Purchase your own home library of good and beautiful books!
Written in 1917, Wilbur Gordy’s biography of Abraham Lincoln brings to life one of the great men of history. The biography is not fictionalized; it sticks to factual information and stories, but it is presented in a way that makes history interesting and meaningful. As the book travels through the life of Abraham Lincoln, from boyhood on up, valuable lessons are taught about wisdom, kindness, honesty, hard work, love of learning, and persevering through trials. (204 pages)
Before dying, Pyesa, Black Hawk’s father and chief of his people, commanded his son to defend their land from whites, who were trying to force the tribe off their land. Black Hawk, however, has no taste for killing and scalping and goes through great internal conflict. The story of this great-hearted leader shows how some whites and Native Americans were peaceful and kind, while others were not. Based on true events, this powerful book teaches about a difficult time period and shares profound, unique messages about love, faith, mercy, humility, friendship, forgiveness, and faith. “I love stories that are beautifully written, that teach about history, and that dig deep into powerful messages; this book does all of these things. Why do we want our children to love reading? Not so they read fast-paced books without value, but because we want them to be immersed in books like Black Hawk that mold the mind and heart in ways that are good and beautiful.” –Jenny Phillips
Fourteen-year-old Keith Burton is going blind, but he does not know it at first. He thinks his father bought him a poorly printed copy of Treasure Island that has words printed with wavy lines. A great terror seizes Keith when he discovers that he is losing his eyesight and realizes that his bright future has suddenly changed. First published in 1919 by the author of Pollyanna, Dawn tells the moving story of Keith’s struggle to find happiness and the dedication of those who so nobly sacrifice and persist in helping him. The well-developed, beloved characters in this deep, insightful book will make you laugh and maybe even cry. (This book was known in England as Keith’s Dark Tower.) (268 pages)
The two children watched and waved until the figures grew smaller and smaller. At last the big, white-topped wagon rolled slowly around a bend in the dusty road. Then they could no longer see their old farm. Daniel and Betsy blinked their blue eyes before they looked at each other. Pa had said that they must not cry when they left their nice farm. They must be happy all the way down the wide valley and across the Cascade Mountains. They must smile as they went up, up into the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon.
Daniel and Besty’s family are some of the very first people to arrive on a little mountain in Oregon where gold was discovered. It’s not long until a whole town of muslin tents pops up. Will the family find gold, and if they do, can they find a place to hide it?
“I give Gold Mountain top scores in every category: educational worth, literary merit, moral excellence, and entertainment value. The mission of The Good and the Beautiful is to bring books back to the world that are lovely and praiseworthy—books like Gold Mountain. Let’s give our children the best books and leave behind ‘junk food’ books that promote low character!” —Jenny Phillips
Brad and his father paddle up the river to land they have just purchased in the wilds of Maine. After building a simple cabin and starting a garden, Brad’s father leaves to get the rest of his family. Brad is brave and industrious while his father is gone, but the young teenager starts to worry when he sees signs of Indians passing through the area. Things, however, go terribly wrong for Brad, and it appears his father may never return. Will he need the help of the Indians to survive? Based loosely on a true experience, this exciting book shows how two very different teenage boys, both who think they are superior to the other, learn important life lessons about respect, tolerance, humility, brotherhood, hard work, and appreciation. (140 pages)
The adventures of three Arctic explorers—Fridtjof Nansen, Robert Edwin Peary, and Matthew A. Henson—are told in this compilation of biographical and autobiographical stories. These fascinating and inspiring accounts are packed with excitement and educational value. Why will the explorers die if they eat the snow when they are thirsty? Why was it sometimes necessary to blow up the ice to save their lives? What explorer lost all of his toes except for one due to frostbite? (147 pages) (Note: The Good and the Beautiful will not be releasing an Audible version of this book.)
