My children love tales of adventures and heroism.
I love stories that teach them to be humble leaders and faithful friends.
And when the two combine, we have a family favorite for sure.
They may only be ages four, six, and eight. But stories have been shaping their thoughts and ideas since they were hardly older than their 11-month-old baby sister. They delight in fiction like The Borrowers and The Littles. They thrill at fantasy such as C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and Brian Jacques’ Redwall tales.
But I really celebrate when I find another new series of books that teaches them character and valor from a Christian perspective, even if it’s an unspoken one.
Here are four fantasy fiction series my children love to have read and re-read….
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The Larkin are a tiny people with a big God. At just one inch tall, they must fight for their lives against mice and beetles. They train their young men to be warriors, always prepared for an attack from the wild–or from the dreaded Renegades.
With personalities that would fit into any circle of Lord of the Rings Hobbits or Narnian dwarfs, the Larkin are loveable and quite quotable characters. But what sets the Larkin apart from the Renegades–and the rest of their literary counterparts–is their personal relationship with their Maker.
From the very first page, I was swept up in the adventures from Tales of Larkin. I’ve long been on the lookout for an exciting – and yet character-building – book for our younger children to read and such books are not easy to come by these days! Just to be sure, however, I handed it over to our 12 year-old son…and then watched him devour the story even more rapidly than me. Now all 3 of our boys have read this story over and over again. This one is an absolute winner for parents and children alike!
~ Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women
Reading Level 8+, Read-Aloud 6+
“Sometimes fairy stories may say best what’s to be said.”
Rabbits with swords. Can you picture them? Heather and Pickett have become household names to us. S.D. Smith’s “new story with an old soul” emphasizes the themes of friendship, bravery, and sacrifice along with lessons on pride and trust. It’s a story that will make you laugh and cry alike, sure to be a classic for years to come. And once you’ve gotten to know these faithful rabbits, you won’t want to miss the accompanying “Tales of Old Natalia”, The Black Star of Kingston and The Wreck and Rise of Whitson Mariner, as well as The Last Archer.
Reading Level 8+, Read-Aloud 4+
“When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
-C.S. Lewis, On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature
What’s not to love about a story about bears? Growly was an instant favorite with our kids. He’s loveable, relatable, and looks positively huggable. Growly’s coming of age ritual takes a different turn than he expects when the bird Tully brings a tip that may lead him to his father’s long-lost friend CJ. Along the way, Growly and Tully are befriended by a monkey named Chippy. And together, their adventures take them through
Along the way, Growly and Tully are befriended by a monkey named Chippy. And together, their adventures take them through rainforest, over mountains, across the ocean, and in fact into the world of men, until finally, they find the clues they seek.
But will they be in time to save CJ? And will Growly ever be able to make it back up the Precipice to his family and Ember? Enjoyed even by the littlest listeners, this series belongs on your shelf with all the classic bear stories like Paddington and Pooh.
Reading Level 8+, Read-Aloud 0+
“Fairy tales are more than true – not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.”
It took my children a little while to get into these “scary” books. But once they got to know Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby, and their dog Nugget, they were swept into the adventures of the three children as they run from the Fangs of Dang. Between escapes from the Toothy Cows of Skree, fearsome Sea Dragons, and the dreaded Black Carriage, it’s a saga of constant peril and adventure. Will their fear win out or will they stay faithful to their family and friends? Who will find the lost jewels of Anniera?
- On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness
- North! Or Be Eaten!
- The Monster in the Hollows
- The Warden and the Wolf King
- Wingfeather Tales
Reading Level 10+, Read-Aloud 8+
What literary adventures does your family enjoy?
I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
Because He Lives,
Here at Club31Women, we recognize that not everyone has the same taste or point of view on books or movies, but we offer these short reviews for your consideration. Our hope is that you will find something new and wonderful on this list of recommended reading!
~ Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women