Connecting Parents to Clean Chapter Books

I used to believe all chapter books were clean. After all, there are some topics (sex, sexualized behavior, violence, inflicting harm on one’s own body) that everyone believes are inappropriate for children ages 6-9.

. . . Right?

But as secular children’s entertainment brands continue to demonstrate, the definitions of what is universally unsafe or inappropriate for children have changed.

These days, it takes a little more work to find good entertainment choices for your kids. I know. At the time of this writing, I have twins who are ripe targets for preschool TV shows pushing themes of racial injustice, gay parents, and gender-fluid characters.

With this blog series, I hope to save you some work by sharing the results of my own research efforts. Below, you’ll find a list of clean reads for your chapter book readers.

Does Not Contain

All authors have consented that their books contain no . . . 

  • language that would constitute swear words on network television
  • gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender content
  • references to quasi-spiritual activities which could be carried out in a way that opposes the Bible (meditation, clearing your mind, envisioning your future, believing in karma)

Might Contain

Many of the books on this list are written by authors who identify as Christians, but not all.

A Note About Fantasy & Magic

Please note: Books containing heavy fantasy and magical elements are beloved in our household and therefore will appear on this list. Some books may even contain vocabulary such as witch, wizard, spell, or casting.

While I understand (and respect) families who draw a boundary here, I personally feel it’s simply a matter of genre set dressing. You can’t have sci-fi without spaceships, Westerns without cowboys . . . or fantasy without magic.

Magic in a fantasy novel is often nothing more than a piece of worldbuilding. If the same story were retold as science fiction, you can usually swap magic for technology and little else in the story changes.

I will not recommend a book if magic-wielding characters exhibit real-life occult practices, or if a story goes out of it way to focus on real-life pagan religious procedures.

I explain this so you understand our family’s personal preferences and my criteria for this list. Exercise your family’s guidelines as you see fit.

Happy reading!

We also have a Middle Grade Spotlight which follows similar guidelines.

P.S. If you encounter something in a book that goes against my posted guidelines above, please email me at