Reading Books – Meeting New People

Reading good books is like meeting new people.  You can travel through time and space and make the most interesting acquaintances curled up in your armchair. Silent reading is a very inexpensive and timely way to gain a good education.  Reading good books exposes the student to correct spellings, new vocabulary, history, thoughtfulness, etc..  I could go on and on listing the benefits of reading books but there are just too many.  It is an important habit that is not difficult to establish.

First, aim high.  Children can read a lot of books, more than just two or three a month.  You might have to turn off the television and computer to get in some good reading time.

Here is a very short list of books you may want your children to read.  I did not include obvious biographies like George Washington and others.  This list includes some books you may not be acquainted with.  These are very interesting and have strong educational value.

Books About Real People, Places and Things – Grades 1-4

You may want to read these books aloud to young children.  This is not an exhaustive list but only a few suggestions to get started.

  • Born Free - Joy Adamson
  • Paddle to the Sea, Tree in the Trail, Seabird, Pagoo - Holling Clancy Hollings
  • Thomas Alva Edison - Mervin Kaufman
  • When an Animal Grows, Let's Get Turtles - Milicent Selsam
  • Amos Fortune, Free Man - Elizabeth Yates

Books About Real People, Places and Things – Grades 5-9

  • Letters - Abigail Adams
  • Barnum's Own Story - P.T. Barnum
  • The Worst Journey in the World, Antartic, 1910-1913 - Apsley George Benet Cherry-Garrard
  • The Living World - Michael Bright
  • Muir of the Mountains - William O. Douglas
  • Solve It - James F. Fixx
  • Paul Revere and the World He Lived In; Johnny Tremain - Esther Forbes
  • Ann Frank: The Dairy of a Young Girl - Ann Frank
  • Homesick:  My Own Story; Stonewall - Jean Fritz
  • Geronimo's Story of His Life - Geronimo
  • Alexander the Great - John Gunther
  • Kon Tiki; The Ra Expeditions - Thor Heyerdahl
  • The Story of My Life - Helen Keller
  • Letters to Horseface - Ferdinand N. Monjo
  • Leonardo Da Vinci; Joan of Arc - Jay Williams

You can find more lists of good books at your library.  Just ask the children's librarian to show you the reference books that have suggested reading lists.


Randi St. Denis is an educator, popular homeschool speaker, and a seasoned homeschooling mom. Randi works as a consultant to public, private, and homeschool families; providing teaching expertise and assistance for all types of children. You can visit her website at ChicagoHomeschoolExpo.com.

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