One of my favorite activities during the summer months is reading chapter books with my kids.  I enjoy snuggling on the couch as we read the next chapter and discuss what we can learn from it. There are some great, classic books out there, but lately I have been searching for some good Christian chapter books with a message of faith. We know a few, and I reviewed one of them below, but I asked some friends (and some of their kids) to tell me their favorites and why they liked them.  I have compiled a great list, and I can’t wait to read some of them myself! Happy summer reading! 

Christian chapter books for kids

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The Swamp Robber (Sugar Creek Gang, Book 1)

By: Paul Hutchens

Reviewed By:  Taylor Johnson, 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son

Read Aloud: 5-10 (geared towards boys)

Individual Reading: 7-12 (boys)

Tell us a little about this book series? 

Sugar Creek Gang is a 36-book series told from a young boy’s perspective about his “gang” of friends that live in a small town in Indiana in the 1950’s.  The boys go on exciting adventures and grow in their understanding of their need for Jesus and the importance of sharing their faith with others.

What positive messages will your children learn from this book? 

These books teach friendship, integrity, respecting parents, loving your enemies, prayer, the gospel message, sharing faith with others, and how Jesus changes a person’s life in positive ways

Are there any negative messages to be aware of in this book, and if so, what are they? 

Some of the adventures could be a little scary for younger children, such as a bear attack and a fight with a gang of mean boys.  One character’s father deals with alcoholism, so the book brings up this topic and also portrays alcohol in a negative light.  We used this topic as a teaching opportunity to discuss our views on alcohol with our children.

How have your children grown in their faith through reading this book? 

My children have heard the gospel presented many times through these books, and I believe they have grown in their desire to trust Jesus as their Savior and live for Him no matter what, like the boys in the series learn to do.  

What is your favorite thing about this book series? 

I love how these books are written from a boy’s perspective and in a way that children can relate. The main character’s real struggles, questions, and the lessons he learns are very realistic and foster great discussions with my kids. 



Imagination Station

By: Adventures in Odyssey

Reviewed by Heidi Wahlquist, 7-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter

Read Aloud: 5-12

Individual Reading: 7-12

Tell us a little about this book series?

 Imagination Station is an entertaining and imaginative historical fiction series by Adventures in Odyssey. In the series, two adventurous cousins, Patrick and Beth, discover a time machine that transports them to different times and places around the world. In Imagination Station, the two cousins are often faced with a challenge or mission in the city they are sent.  Fueled by adventure and faith, they work together to overcome challenges and bless those in their path.  Not only does Imagination Station teach kids about real historical events, it will encourage them to serve others and follow God’s great purposes for their lives.  If your kids enjoy the Magic Tree House series, they are sure to love Imagination Station.

What positive messages did your children learn from this book?

In Imagination Station, children learn to be cooperative, kind, brave, patient, obedient, helpful, strong, supportive, and loyal.

How have your children grown in their faith from reading this book series?

In Imagination Station, Beth and Patrick must often overcome fears to accomplish their mission.  Our daughter has been encouraged by the cousins’ faith and courage as they push through uncertainties to help others.

What is your favorite thing about this book series?

I asked my daughter this question.  Her response:  “I love the twists and turns of the story.  Unexpected things happen that surprise me.  Things are not always as they seem to be.”  I love the sense of adventure fueled by the cousins’ faith and a desire to bless others.  I also love that kids learn historical events without feeling they are being “taught.”

What is your least favorite thing about this book series?

For the younger kids with shorter attention spans, a few more illustrations would be nice. 🙂



The Prince Warriors

By: Priscilla Shirer

Reviewed By: Hannah Yau and Rachel, age 11 

Read Aloud: 5-12

Individual Reading: 8-12

Tell us a little about this book series. 

My 11 year old daughter fell in love with the characters and their many adventures into the realm of Ahoratos. Each time a character arrives, they are greeted by a purple creature named Ruwach, who guides and provides each warrior with just the right amount of armor needed for the adventure ahead. The warriors are also given directions and advice on what to do through “The Book” – words like “If you have faith the size of the smallest seed, nothing will be impossible for you”, and “You have everything you need.” Their missions lead them through unfamiliar territories, saving other warriors, retrieving special items, and battling ents, olethrons, and forgers (all who battle on behalf of the evil Poneros). With each adventure, the warriors learn how to better use their armor and to trust their guide and the words from “The Book.” 

What positive messages will your children learn from this book? 

My daughter was excited to read about the directions for “The Book,” and learn about the armor.  We had one moment when she looked up, eyes wild, and declared, “These are all things from the Bible!” 

Are there any negative messages to be aware of in this book, and if so, what are they? 

No negative messages, but just be aware that the characters are attacked and chased by make-believe creatures from the realm, even in their own world. This series is similar to the Chronicles of Narnia, in that there are tales of betrayal, loss of faith, and human emotions to deal with. 

How have your children grown in their faith through reading this book?

My daughter Rachel states, “I learned more about the armor of God and how God protects us.” 

What is your favorite thing about this book series?

The lessons that the characters learn stay with them as they live in the earthly realm. The courage they build, the faith in doing the right thing, and trusting in each other and The Source, all come into play back home, as they realize there are many, many more prince and princess warriors that also live in their community.  

What is your least favorite thing about this book series? 

Rachel says, “the cover of the book is not so exciting, plus it looks like it’s for boys.” 



