Books about Books

Each of the following books about books include great reading lists and would be helpful in searching out quality literature for yourself and your children. You should be able to locate several at your public library.

For the Love of Literature by Maureen Wittmann – Teaching core subjects through literature. Literary suggestions number more than 900 and are categorized by school subject and grade level. Check for purchasing information.

Books that Build Character: A Guide to Teaching Your Child Moral Values through Stories by William Kilpatrick and Gregory & Suzanne Wolfe – The extensive book list gives summaries on each of the recommended books. Very good.

Catholic Mosaic by Cay Gibson [Hillsdale] – Picture books ordered by the Liturgical year. Mini-unit studies included for several of the books. Discussion questions, vocabulary words, copy work, activities, and observations are included in the units.

Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum: A Guide to Catholic Home Education by Laura Berquist [Ignatius] – One of my favorite homeschooling books, it is worth the price just for the literary suggestions.

KolbeAcademy Recommended Reading List – This is Kolbe Academy’s biggest selling item, and with good reason. Visit or call (707) 255-6499 for a catalog. Simple, yet helpful, list,

How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler – This is the perfect book to give a student going off to college, or a high school student who is serious about receiving a good liberal arts education. Originally published in 1940, the reader is taught the various levels of reading, reading techniques, and how to analyze, among other things.

A Mother’s List of Books by Theresa Fagan – By a Catholic homeschooling mother who has personally reviewed the books on her list.

Literary suggestions are separated by age group and ordered by authors’ last names. Order from Emmanuel Books or send $6.25 plus $1.50 s/h to: Theresa Fagan, 8801 Kensington Pkwy, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.

Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home by Elizabeth Foss [By Way of Family] – Mrs. Foss does an excellent job in showing parents how they can implement Charlotte Mason’s educational model into their homes. Excellent reading list in the back, by grade level, but only through eighth grade.

A Student’s Guide to Literature (ISI Guides to the Major Disciplines) by R. V. Young – This slender book is a guide to Western literature. Includes brief biographies and reading lists to introduce young college students to the classics. I would also recommend this book to an upper level high school student,

Whigs and Tories: An American Revolution Reading List by Elizabeth Yank – The ultimate reading list for the American Revolution with over 350 titles, divided by reading level. Also includes a helpful introduction, timeline, booklist about other people and events during the Revolution, commentary on the Catholic impact, and a list of Catholic text and reference books. Craft and activity books are also included. To order, send $6.50 to Elizabeth Yank, 703 Michigan Ave., South Milwaukee, WI 53172 or email

Other titles to consider:

All Through the Ages by Christine Miller

Books to Build On: A Grade-by-Grade Resource Guide for Parents and Teachers (The Core-Knowledge Series) by John Holdren and E. D. Hirsch, Jr

Books Children Love: A Guide to the Best Children’s Literature (Revised Edition) by Elizabeth Wilson

The Heart of Virtue: Lessons from Life and Literature Illustrating the Beauty and Value of Moral Character by Donald DeMarco (Ignatius Press)

Honey for a Child’s Heart (Fourth Edition) by Gladys Hunt

Honey for a Teen’s Heart: Using Books to Communicate with Teens by Gladys Hunt and Barbara Hampton

Landscape of Dragons: The Battle for Your Child’s Mind by Michael O’Brien [Ignatius]

The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had by Susan Wise Bauer

What Should We Then Read? by Jan Bloom

Reading Lists Online

These lists can be downloaded for free on the Internet. Print them out for trips to the library. This is Elizabeth Foss’ suggested literature list.

See also Foss’ site Reading through History
Alicia VanHecke’s (of fame) excellent chronological reading list for history.

Seton Home Study School
Seton’s list of great books, for K to 8th grade, to supplement their Catholic home study school. Scroll down and click on “reading lists.”

100 Good Books List
Reading list for adults. Provided by the Classical Christian Education Support Loop.

1000 Good Books List
Reading list for primary school through high school. Provided by the Classical Christian Education Support Loop. Before & Beyond Five in a Row
Great literature list for preschool, whether you use Five in a Row curriculum or not. What do you do when you finish Five in a Row? Go Beyond Five in a Row. Great reading list for upper grade school years. A Child’s Reading List
Provided by Eagle Forum. Sorted by reading level within genre. Ten Books Every Student Should Read in College The Ultimate Reading List – Classics That Endure

June 1997 Education Reporter The Database of Award Winning Children’s Literature This is an automated tool that enables you to compile a customized list. You can list books by a child’s reading level, historical period, geographic region, award (Newberry, Caldecott, etc.), and more. You can even choose the gender of the story’s protagonist.

Provided by:
The Thrifty Homeschooler