"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Friday, March 08, 2013

Saint and Chapter Books for Young Boys

Last month, I received and replied to the following question from a friend:
Do you have any recommendations for saint books or classical chapter books for a 7 yr old boy. Pius needs some reading and all I've ever done is girl oriented.
Some books that come to mind are:

Encounter the Saints books - Anthony was given a set of these books from the 1960s that he really enjoyed. For some reason, he didn't seem to like the newer books in this series as much.  These books might be slightly above Pius' reading level. If so, there is an easier series called Along the Paths of the Gospel that some of my children have liked. There are other books in this series beyond what Seton carries, but they are a little bit harder to find. 

We have some of Eva K. Betz's books that have been reprinted by Neumann Press. My boys like them as read alouds and for personal reading.

Angel Food for Boys and Girls by Fr. Gerald T. Brennan
I read these to my children, but sometimes they decide to take one of the books and read them on their own.

The Little Apostle on Crutches by Henriette Delamare

In the Footsteps of the Saints Series by Brother Ernest, C.S.C.
Mary's Books has reprinted this series that includes many titles about male (and female) saints, including: St. JosephSt. PatrickSt. DominicSt. Simon Stock, and more. There is also a book about the Infant of Prague. I recently received these books from Adoremus Books and am impressed. Patrick has not seen them yet, but I am fairly certain that he will like them when he does. I hope to order more titles from this series.

Catholic Stories for Boys and Girls - We only have one of the books in this series.

Patrick enjoyed listening to me read these books to him.

You might also want to keep your eyes open for Norah Smaridge's out-of-print LUDI: The Little St. Bernard and Bernard (A Patron saint book)Anthony enjoyed the latter book when he was younger (I still like it). Pius would probably like Joan Windham's Sixty Saints for Boys too.

Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater
I recommend finding a copy without a picture of an actor on the front of it.

Pancakes ParisThe Truffle Pig, and other books by Claire Huchet Bishop

A Bear Called Paddington and other books in this series by Michael Bond
My first grade teacher introduced me to Paddington Bear and I have liked him ever since.

Freddy the Pig books by Walter Brooks
Anthony used to find these stories very funny.

Just William by Richard Crompton
Anthony and his older sisters still talk about William's humorous antics. There are other books in this series.

Alvin Fernald books by Clifford B. Hicks
These may have been Anthony's favorite books.

Barry: The Bravest Saint Bernard by Lynn Hill
This book has been/is a favorite with my boys.

Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner

Ben and Me by Robert Lawson

Henry Reed books by Keith Robertson

The Buffalo KnifeFlaming ArrowsThe Perilous Road, and Winter Danger by William O'Steele - Anthony was almost 9 when he read these books.

Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
It might be worthwhile getting this set.

Pius might also enjoy reading books by Ingri and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire (I think you are familiar with these titles) and some of Sid Fleischman's books. 

I do not know Pius' reading level. If the above chapter books are too difficult (most of them would be too hard for Patrick), then you might want to look for books by C.W. Anderson, Nathaniel Benchley, and Robert Quackenbush.

I hope this helps.


  1. Anonymous7:51 AM

    Yes this fantastic list helps.

    As an addition, I recently found Tom Playfair audio version for free on Written by a Jesuit priest in 1890 it is a sort of Catholic boy's version of Anne of Green Gables.

    Thank you for taking the time to offer all these suggestions. I am passing them around for others.

    Hello to everyone there,

  2. Oooh, I am so happy to hear that it helps.

    We are big fans of all of Fr. Finn's books here. Anthony owns all of the ones that are in print (maybe that means all of them). I didn't mention Fr. Finn's books as I thought that they might be too hard for Pius to read. I failed to think about the fact that they might be available as an audio version. Thank you for letting me know my dear friend. I miss you.

    May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family!


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