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An Elementary Writing Curriculum

Leah's List of Living Books

I love to read. It's a passion that I've tried to instill in my children as well. From the time they were born- and really even before- I've been reading to them. I've tried to make available for them books that are rich in vocabulary, that feature great heroes to look up to, and that have themes that make the reader think. These books are what Charlotte Mason calls "living books."

These books aren't always easy to find. If you walk into your children's library or children's corner in your favorite bookstore, you'll usually find yourself surrounded by books featuring popular television shows and their characters. Although I'll admit that my kids have read plenty of these books as well- "twaddle," Charlotte Mason calls them, I've tried to surround them with great living books.

living books catalog
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Often you can find these books at the library, if you request them through your interlibrary loan system. You can order them from Amazon. Or you can find them free to read online if they are in the public domain. (Try looking on Project Gutenberg.)

I've created literature units for many of these books. Some of them are compiled in my favorite freebie- 31 Days of Literature Unit Studies, and I've compiled a list of some of the great living books I've come across. This is an ever-growing list. Here's how to use the table below. The books are listed with a variety of labels. You can choose to search by any of these labels.

living books list
  • Title
  • Author
  • Amazon link
  • Grade recommendation (PreK-2nd, 1st-5th, 3rd-8th, high school)
  • Subject connections- If the book is a good connection for a content area subject, I've noted it here.
  • Literature unit links- If I've created a literature unit study, you can find it at that link.
  • Notes- any other important notes about the book
The books are sorted by subject area in the main list. If you choose the sort feature, you can choose to sort by any of the above labels. In the table below, you won't see the word "sort," you'll see an up and down arrow.

living books for kids

I hope the living book list helps you to find some great books for you and your kids. Check back often because the list will grow. If you have any trouble using the table, please let me know.

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