Living Literature Booklists

If you asked me to name a few things that have made THE most impact in our homeschool over the years, one of the answers I would give without hesitation is living literature.

Many precious hours have been spent together around books. Those moments have built strong bonds between us, created warm memories, and sparked lively discussions.

We’ve been gently prodded to build our character and define our values as we’ve learned from great victories and tragic mistakes of the characters in our books.We’ve been planted knee-deep in historical time periods and come to know and love each era because of it. We’ve turned around on the other side of science books and seen just how much new information was quietly placed in our brains.

Yes, living books have made quite the impression and quite the difference in our little homeschool.

Living Literature has been key to our homeschool over the years! These fabulous living literature booklists span all ages and subject areas.

Over the years, I’ve spent hours choosing the right books for our specific purposes. I’ve scoured the library, taken advice from well-respected home educators who’ve gone before me, and researched a bunch to make sure what we spent our time reading was worthy. And…I kept lists of the really good books we used for those specific purposes.

I’ve gathered many of those living literature booklists for you in this post! I sure hope it saves you some time as you strive to choose the best of the best books for your homeschool.

Living Literature Booklists

Not too long ago, I pulled together a 10-day series (that turned into an 11-day series) of our favorite living books for several subjects. Each of the posts below give you a “Top 10” booklist. It sure was hard to narrow some of these categories to only 10 books, but I know you’re going to enjoy them as much as our family!


Character Training Booklists

From the very beginning, we’ve used literature as part of “the plan” to demonstrate Christian character and even shared Biblical truths. These mega booklists are two of my very favorite. (You might like to see how I use just about any book to teach a values lesson, too.)

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Themed Book Lists

Often, when I write about our studies, I also include lists of great living literature we used during our learning.  These posts each contain substantial book lists to go-along with various themes.

Booklists for Geography

These two studies were so much fun! They relied heavily on the use of living literature to drive the whole learning experience.

 Across the U.S.A. Through Picture Books Around the World With Picture Books

Booklists for Writing with Older Students

These particular posts have been wildly popular on my blog. I think it’s because so many homeschool moms feel inadequate to teach writing. Or, maybe because so many students either balk at writing or lack the skills to write well. We’ve had so much success in our homeschool by using master writers (picture book authors) as examples for mini-lessons!

 Using Picture Books To Teach Narrative Writing Using Picture Books To Teach Persuasive Writing Using Picture Books To Teach Biography Writing Using Picture Books To Teach Expository Writing Using Picture Books To Teach Voice in Writing Using Picture Books To Teach Literary Techniques Using Picture Books To Teach Text Structure

Summer Reading Booklists

Just because its summer break doesn’t mean that books can’t be educational. Books are a wonderful way to continue growing and learning through the summer. Here are some good ones!



Unit Study Booklists

Unit studies, or even themed reading months, have been an integral part of our learning. It’s so much fun to dive into a subject and read all you can about it. Most of these posts include large living literature booklists AND lesson ideas.












Human Body Systems


Leonardo da Vinci

Light & Sound


Simple Machines



Middle Ages




Early American Explorers

Native Americans

Colonial Times

American Revolution

Pioneers and Westward Expansion

Slavery and the Civil War


Presidents of the United States

The Arts

Artist Study

Composer Study

Toddler Books

Toddler Books

Math Books

Lit mathMath opGeometryCounting Picture BooksMeasurement Picture BooksMeasurement of Data Picture BooksFractions Picture BooksTime and Money Picture BooksProblem Solving Picture BooksLiving Books for Elementary MathLiving Books for Middle School Math


Middle School Books



Our Favorite Authors

Which picture book authors have we been able to trust time and time again to deliver excellent literature? Here are our top 12.

 Six of Our Favorite Children’s Authors Six More of Our Favorite Children’s Authors

Living Literature Grammar Packs

We love literature so much that I even wrote a curriculum appropriate for grades 3-5 that uses great living books to teach grammar, reading comprehension, spelling and writing. If your kiddo needs a fun nudge to understand a particular grammar concept more, the grammar booklist should help.

 Living Literature Grammar Packs Grammar Literature Booklist

Use More Living Books in Your Homeschool

Not sure how to incorporate living books into your homeschool? Let me help you! In this living literature video training, I explain how you can build living books into your homeschool plan. By using living books, you can help keep your kids engaged while teaching them to become lifelong learners!

I’m always adding new booklist posts that I write to this page. Bookmark it and visit often!

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  1. I was looking for some books for teaching History subject to my kid. This list has lessened my work. Such a great list of books that cover all major subjects.

  2. Glad you found the lists helpful, Stephanie!

  3. I have been searching the internet for hours for the info you just provided. Such useful booklists that I’ve bookmarked this post to review it whenever I need. I just can’t wait to try some of these books for my children!

  4. I am COMPLETELY overwhelmed…I want to do unit studies with my 10 year old Aspie, but there is so much info my brain is hurting!

  5. I understand, Debrz. Take it slow and plan simple studies to begin with. I’m always happy to help you think through your plan of action during a consult. 🙂

  6. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
    “The only limits you see are the ones you impose on yourself.” ― Dr. Wayne Dyer

  7. Cassy Satterfield says:

    I wanted to take a moment to tell you thank you for this post. I have been homeschooling for 16 years and have written curriculum for my own children, unit studies etc.. your blog post is so encouraging!! It’s encouraging to me and I know it has been and will be to anyone else who comes across it.

    Many Blessings, Cassy Satterfield

  8. Cassy, that’s the nicest thing you could say to me! Thank you! ❤️

  9. Tcheronline says:

    Great Work! Thank you for the list, very helpful.

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