As I stumbled around the Catholic blogosphere at 1 am somewhat mindlessly, I came upon this endeavor that totally took me by surprise. Firstly because it was something I always felt, and wanted to do, and secondly because it was 1 in the morning and finding anything cool made me giddy.
Their goal is to find, promote, write and share good, beautiful, CLEAN books. As a young teen trying to find something worth reading from the YA section, I could have used this ! I believe it is an especially needed adventure today because, aside from the suffocating impurity that we inhale day in and day out, we need to be able to free our minds, take a load off, and unwind to a good, clean, invigorating BOOK. To become lost in a good book is inevitable, to become lost in a good clean book is even better, trust me!
So, go NOW and checkout their website, and then come back here and read my list of favorite clean works of fiction!
You know what’s funny though? I almost find myself enjoying “childrens” books more than YA fiction lately… but mostly because I hated get involved in a story and then having to toss the book into the garbage.. and that happens a lot with YA books….
And I need to point out that the Narnia books, Anne of Green gables books, The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are a given so I won’t be relating them here.
Come Rack! Come Rope!
A really good work of fiction based on the time of the persecution of Catholics in England by Queen Elizabeth. It’s one of those books that once you finish, you just REALLY want it to be made into a film! And then really rethink that desire because films almost always ruin the book…
Here is Wiki explaining the book, “Come Rack! Come Rope! is a historical novel by the English priest and writer Robert Hugh Benson (1871–1914), a convert to Catholicism from Anglicanism. Set in Derbyshire at the time of the Elizabethan persecution of Catholics, when being or harbouring a priest was considered treason and was punishable with death, it tells the story of two young lovers who give up their chance of happiness together, choosing instead to face imprisonment and martyrdom, so that God’s will may be done.”
Oh come onnnn how could I NOT mention this book!? After years of my mum mentioning how much she loved it as a child whenever we come across it on the bookshelf, I finally caved and read it. What a GOOD book.
A Little Princess
Another book that we’ve had in the house that I put off reading until recently… and I ended up LOVING. I love how Sara acts almost saintly; she’s patient and kind, no matter the circumstances.
Yes… ANOTHER book from our family library that I’ve seen around since childhood that I never picked up… until a few years ago. What a sweet story! Heidi’s innocence and childlike-ness is captured perfectly, and it’s overall just a good, “read outside on a summers day by the water” sort of book.
Little House Series
Read the first book for a book report in school and thought it was one of the most boring books I’ve ever read.. reread it last year and found it to be one of the best books I’ve read. Just because of its simplicity, innocence… plus, the tv show Little House on the Prairie was always one of my favorites, so reading the books make me love it even more; even if they weren’t exactly the same.
Love Comes Softly series
Yep… I know, I’m a softie… but what can I do!? It’s CLEAN literature, free of feminism, and an adorable story! The movies are awesome too.
And I bet the books for When Call’s the Heart are just as good, as they are by the same author!
The Blue Castle
I always figured since L.M. Montgomery’s “Anne” and “Emily” books were SO good (plus I find them for wicked cheap at thrift stores!) that they’d all be amazing! I was wrong (don’t read “The Long, Fatal, Love Chase” I mean.. I guess the title is a dead giveaway but… ha)
BUT I DO love “The Blue Castle” !
Here is wiki again, summarizing the story line:
“Valancy Stirling is twenty-nine, unmarried (and thus considered an “old maid”) and has lived her entire life with her nagging mother and gossip-minded extended family who actively discourage happiness and treat Valancy like a child. She retreats from her unhappy circumstances with flights of imaginative fantasy, centering on a fairy-tale Blue Castle. When Valancy is diagnosed with a terminal heart ailment, she hides it from her family and, at the same time, realizes she has never been happy in her life, so she rebels against the colorless life that her family has always imposed on her. She begins by judging them objectively and worse, telling them exactly what she thinks, causing the Stirling clan to conclude that Valancy has suddenly lost her mind.” There’s a whole lot more to the story but, why don’t you read it for yourself?
Number the Stars
Another book that is probably more “Childrens/tweens” than YA fiction BUT, I don’t care 🙂
I found it pretty similar to “The Book Thief” … sort of?
“Number the Stars (1989) is a work of historical fiction by American author Lois Lowry, about the escape of a Jewish family (the Rosens) from Copenhagen, Denmark, during World War II. The story centers on ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen, who lives with her family in Copenhagen in 1943. She becomes a part of the events related to the rescue of the Danish Jews, when thousands of Jews were helped to reach neutral ground in Sweden in order to avoid being relocated to concentration camps. She risked her life in order to help her best friend, Ellen Rosen, by pretending that Ellen is Annemarie’s late older sister Lise, who had died earlier in the war. Lise had been killed by the Nazi military as a result of her work with the Danish Resistance, though her former fiancé Peter, based in part on Danish resistance member Kim Malthe-Bruun, continues to help them. The story’s title is taken from a reference to Psalm 147:4, in which the writer relates that God has numbered all the stars and has named each one of them. It ties into the Star of David, worn by Ellen Rosen on her necklace, which is symbolic to Judaism.” – Wiki
Kilmeny of the Orchard
Another L.M. Montgomery gem; its a short little romance about a deaf girl who becomes the love interest of a guy. That’s pretty much it!
