Favorite Books of Kenton Rickard

(No kidding—he has read all these!)

A teenage boy will like all these books. It's just a question of when they are ready to read them.

Great books for ages 11-16

Great books for ages 13-16

Great books for ages 15-16

Great books for ages 11-16

Alexander, Lloyd. The Prydain Chronicles, a series of six books. The first, The Book of Three, was published in 1964 by Henry Holt & Company, Inc.

Ashley, Robert. The Stolen Train, published in 1953 by Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Inc.

Case, Elinor. Yankee Traitor, Rebel Spy, published in 1961 by The Westminster Press.

Farley, Walter. The Black Stallion, published in 1941 by Random House.


Of the many other horse stories by the same author, all are good reading except The Island Stallion Races and The Black Stallion's Ghost. The last dabbles in the occult.

George, Jean Craighead. My Side of the Mountain, published in 1959 by E. P. Dutton.

Harnett, Cynthia. The Wool-Pack, published in 1951 by Methuen & Co., Ltd.

Kauffman, Reginald Wright. Barbary Bo: A Story of the Barbary Pirates, published in 1929 by David McKay Company.

Kendall, Carol. The Gammage Cup, published in 1959 by Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc.

The Whisper of Glocken, published in 1965 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers.

Latham, Jean Lee. Carry on Mr. Bowditch, published in 1955 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Lewis, C. S. Chronicles of Narnia, a series of seven books. The first, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, was published in 1950.

O'Dell. Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphins, published in 1960 by Houghton Mifflin Co.

Pyle, Howard. Men of Iron, published in 1892.

Otto of the Silver Hand, published in 1888.

Some Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, published in 1883.

The Story of King Arthur and His Knights, published in 1903-1910.

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Hobbit, published in 1936.


Among Christians, the books of Tolkien are controversial. I understand why many godly parents have doubts about a fantasy series that has spawned so many unwholesome imitations, as well as an unwholesome Hollywood version of itself. But I myself do not think Tolkien's work should be set off limits. Nowhere else in the world of literature do we find a better portrayal of noble character. The books are outstanding in other ways also, so I think the best policy is to let our children read about Frodo and his friends. Yet I would advise parents to guard their children from taking a wrong view of magic. Tolkien uses magic simply as a literary device to convey larger meaning. Good magic represents the power of God, and the good magician represents the man of God. But although his choice of symbols makes a good story, it certainly can leave false impressions. Children should be told that real magic is always occult and real magicians are always evil.

Twain, Mark. Adventures of Tom Sawyer, published in 1876.

The Prince and the Pauper, published in 1882.

Tom Sawyer Abroad, published in 1894.

Tom Sawyer, Detective, published in 1896.

Verne, Jules. A Trip to the Moon, published in 1865.

Journey to the Center of the Earth, published in 1864.

Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, published in 1870.

White, John. Archives of Anthropos, a series of six books by the original author. The first book, Tower of Geburah, was published in 1978 by InterVarsity Press.

Wyss, Johann. Swiss Family Robinson, published in 1812.

Great books for ages 13-16

Alexander, Lloyd. The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen, published in 1991 by Penguin Books USA Inc.

Arnold, Nason H. Tinker of Stone Bluff, published in 1936 by Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc.

Ballantyne, R. M. The Dog Crusoe, published in 1861.

Fighting the Flames, published in 1867.


Although clearly expressing a Christian world view, many of Ballantyne's novels present scenes of violence in gruesome detail. His purpose is to teach young readers not to glamorize war, or destruction of any kind, but to understand how horrible it is. Yet sometimes he goes too far. Parents must exercise discretion.

Bond, Douglas. Crown and Covenant, a trilogy. The First, Duncan's War, was published in 2002 by P&R Publishing Co.

Faith & Freedom, a trilogy. The first, Guns of Thunder, was published in 2007 and the second,
     Guns of the Lion, was published in 2008 by P&R Publishing Co.

Finkel, George. Watch Fires to the North, published in 1967 by The Viking Press.

Henty, G. A. The Boy Knight (1891), St. George for England (1884), Under Drake's Flag (1882), With Wolf in Canada (1886), Wulf the Saxon (1894), and many others.

Hess, Donna L. A Father's Promise, published in 1987 by Bob Jones University Press.

Kelly, Eric P. The Trumpeter of Krakow, published in 1928 by Macmillan Publishing Co.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. Black Arrow, published in 1888.

Tolkien, J. R. R. The Lord of the Rings, published in 1954-1955.

Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, published in 1885.

van der Loeff, A. Rutgers. Avalanche, published in 1958 by William Morrow & Company, originally published in 1957 in Great Britain.

Verne, Jules. The Mysterious Island, published in 1874.

Great books for ages 15-16

Ballantyne, R. M. Blue Lights, published in 1888.

Coral Island, published in 1857.

Beowulf, a medieval tale.

Buchan, John. Castle Gay, published in 1929.

House of the Four Winds, published in 1935.

Huntingtower, published in 1922.

John Burnet of Barns, published in 1898.

Prester John, published in 1910.

Thirty-Nine Steps, published in 1915.

Childers, Erskine. Riddle of the Sands, published in 1903.

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Deerslayer, published in 1841.

The Last of the Mohicans, published in 1826.

The Pathfinder, published in 1840.

The Prairie, published in 1827.

The Spy, published in 1821.

Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol, published in 1843.

David Copperfield, published in 1850.

Great Expectations, published in 1861.

Nicholas Nickleby, published in 1839.

A Tale of Two Cities, published in 1859.

Escott-Inman, H. Honour Bright, published in 1904.

The Mill-Lass of Ilderleigh, published in 1908.

The Second-Form Master of St. Cyril's, published in 1905.

Wulnoth the Wanderer, published in 1928 (new ed.) by Longmans, Green and Co.

Heyerdahl, Thor. Kon Tiki, published in 1950 by Rand McNally & Company.

Juster, Norton. The Phantom Tollbooth, published in 1961 by Random House, Inc.

Keith, Harold. Rifles for Watie, first published in 1957, now published by HarperCollins Publishers.

Kipling, Rudyard. Captains Courageous, published in 1897.

Lewis, C. S. Out of the Silent Planet, published in 1938.

Nordhoff, Charles, and James Norman Hall, Falcons of France, published in 1929 by Little, Brown, and Company.

Peretti, Frank. Hangman's Curse, published in 2001 by Thomas Nelson.

Nightmare Academy, published in 2002 by Thomas Nelson.


Other titles by this author are not recommended. They drift into fascination with lurid details.

Porter, Jane. The Scottish Chiefs, published in 1809.

Scott, Sir Walter. Ivanhoe, published in 1819.

Quentin Durward, published in 1823.

Stevenson, Robert Louis. David Balfour, published in 1892.

Kidnapped, published in 1886.

Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom's Cabin, published in 1852.

Twain, Mark. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, published in 1889.

Verne, Jules. Around the World in Eighty Days, published in 1873.

Michael Strogoff, published in 1876.