What is a living book?
Living books are well-written, interesting books, offering the reader rich stories instead of silly or empty fluff. Through these stories — whether in picture books or advanced chapter books — living books teach about life, character and the human spirit.
The links on this page and in the Living Books List are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
How do I use the list?
Use the controls at the top of the list to search, scroll through the pages, filter out only the entries you want to see (like reading level, subject, etc.) and control how many books show up in the list at once. Enjoy!
Here’s a quick video walk-through (disregard the end reference to my other site, AmyLynnAndrews.com):
Can I see a larger version?
What are your family’s favorite books?
I highlight my most favorite books on this page on Amazon. (Hover over the little comment icon in the top right corner of any of the items on that page to see my comments.) They make great gifts for the kiddos in your life!
Where does the list come from?
Many of the titles included in the list are ones we have read and enjoyed. However, we have not read them all. I also include recommendations from other trusted sources like:
- Hand That Rocks the Cradle by Nathaniel Bluedorn
- Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys M. Hunt
- 1000 Good Books List
- Ambleside Online
- Here and there, where I can find them.
Many of the books on the list are not religious in nature. However, there is a strong Christian bent.
Where does the term “living book” come from?
The term “living books” was originally coined by Charlotte Mason, an educator in the late 1800s and early 1900s. She may have lived in “the olden days” but her philosophy was brilliant: use great literature to teach, so learning is engaging and fun.
Why is this list here?
One way we’ve made life efficient is to integrate learning where we can. Good books are key. Plus, I wanted a list of great living books all in one place. Whether you’re a parent, a grandparent, a teacher, an aunt, an uncle or anyone who loves or gives books, you might consider these.
I’m Amy, an online entrepreneur and reluctant homeschooler.
I never intended to homeschool my kids. In fact, I was counting the days until I could send them to kindergarten so I could work, but a less-than-ideal school situation prompted us to consider homeschooling.
I was terrified at first, with visions of tiny desks in a dank basement and me standing at a blackboard all day, teaching my kids, traditional school style. Then a friend said, “Oh no, all you have to do is read.” That statement changed everything.
We would make trips to the library and check out hundreds of books at once (we had multiple library cards to make it possible). We then spent our days together on the couch, reading, reading, reading.
Living books saved me. I hold them entirely responsible for educating my 4 kids in their younger years.