Books By Us

These books can be ordered at any large retailing site or from us at Our Store.

Clarkson, Clay with Sally Clarkson. Educating the WholeHearted Child. 3rd ed. Anderson, IN: Apologia Press, 2011 (first published 1994).

Clarkson, Clay. Our 24 Family Ways: A Family Devotional Guide. Monument, CO: Whole Heart Press, 2014 (first published 1998).

Clarkson, Sally and Clay Clarkson. Taking Motherhood to Hearts: A Guide to Starting, Leading, and Tending Your Mom Heart Group. Monument, CO: Whole Heart Press, 2014. For more information on how to start a MomHeart group, visit

Clarkson, Sally and Sarah Clarkson. The Lifegiving Home. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 2015.

Clarkson, Sally with Joel Clarkson. The Lifegiving Home Experience. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 2015.

Clarkson, Sarah. Read for the Heart: Whole Books for WholeHearted Families. Anderson, IN: Apologia Press, 2009.

Picture Books

  • Brumbeau, Jeff. The Quiltmaker's Gift. Illustrated by Gail de Marcken. 3rd ed. New York: Scholastic, 2001.
  • Brumbeau, Jeff. The Quiltmaker's Journey, Illustrated by Gail de Marcken. New York: Orchard, 2004.
  • Cooney, Barbara. Miss Rumphius. New York: Penguin Puffin Books for Young Readers, 1982.
  • Early, Margaret. Robin Hood. New York: Abrams, 1996.
  • Early, Margaret. William Tell. New York: Abrams, 1991.
  • Flournoy, Valerie. The Patchwork Quilt. Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. NY: Penguin/Dial Books for Young Readers, 1985.
  • Gray, Libba Moore. My Mama Had a Dancing Heart. Illustrated by Raúl Colón. New York: Orchard Books, 1995.
  • Hall, Donald. Ox-Cart Man. Illustrated by Barbara Cooney. New York: Viking, 1979.
  • Hodge, Margaret. Saint George and the Dragon. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. New York: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 1984.
  • Hort, Lenny. The Boy Who Held Back the Sea. Illustrated by Thomas Locker. New York: Dial, 1987.
  • Hunkin, Oliver. Dangerous Journey: The Story of Pilgrim’s Progress. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 1985.
  • Irving, Washington. Rip Van Winkle. Story adapted by Ashley Foehner. Illustrated by Thomas Locker. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Group, 2008 (first published 1989).
  • McLerran, Alice. Roxaboxen. Illustrated by Barbara Cooney. New York: HarperCollins Children’s Books. 1991.
  • Munsch, Robert. Love You Forever. Illustrated by Sheila McGraw. Buffalo, NY: Firefly, 1986.
  • Rylant, Cynthia. The Relatives Came. Illustrated by Stephen Gammell. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1985.
  • Rylant, Cynthia. When I Was Young in the Mountains. Illustrated by Diane Goode. New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 1982.

Classic Literature for the Entire Family

Many of these books have long been in the public domain and are available in many editions. For this reason we have not given publishing information, just the original publishing date. Most are available online, but used bookstores are also great sources.

  • Alcott, Louisa May. Jo's Boys. 1886.
  • Alcott, Louisa May. Little Men. 1871.
  • Alcott, Louisa May. Little Men. 1871.
  • Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. 1868.
  • Burnett, Frances Hodgson. Little Lord Fauntleroy. 1885‒6.
  • Burnett, Frances Hodgson. The Secret Garden. 1911.
  • Eliot, George (Mary Anne Evans), Middlemarch. 1871‒72.
  • George MacDonald. At the Back of the North Wind. 1871.
  • George MacDonald. Phantastes. 1858.
  • George MacDonald. The Princess and the Goblin. 1872.
  • Grahame, Kenneth. The Wind in the Willows. 1908.
  • Hugo, Victor. Les Misérables. 1862.
  • MacDonald, George. At the Back of the North Wind. 1871.
  • Marshall, Catherine. Christy. 1967.
  • Milne, A. A. Winnie-the-Pooh. 1926.
  • Montgomery, Lucy Maud. Anne of Green Gables. 1908.
  • Montgomery, Lucy Maud. Jane of Lantern Hill. 1937.
  • Montgomery, Lucy Maud. The Story Girl. 1911.
  • Nesbit, E. The Railway Children. 1906.
  • Nesbit, E. The Story of the Treasure Seekers. 1899.
  • Porter, Eleanor H. Just David. 1913.
  • Porter, Eleanor H. Pollyanna. 1913.
  • Potter, Beatrix. The Tale of Peter Rabbit. 1902.
  • Sewell, Anna. Black Beauty. 1877.
  • St. John, Patricia. Treasures of the Snow. 1950.
  • St. John, Patricia, The Tanglewood’s Secret (1948).
  • Spyri, Johanna. Heidi. 1881.
  • Stevenson, Robert Louis, Treasure Island. 1883.
  • Stevenson, Robert Louis. Kidnapped. 1886.
  • Stratton-Porter, Gene. A Girl of the Limberlost, 1909.
  • Stratton-Porter, Gene. Freckles. 1904.
  • Stratton-Porter, Gene. The Keeper of the Bees. 1925.
  • Tolkein, J. R. R. The Hobbit. 1937.
  • Tolstoy, Leo. Anna Karenina. 1873‒1877.
  • Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. 1885.
  • Twain, Mark. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. 1876.
  • Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. 1876.
  • Wyss, Johann. The Swiss Family Robinson. 1812.

