Christ-Centered Summer Reading List for Families
School has ended, and summer has arrived! During this time, there is no better way to stay academically “in shape” than by reading books. Children can continue their academic practice, and families can spend quality time with each other by making their very own summer reading list.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Books of The Bible
When thinking about assembling a reading list for the family, is there a better place to start than with God’s Word? Here are some recommendations of books in the Bible that you can enjoy as a family:
Matthew - Christians are followers of Christ, so it is important for us to know the story of Christ. The book of Matthew can give us that story through the eyes of one of Jesus’ trusted disciples.
Daniel – Our families are constantly tempted by society to do what everyone else does. In this book, we can see Daniel breaking the law in order to serve God and continue praying to Him, despite the consequences he could face from the king.
Esther – When reading this narrative, you will have many opportunities to discuss courage, obedience, and loyalty with your family. Esther is a young woman who courageously follows the path God has laid before her.
Jonah - This is a great story from the Bible that every child of any age can enjoy and learn from. The book of Jonah gives an excellent moral lesson that God delights in a repentant heart, and that with Him anything is possible.
Christian Non-Fiction and Fiction
There are also many great books that speak of the present day teachings and experiences of Christians. The following are some book suggestions that demonstrate the teachings of Christ.
“The Reasons for God” by Timothy Keller - The Christian faith is constantly bombarded by the teachings of secularism and atheism. In his powerful must-read, Keller pushes back against the modern idea that Christianity doesn’t stand up to questioning by showing what can really be learned if we choose to “doubt our doubts.” This short book takes readers through a Christian subject called “apologetics,” which seeks to give a reasoned basis for the Christian faith and the existence of God.
“The Chronicles of Narnia” by C. S. Lewis – This is a series of seven novels written by the renowned Christian author, C. S. Lewis. As you read, you will be teleported to a fantasy world where Christian morals and virtue glow in the darkness that surrounds the characters. This series can be read by most age groups and guarantees a great experience for everyone in the family.
“The 5 Love Languages of Children” by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell – You might recognize the first part of this title from the bestseller that was released in 1992. This edition speaks to the love languages that children show toward their parents. It is a great book to read through as a family, as it sparks conversations around how your children show their love and how you can show your love to them.
“The Devil in Pew Number Seven” by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo – This is a high school-level true story about what the Nichols family went through in the early 1970s. As we read, the story traces the true testing of faith that the family had to overcome with one of their cynical neighbors. Much like Daniel, Esther, and other Bible characters, Christians will be tested in many ways, and this nonfiction story encourages us to overcome our temptation by walking in forgiveness and living in accordance with the Bible.
“The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry” by John Mark Comer – Life in the digital age is hectic, hurried, and has a way of draining us to our very core—if we’re not careful. In his book, Comer seeks to combat the hurried life by taking a look at the way Jesus lived, and using that as a model for shaping one’s own life to fit under the “easy yoke.” Every member of the family will benefit from taking the step to engage in the disciplines (sabbath, prayer, etc.) that Comer outlines for walking in the way of Jesus in the modern world.
Reading as a family can be an incredibly bonding experience. It allows you to use your imagination and go to another place and time—together! You can take turns reading out aloud or read independently, and come together to discuss the book. Either way, we encourage you to take time this summer to read as a family.