Character-Building Book Resources For Raising Girls
What follows are a few of the book resources for raising girls we have here in our family. Many of you have asked for a list of books with which you can guide the heart of a daughter toward purity. We want them to grow to be highly capable of living in the world, but not be a part of it.
One thing parents can do in raising girls to be adult women full of integrity and wisdom is to read books that sow the seeds of those character qualities you wish to develop. Start at a young age, drawing her to know Christ and how He would have her live.
Raising girls in this culture is challenging. We home educated, and so I began mixing academic lessons with character-building content. I substituted these great books into our yearly reading list and interspersed it into our literature selections. It kept our school days interesting and full of good things to discuss mother and daughter.
Starting Out Early
Appealing to both boys and girls, the Miller Family series was one of our earliest to read for teaching character, from the littlest on your lap to age 12-ish. These books were a pleasure to read and brought both laughter and surprising insights.
Although we are not Amish, our children have said these books will be read with their little ones someday – they are a tool to reinforce discussions that we aren’t sure how to approach with our children. So well written, they grab your heart. They speak to your heart as well as to your head. They touch on deep feelings and classic themes that all of humanity can relate to ~ injustice, mercy, forgiveness, friendship, reality, honesty, hope.
Hunting For Great Books
I felt lead to weave these great books all the way through our school years. As I prayed for wisdom each day, I knew I needed help to convey values and ideals that I wanted to share and I found that great books could do just that! I had a growing desire to provide the richest content in books that I could afford, so I started to shop all the old bookstores I knew of. I shopped the homeschool convention resources and worked extra hard to cut corners to save extra money for character books. I was very careful, praying for direction before I left to look. The Lord seemed to guide me to some great finds.
I asked my husband if all my Christmas and birthday gifts could be cash to be spent on books. Here is what my wonderful, creative man did for me over 14 years ago:
If you have not yet read Why Have We Stopped Protecting Our Daughters?, it covers why these culture-correcting reads are so vital to the emotional health of our girls. And we wonder why we have girls dealing with depression and eating disorders – why they feel they can’t measure up to the world’s elusive definition of beauty!
Specific Books For Little Girls
For the little girls, I would recommend The Princess and The Kiss and the excellent Companion Book Life Lessons From the Princess and the Kiss that goes along with it for you to read aloud to your 7 year-old. It talks about purity and saving up a treasure for one man someday. I read both of these resources to my daughter as a young girl, and I believe they were instrumental in her growing up.
Also, Sandi Queen also has a lot of really good resources on these topics for little girls. From Girl to Woman talks about puberty and modesty in a sensitive way. Her Little Ladies Series will also be helpful.
For Older Girls, Tweens and Teens
Looking for relevant books for your older daughters?
These books talk directly to older girls about what authentic, true beauty is and how they can experience a romance that will transform every part of their existence and fulfill the deepest longings of their feminine heart. Help them see that they no longer have to look to human relationships to meet needs that only Jesus Christ was meant to fill.
Beautiful Girlhood and The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood are ideally to be read with Mom up until approximately age 13 -there will be overlap of age appropriateness. Set-Apart Femininity and Authentic Beauty are for a bit older (14 and up to adult), and both have companion guides (see below). All of them are very helpful for us mothers, too!
- The Lost Art of True Beauty~ The Companion Guide to Set-Apart Femininity
- Authentic Beauty, Going Deeper: A Study Guide for the Set-Apart Young Woman
For a older daughter (14 and up) that feels pulled to date casually, there is When God
Writes Your Love Story (Expanded Edition): The Ultimate Guide to Guy/Girl Relationships, by both Eric and Leslie Ludy.
And as for Evidence Not Seen (above)~ it is both my daughter’s and my favorite adult book. Darlene Rose and her terrible and triumphant story will likely change your daughter’s (and your) life. It is a story about courage, steadfastness, hope, miracles, and love for people. I give the book an A+ – even that rating seems a trifle to me – there should be something higher.
Here are just a few (there are many others here) that can have a huge impact on character formation in a developing young lady (for varying ages):
- Jessica’s First Prayer, Lamplighter Books
- Story Times with Grandma
- More Story Times with Grandma
- The Door in the Wall
- Pollyanna, Eleanor H. Porter
- Dr. Oma
- Thee, Hannah!
- Ester Ried (or Ester Ried’s Awakening), Isabella Alden
- Yet Speaking, Isabella Alden
- A Peep Behind the Scenes, Lamplighter Books (Perhaps the MOST influential during a difficult time in my daughter’s life~)
Moms, I now have 2 posts available character-building books for boys (that they will enjoy reading) here and here. I’ve heard readers say they can’t find as much for boys than for girls, but I found quite a bit!
Again, raising girls isn’t easy but inspiring our daughters through great books as early in her life as possible will open her eyes to truths she might not internalize otherwise.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” ~Matthew 19: 14
*Sigh* This has been a rough day…I think Satan does not want this list of books for raising girls to be shared for some reason…Hmm. Why do you think that is?!?
Walter Firle – Three Reading Girls
Thanks for reading!