Historical Fiction for Young People

  • Brady, Esther Wood. Toliver’s Secret. New York: Yearling/Random House, 1976.
  • Collier, James Lincoln and Christopher Collier. My Brother Sam Is Dead. New York: Scholastic, 2005 (first published 1974.
  • Forbes, Esther Hoskins. Johnny Tremain: A Story of Boston in Revolt. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1943.
  • Hunt, Irene. Across Five Aprils. Reprint ed. Berkley Books, 2002 (first published 1964).
  • Keith, Harold. Rifles for Watie. New York: Harper Trophy 1987 (first published 1957).
  • Latham, Jean Lee, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch. New York: HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1955.

Fiction for Older Children and Adults

  • Berry, Wendell. A Place on Earth. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2001 (first published 1967.
  • Berry, Wendell. Remembering. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2009.
  • Enger, Leif. Peace Like a River. New York: Grove, 2001.
  • Goudge, Elizabeth. Pilgrim’s Inn. The Eliots of Damerosehay, book 2. Reprint ed. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2013 (first published 1948).

Book Series

Anderson, C. W. Billy and Blaze series. 1936‒1969.

This beautifully illustrated series about a boy and his pony has stood the test of time. There are eleven books in the series to choose from, beginning with the original Billy and Blaze. The simple, straightforward text makes this series great for young readers who are just starting to want “chapter books.”

Barklem, Jill. Brambly Hedge books. 1980‒2010.

In this charming series of picture books, author/illustrator Jill Barklem creates an irresistible world populated by a community of mice who inhabit—yes—a brambly hedge somewhere in the English countryside. The intricately detailed illustrations are worth the price of the books. These charming tomes are available both in individual volumes, as a one-volume collection (The Complete Brambly Hedge (HarperCollins Children's Books, 2011) and a boxed set. Find out more about this delightful series at the Brambly Hedge website. [link:

Farley, Walter. The Black Stallion series. 1941‒1983.

Our family loved this long-running series focused around the adventures of a boy and the beautiful black stallion he befriended. The original, The Black Stallion, tells the story of how the two met. The adventures—all twenty-one of then—continue from there.

Lewis, C. S. Chronicles of Narnia. 1950-46.

S. Lewis’s classic fantasy series works equally well as exciting adventure and Christian allegory and was a mainstay at our house. Begin with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which introduces the Land of Narnia, its ruler, Aslan the lion, and a variety of residents and visitors. Then continue on to Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician’s Nephew, and The Last Battle.

Mains, David and Karen. The Kingdom Tales Trilogy. 1986‒1996.

This wonderful series consists of three exciting volumes—Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. Beloved of families for more than thirty years, these are now back in print. Order from or from Mainstay Ministries [link:], which also offers autographed copies of the original hardcovers.

Moody, Ralph. Little Britches series (1950‒1968)

The first book in this wonderful autobiographical series—Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers—is the one our family loves best, but Ralph Moody went on to write seven more books in the series, all still in print and great for reading aloud. (See [] for a list of the books in order.) Simple yet rich in historical detail, they tell of the author’s early life ranching in Colorado during the early days of the twentieth century. All are still in print from Bison Books in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Can link to the Bison Books/University of Nebraska Press page:

Tolkein, J. R. R. The Lord of the Rings. 1954‒55.

Simply the best as far as our family is concerned. Published as three distinct volumes: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, this allegorical fantasy series can also be found in a one-volume edition published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2004.

