Classical Childrens Books

Childrens Christian Books

Our list of childrens Christian books is made up of stories that have passed the torch of faith for generations. These classical books were read by our grandparents and will be read by our grandchildren.

Christian Books for Kids

Christian Literature Classics for Kids

Pilgrim's Progress

By John Bunyan

Christian Allegory
Age: Depending on the version, may be read to young children.
Original is high school level
Written in 1678, the original, unabridged edition of this Christian classic is not a child's story per se. However, many books including children's editions have been printed. (A number of movies and games have also been made.) The first part is the story of Christian, a new believer, who encounters many problems on his journey to the Celestial City. Some of the places he visits on his journey have names such as Slough of Despond, Delectable Mountains, and the Valley of the Shadow of Death. He encounters people with names like Hopeful, Giant Despair, and Ignorance. The second part is the story of his wife, Christiana, and her journey with their children. Besides the Bible, this is claimed to be the next most read and printed book in the world.

The Bronze Bow

By Elizabeth George Speare

Historical Fiction - Childrens Christian Books
4th to 8th Grade
Daniel Bar Jamin lives in Judea in the first century and witnessed the death of his father by crucifixion. Filled with anger, he joins a band of outlaw rebels, only to be disappointed in them. He and two friends have numerous adventures and decide to try themselves to rid the country of the Romans. But his sister Leah becomes ill. It looks like the only one who might be able to help her is a traveling rabbi named Jesus.

Treasures of the Snow

By Patricia St. John

Childrens Christian Fiction
3rd to 6th Grade
Annette lives in the Swiss Alps with her little brother Dani. Her adversary is a classmate, Lucien, who often is up to mischief. When Lucien causes Dani to fall into a ravine and become disabled, Annette is filled with bitterness and hate towards him. But then she is in need of help, and only Lucien can help her.

At the Back Of the North Wind

By George MacDonald

Childrens Christian Fantasy
This is one of the best known childrens Christian books of the 19th century, yet it is hard to categorize. Diamond is a friendly and sensative boy. At night's he travels with the North Wind who is personified as a person but represents calamity. The North Wind shows that God uses hardships for good in the lives of people. At the end, Diamond goes behind the north wind, which represents death and freedom from suffering.

In His Steps

By Charles Monroe Sheldon

Realistic Fiction - Childrens Christian Books
Reading Level: 6th Grade and Above
A community is changed when the pastor gives the people in his congregation a new challenge: always ask "What would Jesus do?" before making a decision. A classic that spurred the WWJD trend. A Christian classic for more than 100 years.

Hinds Feet on High Places

By Hannah Hurnard

Much Afraid lived in fear of what others in the Valley of Humiliation would say about her. The Shepherd sends her on a journey in which she over-comes her fears. This allegory about fear and joy is available in an illustrated volume for children. Passages about love and faithfullness are taken from the Song of Solomon. This classic is loved by children and adults.

Tanglewoods' Secret

By Patricia St. John

Realistic Fiction - Rural England, 1940's
Reading: 4th to 6th Grade
Ruth wonders why she is always so naughty, can't behave like her brother, and is always in trouble with her aunt. Then she meets an older shepherd who tells her about the Good Shepherd. Everything changes for Ruth; even when tragedy strikes. Themes include behavior, death, and the Good Shepherd.

The Chronicles of Narnia

By C.S. Lewis

Fantasy with 4 British children in World War II Era
Reading Level: 4 - 8th grade; Read aloud for younger children
This set of seven books is loved by children and adults around the world. Some publishers have started listing the books in the chronological order that the events take place. However, I think the original order published by Lewis is more exciting as later books unveil why events occurred in earlier tales. The original order is:

Stories During the Life of Jesus

The Bronze Bow

By Elizabeth George Speare

Historical Fiction - Childrens Christian Books
4th to 8th Grade
Daniel Bar Jamin lives in Judea in the first century and witnessed the death of his father by crucifixion. Filled with anger, he joins a band of outlaw rebels, only to be disappointed in them. He and two friends have numerous adventures and decide to try themselves to rid the country of the Romans. But his sister Leah becomes ill. It looks like the only one who might be able to help her is a traveling rabbi named Jesus.

Two From Galilee

By Marjorie Holmes

7th Grade & Above
This is a love story about Mary and Joseph and the startling event that would change their lives, and the lives of their family and friends. Looks at the events that transpired around the birth of Jesus from the perspective of the people who lived in the small village of Nazareth and how ordinary people became involved in the extraordinary.

