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The BEST Books to Read as a Family

A special exploration of age-appropriate and clean reads for your children this summer
By Katrina Cheshire

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” – Albert Einstein

Does the thought of summer stress you out? No school to keep your kiddos busy, just months of having to entertain them and chase boredom away? If so…it’s time to think about Summer Reading. Even if you’re traveling this summer as a family, there is still ample time for your kids to read and listen to audiobooks along the way! 

Reading is one of the best things your child can do. It will enhance their vocabulary skills, grow their brain, and bring their imagination to life. However, you have to be careful that they’re reading the BEST books! There are so many books out there, and way too many of them are filthy, woke, and have an ulterior motive of destroying your child’s innocence. Protect your kids. Give them not only good books, but the BEST books!

Here at The Counter Culture Mom, we’re all about providing you with the resources you need to raise your kids for the kingdom. If you’re not sure where to start this summer, this list might be just what you need! It’s so important to know what your children are reading. Don’t ever hand them a book that you didn’t preview yourself. But if you just don’t have the time to read a million books this summer, rest assured that we’ve checked out this list for you!

Under 5

Only You Can Be You by Nathan and Sally Clarkson

Some kids like to dance and laugh out loud, and some sit quietly and make up stories in their heads–we’re all different and that’s okay, because the Maker of everything made us this way! This book beautifully teaches children true diversity and how special they are because of their Creator! If more little children learned this truth, we might just see suicide rates drop in this country, because children would grow up with a sense of their worth and value. 

I’m so Glad You Were Born by Ainsley Eardhardt

This book, releasing in September of 2022, is a celebration of life and children! It reminds children about their purpose, the plan for their life, that God loves them and they are worthy of life. Let’s teach children what a beautiful gift babies are, and watch the abortion rates drop in the years to come. Children need to learn that life is a gift from God!

Ages 6-10

The Treasure Tree by Gary and Norma Smalley

A delightful and colorful tale about friendship, this book will have your children’s attention riveted for hours upon end. When four friends set off on an adventure to find a Treasure Tree, they’re not prepared for the lessons they learn along the way. God has given us each amazing gifts, and it’s wonderful to see how He brings people together to accomplish His purpose!

The Rhyme Time Book of Christian Virtues by Michael Waite 

This charming collection of rhyming tales is supplemented with engaging and unique illustrations that your kids will LOVE. Each story teaches important lessons about virtue, character building, and Biblical truth! Definitely get your kids this one – they’ll never put it down!

Ages 11-15

Christian Heroes: Then and Now by Janet and Geoff Benge

The series that every tween and teen needs to read. A perfect blending of biographies and captivating stories, these books delve into the lives of missionaries and the great deeds they did for God. Your kids will be challenged and encouraged in their faith and their walk with the Lord, while learning the ups and downs of missionary life all around the world. 

The Knights of Arrethtrae by Chuck Black 

This amazing allegorical series is unlike any other. Six different knights, six places in the kingdom, along with monsters, villains, poisons, swamps, and every imaginable trap to stop them from accomplishing the King’s purpose. These books will teach your teens character, wisdom, and the importance of staying true to God’s Word!

Ages 16 and up

Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot

In a culture that has lost their minds with sexual obsession, this book is a Godsend. As Ruth Bell Graham said, this book is the straight stick that we can hold up against the crookedness of our culture. The achingly beautiful love story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, it shows how a relationship between a man and a woman can and should honor God. This book will challenge, convict, and encourage your teen to hold to a standard of purity unlike any other.

The C.S. Lewis Classics by C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis’ books should be in every house in America. The greatest theologian of the 20th century, he brought a life-changing perspective to every aspect of the Christian walk. As your teens are entering adulthood, these books are so needed in their lives! Young adults are in a season of life where they are forming ideas and opinions and facing new challenges – C.S. Lewis will convict and shape their thinking for the better!

Books to Read Aloud As a Family This Summer

The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Petersen 

This whimsical series is about 3 children who live in a world called Aerwiar (which is exactly like our world, except they don’t have electricity or gunpowder), and there are all sorts of creepy animals (like sea dragons, toothy cows, and snickbuzzards. With belly buttons. Yes.) The children are about to discover that the ordinary little town where they live is anything but ordinary. In fact, the family is at the center of a great mystery that will change their lives – and their world- forever. This series is all about family and how much we need one another, and it will have you laughing and crying your eyes out, all in the same day. 

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

The ultimate fairy tales. These books will transport your children into a world filled with talking animals, Father Christmas, witches, dragons, and children who reign as kings and queens. They’re unlike any other series, and you’ll watch with delight as your kids discover the Biblical parallels woven throughout each book. 

The Tales of the Kingdom by David and Karen Mains

If there was a list of the most beautifully illustrated books in the world, these books would be on it. They’re a collection of delightful stories about a King who rescues people from the Enchanter’s evil city and brings them into Great Park. In the end, the city itself is redeemed by the King. Absolutely perfect for family read-aloud time.

Your Challenge for This Summer!

This summer, challenge yourselves as a family to read aloud together 4 days or nights a week! It doesn’t have to be for a long period of time, but make it a priority. Before you know it, your children will be grown and gone. Don’t miss out on these precious opportunities to shape their lives and make memories that will last forever!



The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team.


Tina and Katrina talked all about amazing books on the show this week – check out the episode for a few more awesome book options and more discussion about why good books are so foundational for your children’s lives! (Episode 197)



Katrina Cheshire is a home school and Bible college graduate and the author of Seller of DreamsShe is passionate about good stories and the power they can have in shaping a life.

With seven siblings her life is full of adventure and excitement! She loves to design and sew clothing. She enjoys writing endless stories and read even more of them. You can find her making music with her brothers and sisters or dancing for the glory of God.

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