These recommendations will engage and excite young readers while instilling faith-based values.
Summer is winding down (already?), and kids are getting ready to go back to school. If the students in your life are less than excited to “hit the books” again, give them a back-to-school surprise of a book they’ll enjoy reading! They’ll have so much fun, they won’t even notice they’re sharpening their reading skills (and making their teachers happy).
Elementary School Reads
The Dead Sea Squirrels Series by Mike Nawrocki
Mike Nawrocki, co-creator of VeggieTales, is back with a new series for kids filled with fun, humor, and character-building lessons!
Meet Merle and Pearl, two 2,000-year-old squirrels from Bible times who were petrified in sea salt, rehydrated, snuck into the United States in a 12-year-old boy’s backpack, and now live in modern-day Tennessee with their new friend, Michael. How did that happen? Read all about how this salty couple came to be here, and follow their zany adventures in the first three books of the Dead Sea Squirrel series, together in this new set.
Winnie the Horse Gentler Series by Dandi Daley Mackall
Twelve-year-old Winnie Willis has a way with horses. She can gentle the wildest mare, but other parts of her life don’t always come as easily. Along with her dad and sister, Lizzy, Winnie is learning how to live without her mom, who was also a natural horse gentler. As Winnie teaches her horses about unconditional love and blind trust, God shows Winnie that he can be trusted too. Readers will be hooked on the series’ vivid characters, whose quirky personalities fill Winnie’s life with friendship and adventure.
Join Winnie and her friends—both human and animal—on their adventures through paddock and pasture as they learn about caring for others, trusting God, and growing up.
Red Rock Mysteries Series by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry
Watch out! The Timberline twins are on the loose. Bryce and Ashley are ATV-riding tweens from Colorado who unearth action-packed mystery and adventure wherever they go. From clearing the name of a local miscreant to thwarting a gold-stealing heist, the twins’ growing faith and the strong example of their parents guide them through even the most life-threatening situations. With the trademark page-turner style used by Jerry Jenkins and Chris Fabry in the Left Behind: The Kids series, these fast-paced books will keep even reluctant readers on the edge of their seats. Readers will definitely be hooked! Perfect for ages 8-12.
Older Elementary and Middle School Reads
Dragons in Our Midst Series by Bryan Davis
“Bryan Davis writes with the scope of Tolkien, the focus of Lewis, the grandeur of Verne, and most of all the heart of Christ.” —Jeremiah F., reader
A boy with fiery breath . . . a girl with dragon wings . . .
Outcasts Billy and Bonnie must come together to preserve a secret legacy more than a millennium in the making. They find their lives turned upside down when they are thrust into a war against evil, a war they didn’t even know was being waged. Their newly formed friendship is tested and shaped as they are forced to fight a malevolent slayer who wields a powerful, medieval weapon and is intent on exterminating their dragon heritage forever.
The Riverbend Friends Series from Focus on the Family
The Riverbend Friends series travels alongside four friends as they deal with teen life in Riverbend, Indiana. Each novel inspires girls and young women to deepen their relationships with God and solve their problems in God-honoring ways.
A girl’s best hope for surviving high school is her friends. Join Tessa, Shay, Izzy, and Amelia as they laugh together, lean on each other, and discover that God is a Friend who’s always got their back.
The High Water Series by Tim Shoemaker
The High Water Series from Focus on the Family blends contemporary mystery and suspense, dramatic situations, and high adventure that 12- to 15-year-old boys and girls will love.
In first book of the series, a park ranger’s son hates the Everglades, and he thinks he’ll just die if he doesn’t escape Southern Florida soon . . . and he’s right. After Parker Buckman is mauled and nearly killed by an alligator, he sees the glades as a place of death. All he wants to do is get out of the area, and he’s convinced he won’t truly be okay until he does. But he can’t leave until he finds a friend who goes missing.