Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Books for Boys

A colleague recently asked me for some recommendations for books for boys, so I thought I’d post my list and reflections here. Many more no doubt could or should be listed, but below are some books my boys and I have enjoyed. I compiled the list by giving a quick look back over this blog and by asking my sons what they remembered as their favorites. Links take you to discussions of these books on this blog. Typically my thoughts on the age range for the book can be found at the link.

First, here are a few really good articles on the topic. Some relate specifically to boys and others more generally to the importance of reading good stories:
“Living with Books” from this blog
Thomas Spence, Wall Street Journal, “How to Raise Boys Who Read.” 

C. S. Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit (younger ages), Lord of the Rings (older)
John White, The Archives of Anthropos series- The Sword Bearer, Gaal the Conqueror, The Tower of Geburah- good allegorical fantasy; some dark elements

R. M. Ballantyne- The Coral Island, and others- With a boy as the main character in each story Ballantyne tells great adventure stories with the Christian faith prominently featured
G. A. Henty (blog entries)- Good historical fiction with a boy as the main character. Some are better than others. Character, courage, faith and perseverance are prominent. My favorite Henty is In the Reign of Terror (French Revolution)

Alta Abernathy, Bud & Me : The True Adventures of the Abernathy Boys Fascinating true story of perseverance, courage and family

Douglas Bond, Hostage Lands- Roman Britain
Rosemary Sutcliffe- The Lantern Bearers, Eagle of the Ninth- Roman Britain
Piet Prins Struggle For Freedom Series (Martin & Boudewyn) When the Morning Came, Dispelling the Tyranny, [others in series]
Douglas Bond, The Crown & Covenant Series- Duncan’s War, King’s Arrow, Rebel’s Keep (combined review)- one of our favorite series ever; Scottish history
Kathleen Fidler, I Rode with the Covenanters
Peter Reese Doyle, Drums of War series- American Revolution
Douglas Bond- Faith & Freedom trilogy- Guns of Thunder, Guns of the Lion- American Revolution

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Saturday, December 08, 2012

The Mail Box Tree

I have mentioned a number of good Christmas books here over the years including Gabriel’s Magic Ornament by my friend and colleague, Randall Bush. Recently Randall’s follow up The Mailbox Tree (volumes 1 & 2) have also been released. Below is my endorsement which appears on the back of the book.

"Christmas is in danger! The seed of the Serpent is once again trying to snuff out the light in our world and in Arboria. It’s up to two boys, Alex and Grant, with angelic help, to uncover the truths about Christmas from the past in order to preserve Christmas for the present and future. This is a wonderful romp of a story, delightful fun saturated with deep truths. Amidst the fun and adventure, it is a primer on the interpretation of Christian symbolism in scripture and history.
Randall Bush’s previous two Christmas novels are favorites of our family so we were excited to hear of a third installment- and it did not disappoint! If you want to enrich your family’s celebration while gathered around a fun book together, make Randall Bush’s Christmas books a part of your family’s tradition."

These are great books with good humor, fun adventure, and profound insight. I encourage you to enjoy them with your family this Christmas.

The publisher is currently offering a special deal on the whole series!

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