Download the Book List

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Included in the Book List:
  • 182-page PDF document updated May 2021.
  • Reviews and information for over 700 books.
  • Reading levels Beginner Books to Level 12 hand-selected by Jenny Phillips to have clean language and content and be of high literary and moral value.

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    Frequently Asked Book List Questions

    What files come with the Book List download?

    The Book List download comes with three different lists:

    1. The Good and the Beautiful Book List
    2. A condensed version of The Good and the Beautiful Book List (to print and bring to the library or book store)
    3. Books that did NOT Make the List

    The Book List folder will download as a compressed (.zip) file.

    Do you offer, or plan to offer, a printed version of the Book List?

    We currently do not.

    How often is an updated list released?

    Typically the Book List is updated and a new version released once a year in early May.

    Do you have a copy of the Book List with only the titles and authors, without the images and reviews?

    Yes! Our condensed version of the book list is available sorted by author or by level and is part of the Book List download. We highly recommend that you use this in conjunction with the full list. You will want to read through the reviews and notes for each book before choosing to read it. This list is for those who don’t want to print out the 160+ page full document when going to the library, etc.

    Is there a list of books that did not make the Book List with explanations as to why?

    Yes! It is available as a part of the Book List download.

    Note from Jenny Phillips: This document is meant as a helpful resource for those interested in my views on books. These reviews reflect my own personal standards, and I do not expect others to have the same standards as I do. Some will have more strict standards in some areas and some less. If you disagree with a book being on this list or the standards used on this list, please do not post your disagreements online or on social media including on The Good and the Beautiful Community pages. Those pages are reserved for offering support in using the curriculum; it is not a place to post arguments or start debates about books or book standards.

    What is the exact criteria of The Good and the Beautiful Book List?

    Reviews are based on the following standards. If a book goes against ANY of these standards, it is not recommended. This does not mean the book does not also contain good messages or have good qualities. Most unclean books and movies are mixed with some positive messages and qualities. Only books that meet ALL of the standards below are chosen.

    1. Avoids Potty Language and All Uses of Profanity and Taking the Lord’s/God’s Name in Vain
    2. Avoids an Underlying Feeling of Negativity or Darkness
    3. Avoids Violence Used for Entertainment or Shock Value or Is Overly Graphic
    4. Does Not Weaken Family, Faith, or Christ‐Like Behavior
      • Portrays strong families, motherhood, and fatherhood as desirable and noble
      • Portrays parents as being valuable, involved, and helpful. If positive family ties are not portrayed, it is clear they are not acceptable.
      • Promotes respect and appreciation for teachers, peers, siblings, and extended family
      • Portrays faith in God as desirable and noble
      • Portrays learning and education as desirable and noble
      • Does not portray bad behavior or weak character traits as humorous, entertaining, normal, or acceptable (laziness, negativity, flippant attitude, disrespect, cruelty, violence, gossip, pride, vanity, self‐centeredness, revenge, greed, worldliness, unkindness, immodesty, immorality, lack of depth of character)

    How can I best utilize the Book List?

    The Good and the Beautiful Book List was created to be a resource for families seeking better quality literature in their lives. This list can be used to help guide your family to books that will bring joy and be uplifting. Some families may choose to start with reading only books from the Book List, while others will use it as a jumping off point. How you use it within your family is up to you, but here are some helpful tips:

    • Begin with a family discussion about why wholesome books are important.
    • Create a list of family book standards, or use the one we have created for you found on this page.
    • Fill your home with books from the Book List or other sources that align with your standards, and remove those that you feel do not.
    • Each book is assigned points based on reading level, length of the book, moral merit, literary merit, and educational value. Merit ratings are based on a scale 0–5. All books are worth 1–10 points. Parents may use point values to do their own reading programs with children.

    Children are often drawn to fast-moving, instant-gratification books with lower literary value. Some encouragement may be needed to help them learn to crave good books, but with each book they read from the Book List, they will come closer to finding enjoyment and excitement in reading quality literature that can lift them up and help them grow in mind and in spirit.