When I first heard about Kindle I was not impressed. As one who loves books, I didn’t like the idea of reading from a screen. I didn’t want to give up the look and feel of an actual book.
But during our time in Africa, we realized how heavy real books are and how much space they took up in our luggage, so we decided to try a Kindle. We were impressed. Not only could you get a whole library on one, buying a new book was almost instantaneous. No more waiting for months for a flat rate box from the States. Soon we had almost as many Kindles in the house as readers.
And since we’re home we’ve really appreciated how many free books are available for Kindle and how easy they are to take on trips.
If you’ve been looking to buy a Kindle, I’d recommend the Kindle Paperwhite or the Kindle for Kids. The main difference between these is that the Paperwhite has a built-in light. I would hesitate to buy the Kindle Fire, because with it comes the distraction of flashy games and online capabilities. After all, the point of a Kindle is to encourage reading. Also, the Kindle Fire has a much shorter battery life and is harder on your eyes.
One other thing I’ll mention is that while it might be a temptation to buy the ones with special offers, these usually are ads for books that you don’t want your children looking at. I wish that they had an option to include more kid-friendly advertisements, but until then, I’d pass.
Once you have your Kindle, you might be surprised to discover that most Kindle books are almost the same price as a hard copy of the same book. This is true of most newer books, but we’ve found quite a few older books that are available for free (or almost free). Here are some that we’ve enjoyed.
The Bible (There are many free versions available, but this is the one we bought because of the easy navigation, but you might want to look around.)
Pilgrim’s Progress (Free, but there are many inexpensive versions that you might like better)
Paula the Waldensian by Eva Lacompte (Free)
Just David by Eleanor H. Porter (Free)
Polyanna by Eleanor H. Porter (Free)
Polyanna Grows Up by Eleanor H. Porter
Five Little Peppers and How they Grew by Margaret Sidney
If you are familiar with Lamplighter Publishing, you know that they specialize in reprinting old out-of-print books that emphasize character and integrity. Their motto is “Building Christ-like character one story at a time.” While their books are beautiful and a treasure to own (we own quite a few) they are expensive. Following are some that are available on Kindle. I’ve tried to link to a free version if one is available. Cover images are taken from the slightly more expensive versions.
Probable Sons by Amy LeFeuvre (Free)
The Carved Cupboard by Amy LeFeuvre (Free) 12 and up
Jill’s Red Bag by Amy LeFeuvre (Free) If you enjoy these check out other books by the same author.
The Basket of Flowers (illustrated) by Christoph von Schmid (0.99)
The Crew of the Dolphin by Hesba Stratton (1.99)
Jessica’s First Prayer (illustrated) by Hesba Stratton (0.99)
Jessica’s Mother by Hesba Stratton (0.99)
Glaucia, the Greek Slave (Illustrated) by Emma Leslie (1.99)
Titus, A Comrade of the Cross (Illustrated) (Comrades of the Cross Book 1) (1.99)
Stephen, A Soldier of the Cross (Comrades of the Cross Book 2) by Florence M. Kingsley (1.99)
The Robbers’ Cave (illustrated) by Charlotte Maria Tucker (2.99)
The Giant Killer (illustrated)by Charlotte Maria Tucker (2.99)
The Boy of Mount Rhigi by C. M. Sedgwick (1.99)
The Gold Thread by Norman MacLeod (Free)
A Peep Behind the Scenes by Mrs. O. F. Walton (Free)
The Lost Clue by Mrs. O. F. Walton (.99)
Saved at Sea: A Lighthouse Story by Mrs. O. F. Walton (Free)
Christie’s Old Organ by O. F. Walton (Free)
Christie the King’s Servant by O.F. Walton (Free)
Caleb in the Country by John Abbot (Free)
The Haunted Room by A.L.O.E. (Free)
Hebrew Heroes: A Tale Founded on Jewish History by Charlotte Maria Tucker (Free)12 and up
Horatio Alger Books
These are mostly rags-to-riches type stories that emphasize honesty and working hard. I asked my thirteen-year-old which ones he likes the most and he says he doesn’t know; they are all pretty much alike, but that didn’t keep him from reading all sixty of them and asking me to buy a few of the non-free ones, too. He finally did give me a few titles that he said were his favorite.
Fame and Fortune (a sequel to Ragged Dick)
In a New world (Among the Gold Fields of Australia)
Helen Ford (This one has a girl as the main character.)
G.A. Henty series
Adventure, character, history, and vocabulary. That’s how these books are usually advertised. These books each focus on a different significant event in history and since most turning points in history involve war, there is battle and blood shed involved, so use your discretion as to whether these are appropriate for your children. I asked my fifteen year old son for his five favorite and he rattled off ten so here they are.
Daughters of Faith Series (8 books in all)
Trailblazer Books by Dave and Neta Jackson
These are books which are fictional accounts of young boys or girls whose lives were influenced by great missionaries. There are many books in this series, and they are all only a few dollars. Here are a few to get you started.
The Queen’s Smuggler (William Tyndale)
Kidnapped by River Rats (William and Catherine Booth)
Shanghaied to China (Hudson Taylor)
Flight of the Fugitives (Gladys Aylward)
Imprisoned in the Golden City (Adoniram and Ann Judson)
I hope I’ve given you some ideas to load on your Kindle. I’m sure there are a lot I’ve missed so feel free to add any you’ve liked in the comments.
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