The past few months, Ed has been reading all sorts of great books to the children. Story time with Dad is definitely a favorite at our house.
All the stories below met the just-one-more-chapter test. Though they may have been written for boys, my girls were just as attentive. I am guessing these books are geared for ages 10-12. My children are ages 6 to 11, but my younger children have listened to chapter books for years and are accustomed to hearing books above their age range.
And even I liked to listen to these books. And if a book isn't good enough for an adult to enjoy - it isn't worth reading to a child.
Note: The first few books on this list are not from a Christian perspective.
Little Britches by Ralph Moody
Every dad should read this wonderful book to his sons. Ralph shares the lessons about hard work and honesty that he learned from his father as they move to Colorado to start their own ranch. Lots of great fun mixed in with the hard work. This book does contain some "cowboy language" which makes it a good book to read aloud so it can be edited. The first book in a great series.
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
When the pilot dies of a heart attack, Brian is left alone in the Canadian wilderness with only a hatchet. A great book to imagine how one would survive alone with very few skills or tools. There were a few words in the book that Ed skipped when reading. Our children thought the sequel, Brian's Winter, was even better than Hatchet. But I don't like some of Paulsen's other books.
Call It Courage by Armstrong Perry
I remember my teacher reading this to me in 3rd or 4th grade. A classic story of a boy who faces his greatest fear, the sea, by living alone on an island. Battling a giant octopus, fighting a wild pig, and fleeing cannibals make this an exciting read. This is a story is a tale told in the South Sea Islands from before the missionaries arrived so there is mention of idol worship.
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Sam runs away from New York City to begin a new life in the Catskill wilderness. How he manages to survive and thrive makes favorite reading for several generations. On the Far Side of the Mountain is the sequel which adds Sam's sister to a mystery that my children loved.
These stories were fun - but maybe not always quite realistic. In fiction it is too easy to make everything work out perfectly. Real life isn't always so neat and tidy.
So next we read several true stories. Added benefit is that these stories are God-glorifying.
Lost on a Mountain Maine by Donn Fendler
Donn became separated from his family and friends while hiking Mt Katadin in Maine. The days that followed don't show the fun side of being lost alone in the wilderness but it is a true story and well worth reading and discussing with your family.
Home on the Rock Pile by Pablo Yoder
There is never a dull moment with pet skunks, rattlesnakes, bears, and a whole houseful of children. Pablo tells stories from his boyhood when his dad moved to the mountains of Virginia to begin a mission church. These books would be appropriate for a younger age level than the others listed here.
You will want to also read the sequel, Home on the Blue Ridge.
Survivor Kid: A Practical Guide To Wilderness Survival by Denise Long
After reading the above stories, my children were ready to learn more survival tactics. This is a great nonfiction book that covers building shelters, starting fires, searching for food, navigating, and avoiding dangerous animals (including the tiny guys.) Excellent book that will have your children hoping they get lost in the woods to use their new knowledge.
The Little Book of Whittling by Chris Lubkermann
The carving skills of the boys at the Allegany Boys Camp have inspired my boys to whittle. This little book is an excellent guide for a beginning wood carver. Includes side columns with all sorts of wilderness information. Our copy is dog eared. Check out the author's other wood carving books.
And if you are looking for a good carving knife - my boys are using Flexcut knives. Endless hours of fun (plus a few band-aids.)
My First Book of Knots by Berndt Sundsten and Jan Jager
Knot tying is a perfect skill for an adventure loving child. This book is well illustrated and just a lot of fun to look through. I think my boys have at least attempted most of these knots.
Do you have any books to add to this list for the Adventure Lover?
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