Inspiring and Instructive Nonfiction

  • Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. The Cost of Discipleship. Tr. R. H. Fuller. New York: Touchstone, 1995 (first published 1937).
  • Chambers, Oswald. My Utmost for His Highest: An Updated Edition in Today's Language. Ed. James Reimann. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House, 1992 (first published 1935).
  • Elisabeth Elliot. A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael. Reprint ed. Grand Rapids: Revell. 2005 (first published 1987).
  • Foster, Richard. Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992.
  • Guinness, Os. The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2003.
  • Ireton, Kimberlee Conway. The Circle of Seasons: Meeting God in the Church Year. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2008.
  • L’Engle, Madeleine. Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art. Wheaton Literary Series. New York: Northpoint Press, 1995 (first published 1980).
  • Lewis, C. S.. The Great Divorce. New York: HarperCollins 2001 (first publiished 1946.
  • Lewis, C. S.. The Screwtape Letters. New York: HarperCollins 2001 (first publiished 1942.
  • Nouwen, Henri. The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey through Anguish to Freedom. New York: Doubleday/Image, 1998, first publisher 1996.
  • Peterson, Eugene. Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005.
  • Willard, Dallas. The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God. New York: HarperCollins, 1998.
  • Yancey, Philip. What's So Amazing about Grace. new edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002 (first published 1997).

Art Books

  • Poortvliet, Rien. Noah's Ark. Reissue edition. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1992 (original Dutch publication 1985).
  • Ergenbright, Ric. The Art of God. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 1999.
  • Terrill, Steve. The Wonder of It All. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Press, 2001.
  • Locker, Thomas and Candace Christiansen. Sky Tree: Seeing Science through Art. New York: HarperCollins/HarperTrophy, 2001 (first published 1995).
  • Poortvliet, Rien and Hans Bouma. He Was One of Us. tr. Brian McDermott. reprint edition. Ada, MI: Baker Pub. Group, 1994 (original Dutch publication 1974).

Cookbooks and Cookbook Authors

In the section we have listed not just our favorite cookbooks, but the cookbook authors who inspire and instruct us.

Branch, Susan. Heart of the Home series.

The Clarkson girls always loved paging through this author’s beautiful handwritten cookbooks with their quaint illustrations and homey recipes. Sadly, many of the books in this series are out of print but can still be found online. And Susan Branch’s website [link] features the same combination of beautiful art, lovely text, and mouth-watering recipes.

Colorado Cache Cookbook.

This production of the Junior League of Denver is perhaps a more local favorite, but it’s good enough to have attracted a wider audience. We used the recipes in this book often and found them excellent. Order the thirtieth anniversary edition from the Junior League of Denver website [link] or look for it used from other online sources.

Garten, Ina (the Barefoot Contessa). The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. New York: Clarkson Potter, 1999.

Ina Garten started with a specialty food store called The Barefood Contessa, went on to host a Food Network show by the same name, and went on to become synonymous with friendly elegance and easygoing entertaining. Almost any recipe in her numerous books is worth trying—the one listed here was just the first—and the photographs are gorgeous.

Oliver, Jamie. Jamie’s Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals. Reprint ed. New York: Hachette Books, 2011.

British chef Jamie Oliver first became known with a BBC cooking show called The Naked Chef and a bestselling cookbook with the same name. But he made an international splash with his global campaign for simpler, healthier food in homes and schools. Nate, as a budding chef, especially loved Jamie’s exuberant, experimental style, and the recipes tend to be fresh, healthy, and innovative.

Advent Devotionals

Pennoyer, Greg and Gregory Wolfe. God with Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas. Brewster, MA: Paraclete, 2007.

Blumhardt, Christoph Friedrich et al. Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas. Walden, NY: Plough, 2001.

Christmas Picture Books

Wojciechowski, Susan. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, illus. P. J. Lynch. gift ed. With CD. Somerville, MA: Candlewick, 2007 (first publiished 1995).

Lewis, Beverly. Annika's Secret Wish. illus. Pamela Querin. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House, 1999.

Houston, Gloria. The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story. illus. Barbara Cooney. reprint ed. New York: Picture Puffins, 1996 (first published 1988).

Goudge, Elizabeth. I Saw Three Ships. illus. Margot Tomes. reprint ed. Boston: David R. Godine, 2014 (first published 1969).

Kinsey-Warnock, Natalie. A Christmas Like Helen's. illus. Mary Azarian. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2004.

Henry. The Gift of the Magi. illus. P. J. Lynch. Somerset, MA: Candlewick, 2008 (first published 1905).

Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. illus. P. J. Lynch. Somerset, MA: Candlewick, 2006 (first published 1843).

Tudor, Tasha. Take Joy! The Tasha Tudor Christmas Book. New York: Philomel, 1980.

This beautiful book is long out of print but worth looking for!

Walburg, Lori. The Legend of the Candy Cane. illus. James Bernardin. Grand Rapids: Zonderkidz, 1997.

Van Dyke, Henry. The Story of the Other Wise Man. 1895.

This classic has been reprinted many times. If you can, find a copy with the preface written for a later edition—it alone is worth the cost of the book.