Children’s Books Recommendations – Clean, Safe, and Mom-Approved

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As Muslim homeschool mothers, one of our primary responsibilities is to ensure that our children are exposed to positive, enriching, and morally sound content. In a world where media and literature often contain themes and messages that may not align with our values, selecting appropriate reading material for our children can be a daunting task.

However, the right books can open up a world of knowledge, imagination, and ethical lessons that support our faith and family values. This blog aims to guide you through the process of choosing safe, clean, and beneficial children’s novels and books that have been approved by fellow Muslim mothers.

Why Choosing the Right Books Matters

Books are more than just stories; they are powerful tools that shape our children’s thoughts, values, and understanding of the world. The narratives they read can influence their character development, moral compass, and empathy towards others. As parents, we need to be vigilant about the content our children consume, ensuring it is free from inappropriate language, negative stereotypes, and values that conflict with our Islamic principles.

Criteria for Selecting Books

When curating a list of books for our children, it’s essential to consider several key factors:

  1. Age Appropriateness: Ensure that the content is suitable for your child’s age group. Books should challenge them intellectually without introducing mature themes too soon.
  2. Moral and Ethical Content: Look for books that promote virtues such as honesty, kindness, perseverance, and respect for others. Stories that highlight the importance of family, community, and faith can reinforce the values we teach at home.
  3. Literary Quality: High-quality writing and engaging storytelling are crucial. Well-written books not only hold children’s interest but also enhance their language skills and imagination.

Recommended Books

Here are some beloved titles that have received the stamp of approval from TMH members for their clean and wholesome content:

