Review of 'Book Girl' by Sarah Clarkson

I was excited to see what this book was about.  Being an avid reader myself, since childhood, I was interested to see what Sarah's take on it all was knowing she has been brought up in a family whom loves and promotes books.  The thing that really stuck out for me though, that I had never thought of before was the following thought. How books form a child's positive view on the world by building the child's imagination and understanding of the world around them.  She was discussing how if a child has a good basis of books in their early years, it will help them to deal with and balance the sorrow of reality in the world.  In relating to my own experience I would have to say I agree!

She has included lists of her favorite books in different categories and has written a summary of each book and why she likes it/why it is on the list, underneath.  She did qualify her choices at the beginning stating how a lot of the books are not necessarily Christian or written by Christian authors but how often a Christian message can still be gleaned out of them.  I get what she is trying to get at, however I tend to disagree.  I have read my fair share of both Christian and Non-Christian books in my childhood and through my life.  I would say hands down, that the Christian books are always my favorite of the two.  To me there is a level of inspiration behind Christian books, something that goes deeper and I always come away from them encouraged in some way.  Whereas secular books, for me, fall flat and leave me with an empty feeling at the end.  God can speak through anything, yes, however I think it's best to keep our minds on all that is good and wholesome etc.

I felt sad at how she left out so many incredible Christian novels and books, to be honest.  She made a light mention of Janette Oke and one book by Francine Rivers.  I can think of some fantastic series that deserve to be listed as must reads such as 'The Zion Series' or anything by Brock and Bodie Thoene,  'The Stonewyke Chronicles', 'The Emerald Isle Series', BJ Hoff has written a lot of great series, 'The Tale of 3 Kings' by Gene Edwards.  There are amazing biographies on Susanna Wesley, George Mueller, Gladys Aylward.  Some other incredible favorites of mine are 'Vanya' and 'Bruchko', 'Run Baby Run' and 'Granny Brand'.  Max Lucado has written some fantastic books, as had Tommy Tenney, John Ortberg and John Eldredge.  Frank Peretti had some excellent books.  The 'Left Behind' book series is amazing. 'Selected to Live' is another good one.

I was happy to see she mentioned some other favorites of mine: 'The Great Divorce' by CS Lewis and 'Till We Have Faces' also by CS Lewis and Pilgrims Progress by Bunyan.

I realize she did not intend her lists to be exhaustive as I'm sure she even thought of more once the book had gone to print.  Sarah has prioritized more recognized literature as according to the world's standards, (including Harry Potter) here in this book - with the addition of some Christian books throughout.

Overall, it's okay.  If you read her recommendations - do so with caution.  For Christians, I wouldn't recommend some of the books she has on her list to read.