Books to Inspire

I was raised with a love of books. From having a mother and grandmother that loved to read, to friends that enjoyed the library day just as much as I did. Books are a very big part of me, a very real influence in how I look at things and the magic that I choose to believe is real. They make life more bright and exciting by opening up thoughts that we would never had had on our own. They can fill you with magic or despair, love or hate, truth or lies. They can help you look at life as a magical place or as just an everyday occurrence that will basically be the same for everyone. They teach, they inspire, they bring humor and wit. That is if you choose the right books.

You can call me immature or childish, but it doesn’t change the fact that I love children’s books more than adult books. No, it’s not because I can’t grasp deeper ideas or thoughts. It is simply because adult books don’t have the ability to move or inspire me the way children’s do. Not all, mind you. I have several that I absolutely love and have read them many times. But even they don’t spark my imagination, they touch my romantic side.

So why am I telling you all about my love for children’s books? I found myself looking through book lists over the last several days, making lists of my own, trying to get ideas for future read alouds and recommendations for the kids to read to themselves. I want books that draw them in and hold them there. Books that make them come back to read every chance they get. Books that fill them with the possibility of “what ifs”, “could I’s”, and “I want to do that’s”. Books that remain with them long after the last page is read.

I wrote pages worth of ideas, literally pages you guys,for ages 0-11.
Books to Inspire ~ From a Montana Front Porch

Those being of course the ages I need right now. And then since I was having so much fun and feeling so inspired, I looked at a list for 12-14 year olds. Mistake. Big mistake.

Sex. Dating. Sexuality. Hating school. Sex. Bad friendships. Divorce. Dating. Sex. Thongs(yes I did read that in the title of a book). Angst. Did I mention sex and dating?

Why, please tell me why, when teenagers are already going through so much personal insanity of their own, why for the love of their sanity do we then only fill them with more of the same insanity in their books?!? They don’t need to read about it, they see it every day. And for those that are lucky enough to not see it every day, why would you want to show it to them so early in their lives?

Why, when they reach this crazy but critical age, do we take away a source of imagination, creativity, beauty, adventure, and heroics? Why do we take away joyful and beautiful and replace it with dark, and depressing? Because it’s “real”? Because we want to prepare them for real life?

I say let them be filled with the beautiful possibilities that lie within an adventure or a fantasy, a book filled with hero’s and heroin’s who are brave enough to do things their own way, regardless of what others think they should do. Let them believe and see where it takes them, and then let real life prepare them for real life. You will find kids who are brave enough to do things their own way. You will find kids who aren’t swayed by the crowd. Who have enough self-worth to not have to go through some of the ‘things’ parents don’t want their kids to go through. They won’t grow up delusional or out of touch. They will grow up with a genuine awe and wonder for the world around them, with the ability to find the beauty in the everyday. They will have the ability to see what’s really important in people and make relationship choices based on that. I’m not saying that they won’t make mistakes, even the greatest hero’s made mistakes. What I am saying is that when they fall, they won’t stay there. They will bounce back ready for the next adventure.

This is what I am going to give my kids. This is why I will keep searching for those books that give these things to them. And this is why I will keep reading from the children’s section.

“As parents it’s not our job to toughen up our children to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless” ~ I.R.Knost

Love from here,


15 thoughts on “Books to Inspire

  1. Stick with the classics. The reading level is generally more difficult because those authors use real vocabulary with multiple syllables and long convoluted sentences which make you pay attention if you’re going to be able to follow the story. There are still some YA authors who write stories without all the objectionable material, but it is tough for those folks to get published these days, You could just move up to adult books and bypass the young adult section. Still, I love James Flanagan’s Ranger Apprentice series – so great for boys. No sex!

  2. Our kids loved the Mice of the Herringbone, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, Little Britches series…they are 26 and 24 and still love to read! Our daughter is working hard to become a published writer; our son works with animation programming. Both were homeschooled. Neither care to read, and or watch “smut”. Good books are out there and well worth searching for. Happy hunting!

  3. Oh! I was just going to say–go for the classics. I had girls, so I am more familiar with those like “Jane Eyre” and “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” –which I read, both of them, at 14. That and “Gone With the Wind” (sigh). You’ve read “Hatchet”? Can you read aloud one of the Dickens books and do some studies on England and the Industrial Revolution at the same time?
    I’ve had lots of discussion with my own now grownup girls about books for their kids that aren’t dark, and I can probably come up with a list if you want…

  4. Oh boy! You sure caught my attention! As a school librarian, I love your lists! I also prefer the YA books. May I add a few to your list – Tangerine (forgot the author), anything by Gary Paulsen – mainly his Hatchet series. But one of his biographies “0 to 60” is great but not for kids. Fascinating man. Oh golly, it is late and I am having a brain fade. Oh ya, My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. Dewey, the library cat…..seriously! A true story of a rescued cat living in a public library!! Rest assured, I will add to your list even more!! Enjoy!!

    • Thank you Shelly for your recommendations! Oldest Ranch Boy loved the book Hatchet, and was excited to see that there were others by the same author. I will have to add your other suggestions to our lists….they keep growing and growing! πŸ˜€ ~ Bobbie

  5. I have to agree with you. I feel for kids growing up and having to choose their reading from what is provided in the public places.

    Some of the best books have hit the discard piles in the libraries.

    I recommend….

    Rosemary Sutcliff. She wrote a lot of very good historical fiction books, The Eagle of the Ninth being one of them. Not to be mistaken for the movie that was LOOSELY and poorly based on a very good book.
    Howard Pyle’s Men of Iron.
    Eloise Jarvis McGraw (hard to find some of hers, but Moccasin Trail is one).
    My boys couldn’t get into reading until we found Hank the Cowdog books. One boy is reading them to his son, and they both sit and laugh.

    I could go on and on.
    And I want to compliment you on your website. Nicely done.

    • First, Thank you very much for your compliment and for leaving your recommendations! I had completely forgotten about Moccasin Trail, but I will go find it on my bookshelf now! The others I haven’t heard of but will have to add them to our list. πŸ™‚ Thank you again! ~ Bobbie

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