The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia)

 By: CS Lewis

Review by: Caroline Melton, 5 and 7-year-old boys

Read Aloud: 5 and up

Individual Reading: 9 and up

Tell us a little about this book. 

The chronicles of Narnia (The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe) is about siblings who are escaping the war and moving in with a professor in England.  They play hide and seek and discover a wardrobe that leads them to Narnia. There they meet fauns, beavers, a white witch, and other characters who explain the trouble happening in Narnia, and finally Aslan, the lion who will save them for the terrible witch.

What positive messages did your children learn from this book?

Aslan is representing Christ, as he gives up his live to save everyone in Narnia who trust him from the evil power of the white witch and her crew.

Are there any negative messages to be aware of in this book series, and if so, what are they?

Some frightening parts but all the messages point to goodness and salvation.   There is a small amount of bad attitudes and name calling between the siblings, especially towards Edmund.

How have your children grown in their faith from reading this book series?

They see what Christ has done for them b/c of his love and power as the son of God.

What is your favorite thing about this  book series?

The message of salvation thru the blood of Jesus.  Aslan gave us his life for them but came back to life as Christ did for us.  Aslan even gave his life up for Edmond, the wayward sibling, who followed the white witch and was tricked by her.

What is your least favorite thing about this book series?

The siblings have a negative relationship with their sibling Edmond who desires to follow evil instead of good and is tricked.  It’s a prominent part of the book because Aslan gives his own life up for even Edmund.



Elsie Dinsmore

By: Martha Finley

Reviewed by Rachel Schaeffer, 9 and 19-year-old daughters 

Read Aloud: 5-12 (geared towards girls)

Individual Reading: 8-12 (girls)

Tell us a little about this book series? 

Volume One starts with young Elsie Dinsmore at age 8 and includes MANY characters, male and female, young and old.  The series follows all the seasons of their lives together, ending with Elsie as a grandmother.  As you read, you get to know all of the different characters, the “character” that each one has, and how that “character” directly shapes their entire life.

How have your children grown in their faith from reading this book series?

Although these books can certainly serve as self-readers, I highly recommend them as a read-aloud for two reasons.  First, the vocabulary, at least initially for us, required some explaining and paraphrasing. Second, the exemplary Christ-like, character-modeling of Elsie, as she interacts with the other characters and responds to a wide variety of life circumstances, serves as a priceless GEM of a discipleship and shepherding tool — not to be missed for its parental teaching potential.  Stopping to discuss together what is going on has opened the doors wide for real life coaching.  There is always a “message” for each of our children as we read and talk together.

What is your favorite thing about this book series? 

While Elsie herself is a wealthy heiress living a privileged life during the Civil War era, children, preteens, teens and parents alike today can easily relate to Elsie’s humanity — her insecurities, fears, pain, loss, rejection, disappointments and even failures.  Yet, Elsie’s personal relationship with and reliance upon the person of Christ, coupled with her dedication to reading and meditating upon the truth in His Word, shows everyone how to rightly respond to these common life challenges.  This brings both conviction and hope to the reading audience, showing the successful results of a life lived well with Christ-like character.



Christian Heroes: Then & Now

By: Janet Benge, YWAM 

Reviewed by Raegan Laird, age 14

Read Aloud: 7-12

Individual Reading: 9-13

Tell us a little about this book series.

Christian Heroes: Than and Now is about amazing missionaries who show their faith as they go around the world telling people about the gospel. Even when faced with seemingly impossible situations, they trust God to deliver them and they follow His will. This is an exciting series filled with dangerous moments that will inspire everyone to reach for a greater faith.

How did you grow in your faith through reading this book?

 In this book I learned a lot about not just believing God, but believing IN God.  I saw how men and women believed in God as they were on the brink of starvation and death. Though some of the missionaries did die, their faithful service and death saved whole tribes.  A lot of times we say,”Yes I believe that Jesus died for me,” but we don’t put that belief into our every day lives. God did so much more than die for us. He lives through us and I saw that clearly in these missionaries’ lives.

Are there any negative messages to be aware of, and if so, what are they?

I didn’t see any negative lessons in these books.

What is your favorite thing about this book series?

My favorite thing about this series is the fact that although these books teach you a lot about history, they don’t sound like boring history books. They are  real stories that as you read, you can place yourself with the missionaries and in their situations.



The Christy Miller Collection, Vol. 1 (Summer Promise/A Whisper and a Wish/Yours Forever)

By: Robin Jones Gunn

Reviewed by Mary Antony’s 13-year-old daughter

Read Aloud: 13-17 (girls) read through to determine if appropriate  for your teen girl

Individual Reading: 13-17 (girls) read through to determine if appropriate  for your teen girl

Tell us a little about this book series.

This is a series about a girl who learns to trust God through her teen years. The series begins when she is 15 and continues on to when she marries to her God-fearing husband.   

What positive messages will learn from this book series?

Being true to yourself, trusting God is the key to life, God’s love is always true and can be trusted. 

How have you grown in their faith through reading this book series?

I have learned godly principles, values, and convictions in very practical ways through this book. It has taught me how to trust God in every circumstance, overcoming temptations with the truths of God’s word.

What is your favorite thing about this book series?

This series is very exciting and unpredictable. It keeps you coming back for more. It is close to reality without having to compromise with culture and trends. It leaves the reader with a sense of gratitude for the unique person God has created them to be and embrace the circumstances God allows in each life.