80+ Books to Inspire and Challenge Your Family

We love books and we try to spend a little time everyday reading together as a family (and by ourselves).  We have books on shelves, next to beds, piled on counters and tucked away throughout our home. We are working our way through a big list of books to inspire and challenge our family. I’ve been adding to this list for a long time and I thought I’d share the books that inspire and challenge our family:

Disclaimer: I love reading on my Kindle app on my phone, but in an effort to be unplugged more when I’m with my kids, I only read fiction on my phone (usually while I’m waiting somewhere). I purchase almost all our books from Amazon (prime member), so these affiliate links are from there.

*Books we have read (or are reading):

Board Books:

  1. *Because I Love You
  2. *Just in Case You Ever Wonder
  3. If You’re Happy and You Know It 
  4. *I Love You Just the Way You Are 
  5. *Counting Kisses
  6. *Jesus Loves Me!
  7. *Really Woolly Bedtime Prayers
  8. I Love You So Much
  9. If Jesus Lived Inside My Heart
  10. Recordable Storybook-My Rainy Day Imagining Book

Picture Books:

  1. *Love You Forever
  2. *You Are Mine (Max Lucado’s Wemmicks)
  3. *Punchinello: One of a Kind (Max Lucado’s Wemmicks)
  4. *The Boy Who Changed the World
  5. You Can Do It!
  6. *Parable Series: An Audio-Book for All Seasons [Audiobook on Cassette] (Parable Series, All 4 Seasons (Together))
  7. The Tallest of Smalls
  8. *Just in Case You Ever Wonder
  9. *The Giving Tree
  10. The Oak Inside the Acorn

Read Together Books:

  1. *The Chronicles of Narnia Scholastic Box Set (Book One Through Book Six) (all ages)
  2. *The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name (all ages)
  3. *The Complete Little House Nine-Book Set(all ages)
  4. The Story: Teen Edition (Chronological Bible)
  5. *Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids (all ages)
  6. Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger Than Yourself (8 and up)
  7. My Life, His Mission: A Six Week Challenge to Change the World (inspiring stories)
  8. Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board (8 and up)
  9. *Place at the Table: 40 Days of Solidarity with the Poor (family devotions w/missions focus, edited while reading)
  10. *Window On The World (missions focus)
  11. kisses from katie
  12. Running for My Life: One Lost Boy’s Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games

Tween/Teen Books:

    1. *Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations
    2. Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are
    3. *You Were Made to Make a Difference
    4. *It’s Not About Me Teen Edition
    5. *Make Every Day Count – Teen Edition
    6. *Jesus Freaks: Martyrs: Stories of Those Who Stood for Jesus
    7. The Hiding Place
    8. I Kissed Dating Goodbye
    9. Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is): Sexual Purity in a Lust-Saturated World
    10. *Truth and Dare: One Year of Dynamic Devotions for Girls (ages 9-12)
    11. *Triple Dog Dare: One Year of Dynamic Devotions for Boys (ages 9-12)
    12. Wild grace
    13. End of the Spear

Parenting Books:

  1. *For Parents Only: Getting Inside the Head of Your Kid
  2. *Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman’s Battle
  3. *Preparing Your Son for Every Man’s Battle
  4. Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood (boys)
  5. Five Conversations You Must Have with Your Son
  6. Five Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter
  7. *Have a New Kid by Friday (Strong-Willed Kids)
  8. Shepherding a Child’s Heart
  9. *Grace-Based Parenting
  10. *Your Girl: Raising a Godly Daughter in an Ungodly World
  11. *Your Boy: Raising a Godly Son in an Ungodly World
  12. *Raising Kids Who Turn Out Right
  13. *You Can Raise Courageous and Confident Kids
  14. *Raising Kids for True Greatness
  15. Bonus for Moms: Don’t Make Me Come Up There!: Quiet Moments for Busy Moms

Books for Husband and Wives

  1. *For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men
  2. *Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs
  3. *The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex: (And You Thought Bad Girls Have All the Fun)(her)
  4. *NIV Couples’ Devotional Bible
  5. *Men Are Like Waffles–Women Are Like Spaghetti: Understanding and Delighting in Your Differences
  6. *You’re Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be(her)
  7. *For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women
  8. *Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul (him)
  9. *Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time (The Every Man Series) (him)
  10. Don’t Waste Your Life


  1. 1

    Kate N. says

    Great list Kristen!
    Have you ever read “You are my I love you” by Maryann K. Cuismano? I found it when I was at a book sale. I was pregnant with our second baby and I stood there bawling in the middle of the room. It is a very sweet book that is great for all ages!

    Kate N.

    • 1.1

      Kathy says

      Love, love, LOVE that book! Have you ever seen the Christmas one “You Are My Miracle”? It doesn’t end quite as beautifully as “You Are My I Love You,” but beautiful still.

  2. 2

    Heather says

    Great lists! My list looks almost identical, but a lot of what you’ve read is on my “to read” list and vice versa! Between the two of us we pretty much have these covered! LOL

  3. 3

    Jessica Patay says

    I love your website and everything you have on it! I’m a huge fan, and totally appreciate your wisdom and wit!!!

  4. 4

    Kimberly says

    Have you tried BetterWorldBooks.com? They have a great mission, give one book away for everyo ne purchased, and always free shipping. I love their site! great book list here- thanks for sharing!

  5. 6

    AR says

    Your booklist looks like ours.

    I would add for boys – anything by Bob Schultz or Douglas Bond – great books for dads to study with their sons

    Famiily readalouds – Bud & Me : The True Adventures of the Abernathy Boys and Chuck Black has a great series out that even girls would like – Kingdom Reign.

  6. 9


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  8. 21

    Debi Henson says

    My pastor’s wife has written a book called Moms Raising Sons to be Men. Her name is Rhonda Stoppe. I can’t say enough about her or her book! She is also a speaker. I’d be happy to send you a copy, just let me know.

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    Joann Leeper says

    Can I recommend reading, Wonder by RJ Palacio? It is a wonderful book that would be great as a read aloud or for anyone about 8-9 years and up. One of my all time favorites!

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