Ben Hur

A Tale of the Christ

By Lewis Wallace

Historical Fiction
Middle School to Adult
The classic tale of a Roman chariot race in the land of Palestine, written by an American Civil War general. Judah son of Hur is a wealthy Jewish leader who becomes a slave on a Roman ship because of his loyalty to his people in Jerusalem. After saving a Roman general who adopts him, Judah becomes a charioteer. In a dramatic race he wins against the man who enslaved him and his family. Unable to save his sister, finds Jesus, the carpenter he briefly during his captivity, as he is led to his crucifixion.

Pontius Pilate

By Paul L. Maier

7th Grade & Above or Read Aloud age 10 and above
This fascinating novel is well-researched - labeled a documented historical novel. (Notes in the back tell the reader original sources for the events narrated.) The epilogue states, "Pilate could never know it - he would have been astounded to know it - but, apparently insignificant ex-prefect that he was, his would eventually be the most familiar name in all of Roman history. For uncounted masses in future ages, who knew little about a Caesar or Augustus or even Nero, would still confess in the The Creed: 'I believe in Jesus Christ...who suffered under Pontius Pilate.'" In this easy to read drama, politcal figures and international intrigue converge on a nuisance trial that Pilate had to endure when the local religious leaders demanded he judge an insigificant Galilean. The author weaves historical and cultural events into an engaging narrative.

Stories of the Early Church: 1st Century AD

The Robe

By Douglas C. Lloyd

Historical Fiction
Young Adult
This fictional account of a Roman centurian, Marcellus Gallio, follows what happens to Jesus' robe after his crucifixion. Marcellus is on a quest to find what happened to the robe, and in addition discovers what happened to the people who follow Jesus.

The Flames of Rome

By Paul Maier

While it has only been out for a few decades, this book has been enjoyed by thousands of young adults as it gives a great historical picture of the madman, Nero, and the lives of the Christians he murdered.

Well researched, it gives an accurate account of Rome during the first century, as well as being a spell-binding book that keeps the reader turning the pages.

Trilogy: The Last Disciple

By Hank Hanegraafe & Sigmund Brouwer

Historical Fiction: Rome & Jerusalem
Young Adult
A recently published trilogy about a fictitious general, Gallus Sergius Vitas, a friend of Titus who was in Nero's inner circle until the emperor discovered he was married to a Christian and sent him to the arena. Vitas' escape takes him across the empire and finally to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.

Many historical characters including Nero, Vespasion, Beatrice, Joseph Ben-Matthias, and John of Gisgala make this era come to life.

The books in the series include:

Beyond the Desert Gate

By Mary Ray

Historical Fiction: Palestine 70 A.D.
Young Adult
After the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, they marched to Macherus. A family of three brothers is torn apart by the conflict. As part of the Decapolis (ten Greek cities in Palestine) they want no part of the conflict between Rome and the Jews, but the conflict comes whether they want it or not. A stranger in their midst who lost his own memory provides unexpected help.

Trilogy: Acts of Faith

By Davis Bunn and Janette Oke

Historical Fiction with Light Romance
Jerusalem, Cesarea, Tiberias, Damascus in 1st Century
Teens and Young Adults

Here is another modern book series for readers who enjoy literature of the first century church. In this trilogy, a fictitous plot is woven around some of the minor characters of the New Testament bringing them together in a plot of suspense and intrigue. The main characters include the Roman Centurian and his servant, the woman at the well, the mother of Dorcas and wife of Stephan; all believers facing growing persecution. Like many romances, the books seem to follow the Austenesque belief that the goal of literature (and life) is for a young woman to find a husband. Hence each book follows a different heroine who succeeds in finding the right husband, in spite of arranged marriages and the growing danger to her life. While the romantic predictability probably limits the ability of the series to achieve lasting literary merit, its absence of objectionable content makes it an enjoyable series for those looking to relax with light reading.

Books in this triology include:

New But Notable

The Peleg Chronicles

The Foundlings Cover The Peleg Chronicles is a high adventure Christian triology from the days following the great flood. Terrifying dragons, brutal giants, and evil priests surround Fergus and threaten his life and those of his friends. The followers of Noah's God form a small but courageous band in a land filled with danger. Click on the picture of the book to learn more about this exciting three-part adventure and unit study ideas.

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