If Wong Ting—a river boy in China—had extra coins, he would buy a copper kettle for his mother and a desperately needed new fishing net for his father. For himself, Wong Ting wanted something that money could not buy. In his heart was a secret wish. Only he knew what it was: Wong Ting wanted to walk on the land. This wish is kept hidden for a time as Wong Ting works hard with his family upon their sampan. A raging storm starts a series of exciting events, as the family’s sampan is blown down the angry river out of control toward the open sea. A boat as small as theirs could not hope to ride safely upon the high waves of the South China Sea. As Wong Ting and his family escape pirates, rescue an orphaned baby, and search the river bottom for a bracelet with three jade dragons, gentle messages come to life about respect, obedience, hard work, kindness, integrity, courage, and hope. As Wong Ting dug in his pole, he squinted, trying to see through the heavy downpour, but it completely shut out the high banks along the edges of the Wu. Something began to stir in Wong Ting’s memory. It stayed far back in his mind, a vague shadow of a thought. He tried to grasp what it was, puckering his brow. After a while he remembered.
“Jade Dragons took me to a beautiful land a hundred years ago and immersed me in an exciting story. I love books that teach about cultures and places that I would otherwise never experience. This book is an example of how reading truly good and beautiful literature can be a rich experience for the heart and mind.” —Jenny Phillips
Juddie lay for a while staring up at the twinkling stars overhead. Spread thickly across the dark, clear heavens, they looked close enough to touch. “Someday,” Juddie thought, “when I can read, I’ll find out more about the stars from books.” Ever since Juddie can remember, he has wanted to learn how to read and write. The nearest school, however, is many miles away, and Pa needs Juddie to help work their farm. With wonderful, vivid writing, Florence Wightman Rowland tells a heart-warming story that explores the adventures of a hard-working, lively young man growing up in the Canadian Rockies during the mid-1900s. “Juddie was a favorite book of our editing team. We are delighted to bring back to the world this literary gem for young readers.” –Jenny Phillips
David was raised in an isolated mountain cabin by a devoted father who taught David to love beauty, nature, and music. When David’s father becomes seriously ill, he decides to take David to relatives that the boy has never met. But partway into the journey, his father dies. David does not know the names of his relatives or even the name of his father, which his father had a reason for not telling him. This story is not just about what happens to David, but also what happens to all those who enter his life after this tragic event. (198 pages)
Little Joe’s family has been saving money for a long time, and they are finally able to follow their dream of buying a 40-acre farm. As the only African American family in the rural town in the mid 1900s, they face challenges, but they face them with a kindness and optimism that changes the hearts of those around them. (90 pages)
The Great Death-Defying
Signor Joseph Dobbinelli
Most Daring Animal Trainer in the World, the sign reads, and Sr. Dobbinelli is in need of a good, stout winter barn for his circus animals. Clay and his family have just the barn in Connecticut, but do they have what it takes to care for lions and tigers?
In this delightful tale of adventure and family life on the farm, Clay is in for some lessons on responsibility and wild animal training.
