If you have young readers in your life, you are no doubt on the hunt for books that will both inspire and instruct their learning and enjoyment. In truth though, unless you are a voracious reader yourself, it can be difficult to stay ahead of the curve as children's reading aptitudes rise. A quick browse on the on-line public library reveals how provocative young adult titles are today. On one search page alone, the thumbnail book images show lurid romances, zombie apocalypses, and a whole lot of darkness just for darkness' sake. This is nothing new except that these genres are dominating the market more than ever before, and one can be hard-pressed to find alternative options in the new release section that are profitable reading.
Redeemed Reader is a Christ-centered blog which serves to aid in this quest. Their Mission Statement reads,
Our goal at Redeemedreader.com is to shine a gospel light on children’s literature so that Christian parents, educators, and the children they nurture may read in a more redeemed and redeeming way.
Managed by six different contributors--some of whom are moms and educators themselves, and all of whom are literary enthusiasts, there is an under-girding wisdom in their reviews which is helpful in guiding readers toward books that benefit rather than tear down faith. They define their beliefs:
We believe that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. And only through faith in His atoning work on the cross can we find access to that life. Yet we all agree that Christ calls his people to “think Christianly”–to follow God’s thoughts after Him–and in so doing, He conforms our hearts and our culture to His glory.
Redeemed Reader specializes in reviewing new and old books through the lens of a redeemed worldview. They use the following specifications on a 5-star system: Cautions, Overall Rating, Worldview Rating, and Artistic Rating. Just because a book is reviewed does not mean it is being endorsed. Categories range from wee ones to young adult and adult genres.
In addition to reviews, Redeemed Reader offers summer reading challenges, curriculum and reading guides, helps in discussing current events with kids, as well as links to relevant podcasts and author interviews.
Two of their more recent posts which highlight the timely relevance of this sight are linked below.
The first post offers insight in discussing persecution with your children in light of the recent martyrdom of 21 Christians in Egypt: affirming the truth that in times of both persecution and plenty, God's word must be what people of the cross cling to.
The second post is an Easter devotional which comes highly recommended. The twist to this book is that it begins the week before Easter and ends one week after. The week following Easter teaches on the appearings by the resurrected Christ and how we look forward to His second coming.
This site is certainly not the only of its kind, but it is very biblically based, true to its mission and very well done. I hope you find it helpful in guiding the young readers you know.
What tools do you use to find good reads? Please do share in the comments to further the discussion and benefit us all.