Recommended Books For A Church School Library
By Sandy Sivulich
The Resource Handbook article, “Library Incentive Program” (‘85,1), described one parish’s successful program of encouraging children to read faith-related books. To implement such a program or simply to start a children’s library at the church, this article offers sources for the borrowing or purchase of books and a recommended list of some of the best books available.
Cheryl Pituch, author of the first article, recommends Orthodox bookstores and local religious bookstores as the sources they used for the books in their program.
St. Vladimir’s Seminary Bookstore
575 Scarsdale Rd.
Crestwood, N.Y. 10707
St. Tikhon’s Seminary Bookstore
South Canaan, Pa. 18459
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary Bookstore
50 Goddard Ave.
Brookline, Mass. 02146
Orthodox Christian Education Commission
P.O. Box 174, Centuck Station
Yonkers, N.Y. 10710
When writing to the Seminary bookstores for a catalogue, ask that they specifically identify for you the books that are written for children, indicating the general age level. These bookstores are a good source for lives of Orthodox saints written for children.
Sandy Sivulich, a children’s librarian, is also excited about this project and has developed the following list of books she highly recommends. As she states, “I was so delighted by the content of each title as I typed them out.” She writes,
The following is a listing of SPIRITUAL BOOKS FOR CHILDREN. The titles are not overtly “religious”. However, these books represent the best literature available in the effective domain for children of various ages. They cover a variety of themes including old age, prejudice, beauty, wonder, sacrifice, love, death, abandonment, persecution, prayer, .humility, minorities and justice. There is no recipe for making a sensitive, caring human being. However, through good literature we can non-didactically offer our children Christian values and ideals. “Through the windows of beauty we see truth.”
The lists are broken down into three age categories covering the elementary school years, but as with all good literature, the books can be enjoyed and appreciated by all ages. The books on these lists can be ordered and purchased through regular bookstores. Books that are designated “out of print” can be borrowed from the local library.
YOUNGER BOOKS (AGES 3-6)
Title Author Publisher
Two of Them. Aliki, Greenwillow.
Runaway Bunny. Brown, Harper.
Miss Rumphius. Cooney, Viking.
Now One Foot. Now the Other. De Paola, Putnam. Paperback-Putnam.
Ask Mr. Bear. Flack, MacMillan.
Fox and Heggie. Guzzo, Whitman.
The Wave. Hodges, Out of Print.
Maxie. Kantrowitz, Out of Print.
Emma. Kesselman, Doubleday. Paperback-Harper.
Frederick. Lionni, Pantheon.
George and Martha. Marshall, Houghton Mifflin.
The Stonecutter. McDermott, Viking.
Suko and the White Horse: A Legend of Mongolia. Otsuka, Out of Print.
Dawn. Shulevitz, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.
Noah’s Ark. Spier, Doubleday. Paperback - Doubleday.
Amos and Boris. Steig, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.
Owly. Thaler, Harper.
The Checker Players. Venable, Lippincott.
Curl Up Small. Warburg, Out of Print.
A Chair For My Mother. Williams, Greenwillow.
A Special Trade. Wittman, Harper.
Crow Boy. Yashima, Viking. Paperback - Harper.
Say It!. Zolotow, Greenwillow.
William’s Doll. Zolotow, Harper. Paperback - Harper
MIDDLE BOOKS (AGES 6-9)
Title Author Publisher
Nadia the Willful. Alexander, Pantheon.
Dawn. Bang, Morrow.
The Wish Giver. Brittain, Harper.
Molly’s Pilgrim. Cohen, Lothrop.
Yussel’s Prayer. Cohen, Lothrop.
Clown of Cod. De Paola, Harper. Paperback - Harper.
Hundred Dresses. Estes, Harper. Paperback - Harper.
Half-A-Moon Inn. Fleishman, Out of Print.
Brothers; A Hebrew Legend. Freedman, Harper.
The Dwarf Pine Tree. Lifton, Atheneum.
The Hundred Penny Box. Mathis, Viking.
The Superlative Horse. Merrill, Out of Print.
Annie and the Old One. Miles, Little.
The Sign in Mendel’s Window. Phillips, MacMillan.
My Mother Is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World. Rehyer, Out of Print.
A Thousand Pails of Water. Roy, Knopf.
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Steig, Windmill. Paperback - Windmill.
Juan. Stolz, Out of Print.
Charlotte’s Web. White, Harper. Paperback - Harper.
The Seventh Mandarin. Yolen, Out of Print.
OLDER BOOKS (AGES 9-12)
Title Author Publisher
Taran Wanderer. Alexander, Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Paperback - Dell.
Search For Delicious. Babbitt, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. Paperback - Bantam.
One Eyed Cat. Fox, Bradbury. Paperback - Dell.
All Together Now. Bridgers, Knopf.
The Mermaid’s Daughter. Card, Out of Print.
My Side of the Mountain. George, Dutton. Paperback - Dutton.
Bright and Morning Star. Harris, Out of Print.
Moon in the Cloud. Harris, Out of Print.
The Uttle Fishes. Haugaard, Out of Print.
The Skating Rink. Lee, Houghton Mifflin. Paperback - Dell.
Wrinkle in Time. L’Engle, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. Paperback-Dell.
Alan and Naomi. Levin, Harper.
Sarah. Plain and Tall. MacLachlan, Harper.
Bridge to Terabithia. Paterson, Crowell. Paperback - Avon.
A Day No Pigs Would Die. Peck, Knopf. Paperback - Dell.
Words By Heart. Sebestyen, Little. Paperback - Bantam.
Alfred Summer. Slepian, MacMillan. Paperback - Scholastic.
Homecoming. Voight, Atheneum. Paperback - Scholastic.
The Loner. Wier, Out of Print but available on cassette from Random House.