Set in New York in the early 1900s, Melissa Across the Fence begins with an enchanting description of the grand house next door. “In the rear, a lawn ran right back to the fence broken only by a narrow gravel walk, and with a stone fountain directly in the middle. In the spring and summer, water bubbled up in the fountain-basin in jets of flying spray . . . But there was one strange thing about the house that puzzled Melissa: nobody ever seemed to live in it.” However, that soon changes when the shut-up house becomes occupied and Melissa sees a mysterious, pale-looking boy always looking out his window. Who is he? Why does he never come outside? Melissa finds out by writing a message on her chalkboard and holding it up outside the boy’s window. A sweet story of friendship ensues, sprinkled with gentle adventure. “One of the best ways to form noble, beautiful character and writing skills in a child is to give the child books that are noble and beautiful—books like Melissa Across the Fence. We are proud to be bringing back literature by Augusta Huiell Seaman, a well-loved, gifted author who published over 40 books for children.” –Jenny Phillips
This warm, inspiring story—set in a rural New England village called Nearby—is brought to life through the eyes of Mary, the new teacher who devotes herself to changing prejudices and lifting her students’ minds and hearts to a higher place. With beautiful description, award-winning author Elizabeth Yates weaves a complex plot packed with endearing characters and powerful messages. “Nearby is a wonderful example of literature that can address deep, mature issues—such as prostitution, suicide, neglect, and lust versus love—in a way that is not overly descriptive or dark, maintaining an underlying feeling of light and hope. Especially for older teenagers and adults, this clean language version of Nearby is a deeply inspiring book with one of the most beautiful, feel-good endings to a book I have ever read.” –Jenny Phillips
Ernie Brett never could have guessed what surprises lay in store for his family when his father moves them from the shanty mining camp of Skillet Gulch over the hills to Nugget to settle on a new ranch. Set in the high Rocky Mountains of Colorado Territory during the gold rush years, this novel explores some of the risks, hardships, joys, and pastimes of the era. Through hard work and ingenuity, Ernie and Papa are able to provide for the family and improve the farm. When tragedy strikes, will the Bretts have the courage to stay on their beloved ranch? (86 pages)
Things are not easy for Jared Austin, but with hard work and indomitable perseverance, he turns his life into something beautiful, just like the walls that he stencils. This historical fiction novel features fascinating character development, an engaging and unpredictable plot, and wonderful insights into life in New England during the early 1800s, including the “frozen year” of 1816. Elizabeth Yates has woven in moving messages of kindness, gratitude to God, faith, appreciation of nature, hard work, love of learning, self-improvement, optimism, humility, long-suffering, and patience. (164 pages)
Becky and her family leave their farmland in the Ozarks to join nearly 100,000 people in a race for homesteads during the Cherokee Strip Land Run of 1893. With a fast horse named Sprinter, Becky’s family hopes to get some of the best land, but unexpected events threaten their dreams. Interesting characters, an exciting plot, and feel-good messages all come together in this wonderful historical fiction book. (144 pages)
CAPTURED by Romans in the forests of Gaul, Madoc is sold as a slave to a Roman centurion stationed in Judea. Though he is not a hard master, Madoc is determined to escape and find his mother. However, the story takes a turn when Madoc and his master meet followers of Jesus and hear about the new way of living he taught. This story is not only engaging and packed with great messages, but it also teaches about the historical time period and the growing influence of the early Christian faith. (177 pages)
One beautiful day, Ching Lai and his cousin are surprised to find a riderless black donkey coming down the path. Trying to look courageous to his cousin, Ching Lai climbs on the donkey’s back. When the donkey starts to trot away, Ching Lai does not dare get off. Trying not to worry, Ching Lai waits for the donkey to tire and stop, but it goes all day without stopping. Ching Lai soon finds himself far away from his mountain home and caught in a journey that takes him farther and farther away. “This charming Chinese tale is the kind of worthy book I want my children reading. Books like this one help form strong hearts and minds. As children are taken to a beautiful land, they not only gain knowledge but are also exposed to beautiful writing and gentle messages.” —Jenny Phillips “Stop! Stop!” cried Lobei. But the donkey wouldn’t stop, and Ching Lai couldn’t make it stop. He was so taken by surprise at the donkey’s speed that he could think of nothing but holding on tight. He couldn’t cry out, because his teeth were chattering as he jolted up and down on the saddle. But he gripped the reins with both hands and didn’t fall. When the donkey reached the brook and splashed across it, Ching Lai was still on its back.
John Greenleaf Whittier worked tirelessly on his father’s farm, making sure he finished the day’s work before allowing himself to pen the lines of poetry that filled his mind. Eventually, though a difficult choice, John Greenleaf Whittier risked his budding career as a successful poet, editor, and politician—and his life—to join the unpopular anti-slavery movement. As difficult as the decision was, Whittier knew that “the right must win and that duty must be done at all costs.” He dedicated the majority of his life to fighting slavery, and as a result, he lived in poverty most of his life and struggled to care for those he loved. Little did he know the poetry and legacy he left behind would touch the lives of thousands of people for decades after his death. (89 pages) (Note: The Good and the Beautiful will not be creating an Audible version of this book.)
