Summer Reading List for Inspiring Your Children

JM Cremp’s summer reading list is meant to inspire your children with stories of heroism, bravery, encouragement, and lessons in faith.  Here are a few of our favorites:

This summer's reading list is full of heroes and adventure.
This summer’s reading list is full of heroes and adventure.

War Stories: True Stories of WWI & WWII
The 20th century was ravaged by two of the most devastating conflicts in history: the First and Second World Wars. The slaughter and destruction was on such a massive scale it still haunts us today. From zeppelin raids, trench warfare, spies and secret plots, to epic encounters between colossal warships, War Stories, contains a collection of dramatic and unforgettable, true tales.  Recommended ages 8+.

Chief Joseph: The Voice for Peace
Chief Joseph was a peace chief, a great leader who truly believed his nation, the Nez Perce, could live in harmony with white people. Tragically, it was not to be. This fascinating biography separates fact from myth, and tells the compelling story of a man who tried to fight injustice with words, not weapons.  Recommended ages 10+.

Faith & Freedom Trilogy
The Faith & Freedom Trilogy is a sequel series to the Crown & Covenant series, and chronicles new generations of the M’Kethe family who find freedom in 18th century America. Adventure is afoot as Old World tyrannies clash with New World freedoms. Douglas Bond weaves together fictional characters with historical figures from Scottish and American history.  This series (and the one preceding it) are loaded with heroes, adventure, and lessons of perseverance through faith.  Recommended ages 10+.

10 Passions of a Man’s Soul
Mark Elfstrand is the morning show host of Moody Radio Network’s flagship station in Chicago. Elfstrand uses interviews with ten dynamic, powerfully gifted leaders to explore the driving passions that motivate authentic men of God. Exploring topics such as power, adventure, purpose, pleasure, and wealth, this transparent disclosure of men’s innermost feelings brings up thought-provoking questions and surprising revelations about contemporary leaders and historical figures. Readers will discover the hidden leader waiting to emerge from within themselves.

Bear Grylls – A Survival Guide for Life
Filled with exclusive, never-before-told tales from Bear’s globe-trekking expeditions, A Survival Guide for Life teaches every reader–no matter your age or experience–that we’re all capable of living life more boldly, of achieving our most daring dreams, and of having fun along the way. Here’s to your own great adventure!

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Inspire Your Children with Stories of Valor and Bravery

As parents, we want our children to be brave and noble and to “do the right thing”.  We guide them and prod them and hope our nagging results in their upstanding behavior.  If you are anything like me, then you probably bombard your children with anecdotes and examples of  upstanding behavior in the hopes that something will sink in.   However, the older my boys get, the less impact my stories seem to have.  Fortunately the written word is alive and well, and stories and books of bravery, heroism and valor abound.

Sometimes, a real page turner isn't a fictional story.
Sometimes, a real page turner isn’t a fictional story.

The book shelves in our house are filled with many of the same books that the folks at JM Cremp’s have recognized as inspiring.  Tales of heroism, grace under pressure, and doing the right thing are abundant; and we are blessed to be able to live in an age where they are readily available to us.  Here are some of my favorites:

A Young Patriot – The American Revolution as Experienced by One Boy by Jim Murphy – In the summer of 1776, Joseph Plumb Martin was a fifteen-year-old Connecticut farm boy who considered himself “as warm a patriot as the best of them.” He enlisted that July and stayed in the revolutionary army until hostilities ended in 1783. Martin fought under Washington, Lafayette, and Steuben. He took part in major battles in New York, Monmouth, and Yorktown. He wintered at Valley Forge and then at Morristown, considered even more severe. He wrote of his war years in a memoir that brings the American Revolution alive with telling details, drama, and a country boy’s humor.

Geronimo, Wolf of the Warpath by Ralph Moody – Geronimo, the legendary Indian who inspired and fought for his people. But who was this man, really? Here is the riveting tale of the last Apache warrior —told by the author of the bestselling Little Britches. Born in 1829 and steeped in the skills and stoicism valued by his tribe, Geronimo was transformed into a feared and respected renegade after witnessing the brutal slaughter of his family. Ultimately he spent more than 25 years eluding the U.S. Army, which sent 5,000 soldiers to hunt him down.

Thomas Jefferson, Architect of Freedom by Rita Mullin – One of the great thinkers of all time, Thomas Jefferson helped shape America in its early years, and his ideas continue to inspire us today. His amazing contributions include not only writing the Declaration of Independence, but his actions as the United States’ third President, as well as his influence as a scientist, inventor, farming pioneer, and educator.

Frederick Douglass, Rising Up from Slavery by Francis E. Ruffin – From slave to freedom fighter: that was the long and hard journey taken by Frederick Douglass. Douglass was America’s first great civil rights leader, and he threw off the physical, mental, and legal chains of slavery to become one of America’s greatest champions for human rights. It was said that his life was proof that once black people could read and write about their injustices, they would have the power to end slavery.

True sports heroes are inspiring for generations.
True sports heroes are inspiring for generations.

Jim Thorpe, An Athlete for the Ages by Ellen C. Lebreqcue – Simply the best: those words perfectly describe the multitalented Native American athlete Jim Thorpe. Not only did he excel at baseball and football, but he also won gold medals in the pentathlon and the decathlon—the only person in Olympic history to do so. This fascinating biography discusses: Thorpe’s many family tragedies—including the childhood death of his twin brother; Why he was temporarily stripped of his gold medals (which were restored posthumously); How he helped establish the sport of major league football; His selection as Greatest Athlete of the 20th century in an Internet poll conducted by ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Kids will enjoy meeting this amazing sports star whose Indian name aptly meant “Bright Path.”