  1. A-Z Mysteries (series) – a series of children’s books where three friends—Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose—solve mysteries that correspond to each letter of the alphabet, uncovering clues and catching culprits with their detective skills.
  2. The Boxcar Children (series) – a beloved series about four orphaned siblings who create a cozy home in an abandoned boxcar, solving mysteries and experiencing adventures while they strive to stay together and build a new life.
  3. Cam Jansen (series) – a series of mystery novels featuring a young girl named Jennifer “Cam” Jansen who has a photographic memory, using her exceptional ability to solve mysteries and help others, often with her friend Eric Shelton by her side.
  4. Jigsaw Jones (series) – a series of mystery books where a young detective named Theodore “Jigsaw” Jones and his friend Mila Yeh solve mysteries in their neighborhood, using their keen observation skills and resourcefulness to uncover clues and solve cases.
  5. Hardy Boys Clue Book (series) – a modern take on the classic “Hardy Boys” mysteries, featuring brothers Frank and Joe Hardy solving puzzles and unraveling mysteries using logic and teamwork, geared towards younger readers.
  6. Billy Sure (series) – a humorous series about a young inventor named Billy Sure who starts a variety of quirky and innovative businesses with his friends, navigating challenges and learning valuable lessons about entrepreneurship along the way.
  7. Wild Rescue books (series) – follows a group of adventurous teenagers who are part of a wildlife rescue organization, traveling to various locations around the world to save animals in perilous situations while navigating personal challenges and forging lasting friendships.
  8. Tom Swift Inventor’s Academy (series) – a series that follows Tom Swift, a young inventor attending a prestigious academy where he and his friends tackle high-tech challenges, solve mysteries, and embark on daring adventures using their inventive skills and cutting-edge technology.
  9. Way of the Warrior Kid (series) – a motivational series by Jocko Willink about a young boy named Marc who learns discipline, resilience, and leadership skills from his Navy SEAL uncle Jake through physical training and personal development, empowering him to overcome challenges and excel in school and life.
  10. The Canadian Flyers – a historical fiction series that follows the adventures of a group of young Canadian pilots during World War II, as they navigate aerial combat, personal trials, and the bonds of friendship while serving their country.
  11. Wind in the Willows – a classic novel by Kenneth Grahame that follows the adventures of anthropomorphic animals—such as Mole, Rat, Badger, and Toad—as they navigate the idyllic English countryside, experiencing friendship, bravery, and whimsical escapades.
  12. Black Beauty – a poignant novel by Anna Sewell narrated from the perspective of a horse named Black Beauty, depicting his life from a carefree colt to enduring hardships as a working horse, highlighting animal welfare issues and the enduring bond between animals and humans.
  13. Stone Fox – a heartfelt novel by John Reynolds Gardiner about a young boy named Willy who enters a dog sled race in order to save his grandfather’s farm from foreclosure, forming an unlikely friendship with a Native American man named Stone Fox along the way.
  14. The Whipping Boy – a children’s novel about a mischievous prince and his unlikely friendship with a commoner who serves as his stand-in for punishment, leading to adventures and personal growth as they navigate a series of escapades together.
  15. Henry Huggins (series) – a series of children’s books by Beverly Cleary that follows the adventures of a young boy named Henry and his mischievous yet lovable dog, Ribsy, as they encounter everyday challenges and humorous escapades in their neighborhood. Also other Beverly Cleary books
  16. Frindle – a novel by Andrew Clements about a fifth-grade boy named Nick who invents a new word, “frindle,” which becomes a nationwide phenomenon, sparking creativity and controversy as he challenges the power of language and authority figures at his school. Also other Andrew Clements books. (Note: Things Not Seen has a subtle boy-girl thing.)
  17. Acadia Files (series) – a series of children’s books by Katie Coppens that follow Acadia Greene, a curious and scientifically-minded young girl, as she explores various scientific concepts and phenomena through her adventures and experiments, encouraging young readers to engage with science and critical thinking.
  18. Juwairiah Simpson books:
    • Adventures of Nur-el-Din – a historical fiction novel that follows the journey of a young boy named Nur-el-Din in medieval Egypt, as he navigates intrigue, adventure, and personal growth while discovering his identity and destiny amidst a backdrop of rich cultural and historical settings.
    • The Jinn in the Clock – a fantasy novel that intertwines elements of Arabian folklore with a contemporary narrative, following the adventures of characters who encounter a mysterious jinn (genie) trapped inside an ancient clock. The story explores themes of magic, friendship, and the consequences of wielding supernatural powers in a modern world.
    • The Wicked Wazir – a tale set in a mythical Arabian kingdom, where a cunning and power-hungry wazir schemes to overthrow the benevolent ruler. Amidst political intrigue and magical elements, the story follows the efforts of courageous protagonists to thwart the wazir’s plans and restore peace to their land.
    • The Four Daughters of Yusuf, the Dairy Farmer – a fictional narrative that explores the lives of four sisters growing up in a rural setting, navigating familial bonds, personal aspirations, and the challenges of their environment. Set against the backdrop of a dairy farming community, the story delves into themes of sisterhood, resilience, and the dynamics of rural life.
  19. I Survived! (series) – gripping historical fiction novels that recount the harrowing experiences of children who survive major historical events, ranging from natural disasters to wars, offering a compelling blend of adventure, resilience, and historical context for young readers.
  20. Don Brown Graphic novels….especially The Unwanted: Stories of Syrian Refugees – chronicles the poignant struggles and resilience of Syrian refugees fleeing their war-torn homeland, through compelling illustrations and narratives.
  21. The Sherlock Files (series) – a series of mystery novels where sibling detectives Xena and Xander Holmes solve puzzles and uncover secrets using their keen observation skills and teamwork, inspired by their famous ancestor, Sherlock Holmes.
  22. Enola Holmes (series) – follows the adventures of Sherlock Holmes’s younger sister, Enola, as she solves mysteries and outsmarts her famous brother while searching for their missing mother in Victorian England.
  23. Dear Canada (series) – historical novels written in the form of the diary of a fictional young woman living during an important event in Canadian history. Most are clean especially the ones recommended for age 12 and under.
  24. Chu Ju’s House – a poignant novel about a young Chinese girl who flees her home to protect her unborn sister from the country’s one-child policy.
  25. Heidi – a classic novel about a young orphan girl who is sent to live with her reclusive grandfather in the Swiss Alps, where her joyful spirit and love of the mountains transform the lives of those around her.
  26. Swiss Family Robinson – an adventurous novel about a shipwrecked family who build a new life on a deserted tropical island, using their ingenuity and teamwork to overcome various challenges and explore their surroundings.
  27. Pippi Longstocking – a whimsical children’s novel about a fiercely independent and extraordinarily strong girl with a flair for adventure, who lives alone with her monkey and horse, and turns every day into an exciting escapade.
  28. Matilda – a charming novel about a brilliant young girl with telekinetic powers who overcomes neglectful parents and a tyrannical headmistress with the help of her kind-hearted teacher, Miss Honey.
  29. Fantastic Mr. Fox – a delightful tale about a clever fox who outwits three mean farmers to steal food and provide for his family and animal friends.
  30. The BFG – a magical story about a young orphan girl who befriends a gentle giant and together they embark on an adventure to stop the evil giants who threaten the human world.
  31. Charlie and The Great Glass Elevator – a fantastical sequel where Charlie Bucket, his family, and Willy Wonka journey through space in a magical glass elevator, encountering bizarre creatures and thrilling adventures.
  32. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory – a whimsical story about a poor boy named Charlie Bucket who wins a golden ticket to tour Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory, where he encounters astonishing wonders and learns valuable lessons.
  33. The Twits – a humorous and mischievous tale about a revolting couple who play nasty tricks on each other, until they receive their comeuppance from a clever family of monkeys.
  34. Gone Away Lake – a charming novel about two children who discover a hidden, abandoned village by a lake during their summer vacation, befriending its elderly inhabitants and uncovering secrets of the past.
  35. The Hobbit – an adventurous tale about Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who embarks on a quest with a group of dwarves and the wizard Gandalf to reclaim their homeland from the dragon Smaug, encountering trolls, elves, and goblins along the way.
  36. The Secret Garden – a classic novel about a young orphan girl named Mary Lennox who discovers a hidden garden on her uncle’s estate, where she cultivates friendships and restores both the garden and the spirits of those around her.
  37. Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (series) – an adventurous novel where a group of children must solve puzzles and navigate challenges in a high-tech library created by the eccentric game-maker Mr. Lemoncello, aiming to win a grand prize.
  38. The Genius Files (series) – an action-packed series following twins Coke and Pepsi as they embark on a cross-country road trip, encountering danger and solving puzzles while being pursued by a mysterious organization called the Genius Files.
  39. Encyclopedia Brown (series) – a series of detective stories where Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown, a young boy with a talent for solving mysteries, helps his friends and neighbors in Idaville by using his keen observation and deductive reasoning skills to crack cases.
  40. The Famous Five (series) – a series of adventurous novels by Enid Blyton, following a group of children—Julian, Dick, Anne, George (Georgina), and their dog Timmy—as they solve mysteries and uncover secrets during their holidays, emphasizing teamwork, friendship, and bravery.
  41. The Boy Who Biked the World (series) – an inspiring memoir about Tom, a young adventurer who sets out on a global cycling journey, exploring diverse cultures, facing challenges, and discovering the kindness of strangers while fulfilling his dream of circumnavigating the world by bike.
  42. Fish in a Tree – a heartwarming novel about a girl named Ally who struggles with dyslexia, discovering her strengths with the help of a supportive teacher and friends, learning that everyone has their own unique way of shining.