The Story of Marco is a beautiful tale of triumph over trials. The town of Gaylordville is relieved when a gypsy camp that had been in their hills for weeks finally breaks camp and leaves. Scarcely had Gaylordville drawn its long breath of relief, however, when it suddenly awoke to the fact that its troubles were by no means over—the gypsies were not gone, after all. There still remained a sick woman and a nine-year-old boy, Marco. When Marco’s mother dies in the hills, his only companion is his beloved violin. The story follows Marco’s journey to find his place in life and his sister, who had traveled on with the gypsy camp but then disappeared. Despite his struggles, Marco is able to discover goodness and beauty in the world and find true love in a most unexpected way.
This wonderful tale follows the adventures of a printer’s apprentice, Tom Cartwright, in colonial Williamsburg. Not only is Tom caught up in an exciting historical time period, but also in an engaging plot. With skillful writing, the author weaves in inspiring messages, such as how kind actions to those who don’t deserve them can come back to bless you in the most unexpected ways. “When I read this book, I knew it was one that needed to be brought back to the world. It has everything that makes a worthy book: high literary, moral, educational, and entertainment value. If you are a parent that likes to feed your child’s minds with literature that uplifts and teaches, this book is a wonderful choice.” Tom drew back into the shadow of the wall, for at that moment, the gate opened and two of the governor’s black horses appeared pulling a large wagon behind them. Tom could just make out the dark forms of several men crouching low on the seat. The horses’ hoofs must have been padded, for they scarcely made a sound even on the cobblestones of the courtyard.
Helen Keller’s autobiography, The Story of My Life, is not only fascinating and inspiring, but it also includes wonderful description, an elevated vocabulary, and deep insights into life. Accompanying this autobiography is a beautifully written biography, The Touch of Magic, about Helen Keller’s teacher, Annie Sullivan. As a destitute, misbehaving orphan who is going blind, Annie experiences and overcomes the extreme trials in her life, which prepare her for the great work she does with Helen Keller.
Almost at the crest of the hill a path led off to the left. Raman turned aside and followed it. It was a narrow path, covered with thick dust that pressed up between Raman’s bare toes. The hill people called this the “path on the edge of the mountain,” and rightly so, for it was cut right out of the rock itself. From its edge the lonely slopes dropped down, down, without any pause, until they merged with the misty, glittering patchwork of the South Indian plains. As far as one could see, the plains stretched out, patterned with squares of red plowed earth and brilliant green rice fields and blue ponds left by the rains. Puffs of clouds hung suspended between the plains and the path on which Raman stood. Deep in a beautiful hill-town of southern India in the mid-1900s lives Raman, the son of an illiterate woodcutter. More than anything, Raman dreams of buying the beautiful book under a glass case in the marketplace and of one day becoming a scholar. His dreams come crashing down when his family faces hard times. Raman is forced to leave school and instead gather pinecones in the hills to sell for firewood. An unexpected turn of events gives Raman hope and sends him into the hills in search of something other than pinecones. Beautiful description and exciting plot are combined with profound messages about family, education, hard work, persistence, honesty, and sacrifice. “This book is an absolute gem! I give it the highest scores possible for moral, literary, educational, and entertainment merit. ” —Jenny Phillips
Booker T. Washington’s story begins in a Virginia slave hut and ends with worldwide recognition and a life of incredible accomplishments. In this fascinating autobiography, Booker T. Washington tells his own story with skillfull, engaging writing. Not only does the book give insights into a remarkable man, but it also shares profound messages about persistence, education, hard work, humility, strength, service, and sacrifice. (201 pages) (Note: The Good and the Beautiful will not be offering Kindle or Audible versions of this title.)
Fourteen-year-old Zeke and his family leave the Plymouth colonly to build a new life in the wilds of Connecticut. When Zeke and his younger sister are captured by Pequots, Zeke wonders if his new Mohegan friend, Nemox, will prove loyal. Follow the adventures of Zeke, his Native American friend, and the fisher-cat that they find in the forest.