The Two Princesses of Bamarre
Ok, I don’t usually go for children’s fantasy (ok maybe I do?) but this book was a HUGE favorite of mine ever since I borrowed the audio book tapes from our local library one day. I’m not sure why I love it so much.. I mean… I don’t even care for the ending! But its written very well, and has you holding your breath until the very end!
Another book where I didn’t really care for how the book ended – it seems cut off to soon? But I really love the story. It’s a dystopian – actually it’s sort of the teens version of the movie Equilibrium if I think about it…
Beorn the Proud
Actually one of the few book report books I enjoyed!
“The coast of Ireland in the 9th century is the prey of Viking marauders. Young Ness has been taken captive by Beorn, on his first raiding trip with his father’s band of warriors. She must accompany them as they make their way back to Denmark, and so experiences the dangerous tensions and misfortunes that threaten the entire fleet. Her faith in the Christian God–ridiculed by Beorn–helps sustain her during her captivity. But Beorn grows ever prouder and disaster threatens to sweep both him and Ness away.” – Seton
The Hidden Treasure of Glaston
“The confrontation between Archbishop Thomas Becket and King Henry has come to a bloody end, forcing Hugh’s nobleman father into exile. Young Hugh, crippled since childhood, is left behind in the care of the Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey. Glaston, however, becomes more than a mere place of refuge for the lonely boy. Located in the west of England, it is a place where anything might happen. Legends of Arthur and of the Holy Grail, old forgotten passages, a mad hermit and a mysterious manuscript lead Hugh and his friend Dickon through adventure and danger into the faith and peace as much a part of the times as the political upheaval.”– Seton
BOOKS I HAVE NOT YET READ BUT SAW THE FILM, AND OWN THE BOOK, AS WELL AS PLAN TO READ THE BOOK.
City of Ember
I LOVE the story idea; it reminds me of some of the crazy dreams I have where I think (in the dream) “Gosh I can’t wait to wake up and write this story!” and then upon waking I can’t for the life of me write a single paragraph…
“The classic story of a Roman soldier, Marcellus, who wins Christ’s robe as a gambling prize and then sets forth to find the truth about the Nazarene’s robe-a quest that reaches to the very roots and heart of Christianity and is set against the vividly limned background of ancient Rome. Here is a timeless story of adventure, faith, and romance, a tale of spiritual longing and ultimate redemption. “ –Seton
Yes, I’m lazy and I copypaste other people’s summary’s… sue me…
The Scarlet Pimpernel
“The year is 1792. The French Revolution, driven to excess by its own triumph, has turned into a reign of terror. The Mysterious figure known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, sworn to rescue helpless men, women, and children from their doom; his implacable foe, the French agent Chauvelin, relentlessly hunting him down; and the lovely Lady Marguerite Blakeney, a beautiful French exile married to an English lord and caught in a terrible conflict of loyalties-all play their parts in a suspenseful tale that ranges from the squalid slums of Paris to the aristocratic salons of London, from intrigue on a great English country estate to the final denouement on the cliffs of the French coast.” – Seton
Almost like a Robin Hood of sorts.. but during the French Revolution, and he wasn’t stealing money, he was helping people who were in danger of being sent to Madame Guillotine. And of course, I’m always a sucker for Husband & Wife romances!
Like, “The Robe” …
“This panoramic novel of the last days of Christ ranges from the palaces of imperial Rome to the strife-torn hills of Judea-where the conflict of love and betrayal, revenge and redemption, reaches a mighty climax in the drama of the Crucifixion. This is the full story of the world’s most dramatic execution, as it affected one of its least-known participants-the man who hurled his spear into Christ on the Cross.” – Seton
The Story of the Trappe Family Singers
Not fiction, but still…
Crossbows & Crucifixes
“In this story, set in 1585 England, the author tells the tale of a supposed group of “priest hunters” and an armed resistance of Catholic people. The main character Nicholas discovers that his mother has converted to Catholicism and he joins too, quickly becoming involved in a group called the Companions whose purpose is to lead and protect priests from place to place so Catholics can receive the sacraments. ” – True Devotionals
” It is A. D. 311 in West Britain and even in this far-flung province of the Roman Empire Christians are not safe from renewed imperial persecution. At Caer Taff—modern-day Cardiff—a brief skirmish against a marauding tribe, the Deisi, develops into a more dangerous struggle between the new religion and the dominant pagan culture of the local Roman fort. Two friends, Julius and Con, meet and befriend Brychan, a young Christian priest, who is later captured and imprisoned at the base camp of the legion. Torn between obedience to parental orders and the demands of friendship, the boys resolve to help him escape. Aided by Aaron the Hebrew, a Roman soldier who has secretly converted to Christianity after witnessing the martyrdom of St. Alban seven years earlier, they set out to rescue Brychan—but with unexpectedly grave consequences.” – Seton
Can we just have BOOKTUBERS read and talk about how amazing all of the Bethlehem books are? I mean, I wasn’t attracted to them at all as a kid because they were “book report books” and that automatically made them “boring”, but, rereading so many of them now I’m finding them SO good!
I just know I’m going to remember more once I click PUBLISH but… that’s all for now I guess!
Let me know what YOUR favorite clean books are either in the comments or send me a link to your post! I’d love to read your favs!