These Are My People by Milli Howard, about missionary Gladys Aylward.

6 thoughts on “Children’s Classics: Chapter Books

  1. My husband and I read Encyclopedia Brown in the 70’s! My daughter brought one or two home from school recently, and that cracked us up.

    I also think that the Little House books are great for boys–especially the first 3, because in the first two there’s lots of barn and cabin-building, and the 3rd is Farmer Boy.

  2. I loved Encyclopedia Brown as a kid too, and they’re on the list to read to my boy who just turned 5. He’s not reading on his own yet which means I control what we read, so I’m having fun skipping down memory lane when picking out books.

    I’ve been ambivalent about the Little House books as I always think of them being girl-centric, but it sounds like I shouldn’t pass on them so quickly.

  3. Yes….my boys (and I) loved Encyclopedia Brown books! A confession: I have saved every children’s book we every bought, so I will go home tonight and dig out my Encyclopedia Brown Books as well as my Little House books and set them on “my nightstand” and wait for another carnival. LOL

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