Books Used in a Boys Book Club

The titles below have been curated and used in a boys book club hosted by one of our TMH members:

  1. Frog and Toad are Friends (series)
  2. Akimbo (series)
  3. Pee Wee’s Tale
  4. Little Rhino (series)
  5. Wendy’s Weather Warriors (series)
  6. A to Z Mysteries (series)
  7. The Boxcar Children (series)
  8. Stone Fox
  9. The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto
  10. Paddington
  11. Chocolate Fever
  12. Charlotte’s Web
  13. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  14. The Mouse and the Motorcycle
  15. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  16. The Frindle
  17. Mr. Popper’s Penguins
  18. Owls in the Family
  19. The Kite Fighters
  20. Farmer Boy
  21. The One and Only Ivan
  22. The Boy at the Back of the Class
  23. The Tortoise and the Soldier
  24. Love that Dog
  25. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
  26. Escape from Tibet
  27. By the Great Horn Spoon
  28. Dr. Dolittle
  29. Trapped in Ice
  30. A Long Walk to Water (memoir)
  31. The Sign of the Beaver
  32. Wishtree
  33. The Borrowers (series)
  34. Silverwing
  35. White Fang
  36. The Last Safe House: A Story of the Underground Railroad
  37. Refugee
  38. Where the Red Fern Grows
  39. Lost in the Barrens
  40. Out of My Mind
  41. A Single Shard
  42. Boys without Names
  43. Omar Rising
  44. The Boy who Harnessed the Wind

Creating a Reading Culture at Home

To foster a love for reading, create an inviting reading environment at home. Set up a cozy reading nook, establish regular family reading times, and discuss the books your children are reading. Encouraging them to share their thoughts and relate the stories to real-life experiences can deepen their understanding and appreciation of the material.

Choosing the right books for our children is a significant part of our homeschooling journey. By selecting literature that aligns with our values and enriches our children’s minds, we can ensure that their reading experiences are both enjoyable and beneficial.

The recommended list of books provided here is a starting point, but always remember to review each book personally to ensure it meets your family’s specific standards. Happy reading!

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