This blog post contains affiliate links to books we have enjoyed as a family.
Just a quick one this morning, as I look back on some of the books we have enjoyed as a family. Some of them the children have read themselves and some we have read together either snuggled up or alone, coming together to discuss. Occasionally we have found them on audio book, and they have been enjoyed over a meal or a car trip.
But they are all here, because in looking back over the lives of my children they have left a mark on our family in some way.
An Australian author, my girls especially loved Gleitzman. Not because he is anyway girly, but because like David Walliams (see below) he deals with real topics in a way children can relate to. I found his books to be very resilience building and was always happy to have them in our home.
He tackles topics like Antisemitism and war in the Once, Then, Now, After, Soon series of books. He tackles childhood cancer in Two Weeks with the Queen. And talks about the refugee crisis in Boy Overboard for example. If you want books that aren’t afraid to tackle the big issues of life, with warmth, dignity, humour and an open-minded world view, then you can’t go past Gleitzman.
The Percy Jackson Series-
This has captured Joey’s imagination, the interweaving of fiction and Greek Mythology has kept him entertained throughout the series. He has felt a connection with the characters and has become immersed in their lives.
Not as big a hit with Joey as it was with my older children, we read some of these together and some alone. It was a bitter-sweet moment that it was also made into a show, as this seemed to discourage my more reluctant readers from keeping up with the books. But they were definitely a firm favourite for a long time. And certainly the show was also much loved in our home.
Anything by David Walliams–
Joey has loved these books, he often brings me a finished one and begs for me to read it. He says he finds them very interesting, and they can be emotional. He said they aren’t really little kids books but rather quite grown upish! He tells me he also finds them hilarious.
For me Walliams is akin to the modern-day Roald Dahl, bringing to life characters in a similar way with a modern twist. He has captured the heart of what it is to be a child in an adults world and how that translates into adventure, fun and frivolity, all the while bringing a moral or truth to grasp hold of.
Another Australian author, this series was one that I enjoyed reading with my eldest son. He would read first and I would quickly devour the book soon after. We loved the rich characters, woven into historical fiction. Not the history of truth, but of imagination, where history is woven together with imagination, much like a child’s version of Game of Thrones (without the smut and gore). It is the story of 15-year-old Will, who is chosen to train as a Ranger’s Apprentice, this series will keep anyone with an adventurous soul entertained.
The infamous mild-mannered mouse detective, was a series my niece put me onto when were home visiting Australia in 2013. At the time Joey was 6 years old and was enjoying chapter books. This is a Scholastic series, brought about by the author Elizabeth Dami an Italian children’s fiction writer. Geronimo a young mouse journalist come detective is joined by his sister Thea and their cousin Trap, with 9-year-old nephew Benjamin also joining in the adventures. Geronimo would much prefer to led a quiet life unlike his sister Thea. This was a much-loved series in our house.
And lastly, one of the most memorable books I think we shared together as a family was the Witch of Blackbird Pond. This story we had on audio book from the local library, and we listened together in the car and over meals. It was one we couldn’t wait to listen to the next bit, but also couldn’t bear for it to end.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Speare, Elizabeth George
If there was ever a book to challenge our world view as a family it was this one. Having been raised in quite a fundamental Christian home myself, and involved at that time in a very charismatic Pentecostal (Spiritually abusive) church. This book challenged me at the very core of my beliefs, and is probably one of the most poignant books I have read for instigating self-examination and change to my own faith and walk. It no doubt helped shape the hearts of my children as well, as at the time it was very much discussed in terms of our modern-day life and the way ‘we’ the church can often ostracise people we don’t understand or are not like us.
The year is 1687 and the young woman known as Kit Tyler is forced to leave her home in Barbados to live amongst a puritan community in Wethersfield, Connecticut after becoming orphaned after the death of her grandfather. Forced from her home to escape a marriage proposal from a much older man, she finds herself in a new life with her aunt and uncle. Being in a Puritan community is difficult for Kit as she tries to reconcile what she knows and believes about God with the often hard and ungraceful community she finds herself in.
It’s an oldie but a goodie!
How about you, what books are you enjoying as a family?
Would love to hear the ones that are leaving a mark on your heart and home.