Try The Good and the Beautiful Book List for Free

Are you concerned about disrespect, inappropriate language and material, and low educational and literary value in the books your children are reading? Jenny Phillips has spent thousands of hours scouring and reviewing all genres of literature to bring you her top-recommended books for children and teens. Jenny has found these books to be free from unclean language, taking God’s name in vain, and disrespectful or inappropriate behavior made to look funny or acceptable.  

Are you unsure about your child’s reading level?

Click here to download the Reading Level Assessment

How to Get Your FREE Book List Download

Join The Good and the Beautiful email list, and your download will begin shortly.

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Included in the Book List:

  • 150-page PDF document
  • Reviews and information for over 650 books
  • Reading Levels 2–12, hand-selected by Jenny Phillips to have clean language and content, and be of high literary and moral value

Suggested Items

Frequently Asked Questions

What files come with the Book List download?

The Book List download comes with three different lists:

  1. The Good and the Beautiful Book List
  2. A condensed version of The Good and the Beautiful Book List (to print and bring to the library or book store)
  3. Books that did NOT Make the List

The Book List folder will download as a compressed (.zip) file.

Do you offer, or plan to offer, a printed version of the Book List?

We currently do not.

How often is an updated list released?

Typically the Book List is updated and a new version released once a year on May 1st. For 2019 and 2020, most new additions to the Book List will be books from The Good and the Beautiful Library.

Do you have a copy of the Book List with only the titles and authors, without the images and reviews?

Yes! Our condensed version of the book list is a 10-page document and a part of the booklist download. We highly recommend that you use this in conjunction with the full list. You will want to read through the reviews and notes for each book before choosing to read it. This list is for those who don’t want to print out the 140+ page full document when going to the library, etc.

Is there a list of books that did not make the Book List with explanations as to why?

Yes! It is available as a part of the booklist download. Note from Jenny Phillips: This document is meant as a helpful resource for those interested in my views on books. These reviews reflect my own personal standards, and I do not expect others to have the same standards as I do. Some will have more strict standards in some areas and some less. If you disagree with a book being on this list or the standards used on this list, please do not post your disagreements on a The Good and the Beautiful Facebook Community Pages. Those pages are reserved for offering support in using the curriculum; it is not a place to post arguments or start debates about books or book standards.

What is the exact criteria of The Good and the Beautiful Book List?

Reviews are based on the following standards. If a book goes against ANY of these standards, it is not recommended. This does not mean the book does not also contain good messages or have good qualities. Most unclean books and movies are mixed with some positive messages and qualities. Only books that meet ALL of the standards below are chosen.

  1. Avoids Potty Language and All Uses of Profanity and Taking God’s Name in Vain
  2. Avoids an Underlying Feeling of Negativity or Darkness
  3. Avoids Violence Used for Entertainment or Shock Value or Is Overly Graphic
  4. Does Not Weaken Family, Faith, or Christ‐Like Behavior
    • Portrays strong families, motherhood, and fatherhood as desirable and noble
    • Portrays parents as being valuable, involved, and helpful. If positive family ties are not portrayed, it is clear they are not acceptable.
    • Promotes respect and appreciation for teachers, peers, siblings, and extended family
    • Portrays faith in God as desirable and noble
    • Portrays learning and education as desirable and noble
    • Does not portray bad behavior or weak character traits as humorous, entertaining, normal, or acceptable (laziness, negativity, flippant attitude, disrespect, cruelty, violence, gossip, pride, vanity, self‐centeredness, revenge, greed, worldliness, unkindness, immodesty, immorality, lack of depth of character)
How can I best utilize the Book List?

The Good and the Beautiful Book List was created to be a resource for families seeking better quality literature in their lives. This list can be used to help guide your family to books that will bring joy and be uplifting. Some families may choose to start with reading only books from the Book List, while others will use it as a jumping off point. How you use it within your family is up to you, but here are some helpful tips:

  • Begin with a family discussion about why wholesome books are important.
  • Create a list of family book standards, or use the one we have created for you found here.
  • Fill your home with books from the Book List or other sources that align with your standards, and remove those that you feel do not.
  • Each book is assigned points based on reading level, length of the book, moral merit, literary merit, and educational value. Merit ratings are based on a scale 0–5. All books are worth 1–10 points. Parents may use point values to do their own reading programs with children.

Children are often drawn to fast-moving, instant-gratification books with lower literary value. Some encouragement may be needed to help them learn to crave good books, but with each book they read from the Book List, they will come closer to finding enjoyment and excitement in reading quality literature that can lift them up and help them grow in mind and in spirit.

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