Good Summer Reads: Read for the Heart by Sarah Clarkson

books for summer reading

Welcome back to my Good Summer Reads series!

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you probably know that I am a big fan of Sally Clarkson. Sally and her husband have a ministry that focuses on encouraging moms. Her books are so warm and friendly and chock-full of inspiration that women need on their motherhood journey.

Sally’s daughter Sarah Clarkson is also a very talented writer and blogger as well. I was lucky enough to win a copy of Sarah’s book Read for the Heart: Whole Books for WholeHearted Families (affiliate link) a few months ago on Sally’s Mom Heart blog, and was so delighted to receive it.

Reading for Children

I grew up with a deep love of books and reading, and from the start, I wanted to instill that in my own children.  My husband and I started reading to our children when they were very young babies, and now they have grown to love snuggling together with books on the couch, their bedtime stories and weekly trips to the library. Our daughter is now able to read to her little brother, and he begs her for stories quite often 🙂

Not only does reading help children do better in school, and act as a fun activity after chores and play time, but it also helps to instill the right kind of values into their minds.

Have you been to the children’s area of your local library lately?  Now that my daughter is starting to read chapter books, we’ve ventured out of the board and picture book area to the “older” side of the library, and let me tell you, I don’t like some of the titles I’m seeing….(Middle School: My Brother Is a Big, Fat Liar (affiliate link) comes to mind). I’m sure those books are funny and everything, but I am trying to teach my daughter that it’s not nice to call people big, fat liars.

Shaping Character

In Read for the Heart: Whole Books for WholeHearted Families (affiliate link), Sarah explains how choosing classic books that give our kids a sense of beauty and goodness and of good versus evil helps them develop a strong character.  I love this quote from chapter 1:

When you give children great stories full of heroism, rich imagery, and sacrifice, side by side with biblical truth, you fill their minds with images that bring spiritual reality to life in their hearts.  Great stories flesh out biblical faith, helping children to see themselves as part of the true kingdom story.

That makes me want to read my kids a whole library full of good books instead of sitting them in front of Sponge Bob all afternoon 🙂

How to start reading

If your kids are very young, or if you haven’t really ever read to them yet and want to know to go about starting up, Sarah has some very good tips on how to start, and how to make it fun so your family will stick with it.

There are also some very extensive lists of wholehearted (as she calls them) books that are full of the values that we all want to pass on to our kids.  She begins with picture books for young children and includes lists of fiction, biographies, poetry and more for older kids.

Ready to start?

I’m so happy to have this wonderful resource on hand to help guide me in the choice of books for my kids! (I’ve also found some good titles that I want to read for myself :))

Tell me…do your kids enjoy reading? What kind of reading routine do you have in your family?

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