A sense of permanent worthiness surrounds great literature. Laughter, pain, hunger, love, and joy are found in classics. When our children become familiar with this kind of writing, then they have a foundation for making comparisons. Not everything they read will be excellent, but they will know a story's potential. Read stories in their original versions, not the watered-down versions without any drama or life. They may retell the classic stories, but they omit the basic elements that make the stories classics.


Fantasy hints of the greater existence that lies behind our day-to-day lives. Such literature often pulls the reader into new dimensions of space and time, worlds of wonder, and strange powers, where anything can happen and often does. Books of fantasy are sometimes gentle, sometimes wild, sometimes humorous, and sometimes deadly serious, however, at this age be careful that the content is appropriate for the child's age level.

Folk Tales

Now that children are secure in their understanding of real and make-believe, they find safe thrills with witches, dragons, and the unknown. These are the years when tall tales with humorous exaggeration, fairy tales, and myths are most appealing. Through such characters children will encounter danger, overcome fear, taste courage, and triumph over all odds.


Until now poetry has probably been limited to listening and chanting some familiar rhymes. Although children can read it themselves, poetry still should be enjoyed together.

3rd—5th Grade Recent Releases

The Beast of Blackslope: the Sherlock Files 2
The Case that Time Forgot: The Sherlock Files
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again
Franklin and Winsston: A Christmas That Changed the World
George: George Washington, Our Founding Father
Missing on Superstition Mountain
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Secrets at Sea
The Secret River
The Third Gift
Tuesdays at the Castle
Waiting for the Magic


Mysteries have special page-turner appeal. These books are built on action and suspense rather than on character development. They provide a simple plot, familiar characters, and welcome support to independent reading. Many adult readers acknowledge that this is where their love affair with books began.

Historical Fiction

Facts, dates, names, and places are usually too dry for children. However, they have an interest in the past, when the focus is on people and how they lived. The everyday details of how adults and children worked, played, dressed, and lived makes for a compelling story. When history is presented in this manner, kids can connect with the past in better and significant ways.

Picture Books for Older Children

These illustrated storybooks tend to be longer than most picture books, but shorter than novels. Not only the length separates these books, but content does also. These stories are more complex with a kind of literary sophistication that is beyond younger children.