Christian Books for Families
"Because We Believe In A God Who Loves Us All . . ."
by Arnold Ytreeide
For Parents . . .
This page is just for you, to help you decide which books, if any, are appropriate for your children and teens.
The Jotham's Journey series is a favorite among hundreds of thousands of families around the world. They choose one of the four stories each Advent season, reading one chapter per night. Each chapter ends with a devotional thought that focuses Christmas on Christ, and can impact your children in powerful ways. However, while these stories are not graphic, they do contain some violence and some scary situations. Jesus wasn't born into a perfect, sinless world. He was born into a sometimes cold and cruel world, and a hint of that shows through these stories. We recommend that if you have very young or sensitive children, you pre-read each chapter and skip over those parts you feel might be frightening to them until they're older.
That said, we need to add that we've had literally thousands of letters and comments from parents telling us how much their children loved the Jotham stories, and what an impact they had on them. Those children range everywhere from three years old to college age! You, of course, need to be the judge for your own family.
Amon's Adventure is very similar to the Jotham series, except that it's for Easter. The story centers on Jotham's son, thirty years later, and everything we said about Jotham above applies here.
The Mike Danford Series is an adventure series for pre-teens. It centers around two seventeen-year-old high school students who love to build things, invent things, and have adventures. Those adventures always get them into trouble with bad guys, though, and it's always up to them to save the day. This series is designed to teach basic Biblical concepts like selflessness, honoring your father and mother, faith in God, and so forth. The boys live by the motto "There's nothing wrong with doing right," which often helps them make good decisions.
Mike and Josh aren't perfect though, and sometimes mess up. When they do, there are always consequences, and the boys always learn a lesson from their mistakes. These ARE adventure books, but there shouldn't be anything in them too graphic or scary for ages eight to fourteen. We've had many parents tell us that even their older teens refuse to put down these books, and we've seen children as young as six beg for more after every chapter.
Under My Teacher's Desk was written just for fun for the fourth grade class of the author's wife. Since she taught at a public school, the book is not overtly Christian in nature. However, it does teach the basic Christian principle of selflessness, and helps kids understand that they're okay, even if God didn't happen to make them the best baseball player or the smartest at math. There are also good messages about judging others, racism, the importance of education, and more.
The two autobiographies we have - A Life In Photography with God and North Dakota South Pacific are from Arnold's grandfather and father, respectively. They're good stories about the "good old days", and both talk about how God influenced and protected their lives. Both books are fairly short, should be easy reading for fourth grade readers and above, and should make a good introduction for children to the idea of biographies.
In North Dakota South Pacific Arnold's father does write about the horrors of battle - he served on the aircraft carrier Saratoga in WWII and mentions seeing a man's arm left on a gun turret, and talks about Kamikaze attacks. He also tells one story about a sailor who was drunk while on liberty, but mentions it in a negative context and reports the dire consequences to the sailor. And, of course, in rural America in the 1930's it was nothing for boys to shed their clothes and go swimming any time they were near a swimming hole, but that's as graphic as he gets about that.
Other than that, there should be nothing in either book that would frighten, disturb, or emotionally harm a child ten or older.
Also, most books have BONUS FEATURES on this website, with maps, drawings, scriptures, biographies, and so forth. Encourage your kids to explore these pages.
Finally, we want you to know that we do not sell, rent, or otherwise abuse your email address, or other information with which you've entrusted us. We love to hear from kids, but it's not a marketing scheme: we're not trying to trick them into giving us their email, and we always encourage them to ask for parental permission before interacting online. We do communicate through email when we have specials, new book announcements, etc., but we try to limit that to our adult customers, and never, ever, give out that information to others.
Thanks for visiting here! We hope you'll find something that suits yourself and your kids. Feel free to leave us a comment with any questions or concerns.