One of my chess buddies put me on to The Gammage Cup by Carol Kendall. Written in 1959, this fantasy adventure for young readers–a Newbery Award-winner, by the way–is completely devoid of sex, blood-drinking, profanity, and the rest of the current staples of young readers’ fiction. Instead, it just has to plod along with adventure, humor, engaging characters, an amazingly tantalizing historical background, and nice, clear prose. There isn’t even any sorcery or witchcraft in it.
Kids will like it because it’s easy to read without being dumbed-down, and it’s highly imaginative. Adults will enjoy it for exactly the same reasons. It’s probably perfect for reading aloud to your home-schooled 10-year-old.
This is not an overtly “Christian” book. If it has a message, it’s a plea to resist the pressures of conformity. But it’s not hard to imagine God using this book to do good–which is a great deal more than you can say about a lot of the current young readers’ fiction.