Interview with Mark Hamby {Part 2: Book Recommendations and a Word on Harry Potter}

Here is the second part of my interview with Mark Hamby, president of Lamplighter Publishing. I hope you enjoy it and are encouraged!

What are some books that have impacted you personally? What books would you recommend for young adults, specifically, to read as they lay the foundations for the rest of their adult lives?

For preschool children: The 8 illustrated Trusty books! Trusty Tried and True, Trusty Gets off Track, Trusty Tries to Fly, Trusty Faces His Fear, Trusty and Bully Blaire, Trusty Turns Green, Trusty and Ingrid Fibster, and the newest release, Trusty Makes a U-Turn! These stories will help build a Christian world view of solid biblical truths in the hearts and minds of young children. I also recommend the You Are There Audio drama series. These are great for children to listen to at night before they go to bed as they build confidence that God is with them and cares for and loves them. The other great stories for this young age are The True Princess, Sanji’s Seed, The Beggar’s Blessing, The Hedge of Thorns Illustrated, Launch the Lifeboat, and The Silver Cup Illustrated. All of them are powerful stories filled with godly influences with great and memorable characters.

For 6-11 year olds: Teddy’s Button!!!!!! This is the best children’s story I have ever come across. And almost equal to it is The Giant Killer, Little Threads, Jack the Conqueror, Little Sir Galahad, Joseph’s Shield, Basil: Honesty and Industry, The Birds Nest, The Inheritance, Helen’s Temper, Jill’s Red Bag, and Jessica’s First Prayer, which was the book that outsold Alice in Wonderland in the 1800s 10 to 1!!!

I loved Teddy’s Button when I was little! (Still do, actually!) The audio drama Jessica’s Journey, based off of Jessica’s First Prayer, is my sister’s favorite. She listens to it almost every night.

For ages 9-14 I highly recommend The Hedge of Thorns, Rosa of Linden Castle, Stick to the Raft, Rising to the Top, Throw Me Overboard, My Golden Ship, The White Knights, and The Three Weavers. Please note that I am leaving out about 20 of my all-time favorite books for this age group because this is already getting too long! But I love these stories…your readers can write to me at, or better, write to my assistant, and you can be sure that I will write personally concerning my recommendations!

Wonderful! Thank you!

For ages 12 and up (the reason I have overlap in my ages is because I am taking into account the maturity level of the reader. If a child is 12 but less mature then I would focus on the books that I have placed in the 9-14 category etc). So, for 12 and up, wow! there are so many great books…and please…please!…please! before I tell you the titles, please keep your children away from Harry Potter and the Dystopian literature that is capturing and corrupting our children’s minds today. I just spent 2 ½ years writing a doctoral dissertation on the subject and will be making it public in the near future. I have unprecedented facts and truth that uncovers the deception of this literature and the harm that it is bringing to our children and families. It is undermining the entire cultural structure of respect and obedience to authority. Later on that subject.

I would be very interested in reading that. I know the Harry Potter books are extremely controversial. I personally have not read them due to the witchcraft elements, but have heard countless other reasons why people have or haven not chosen to read them. I’m sure your dissertation will be helpful to many, and I look forward to reading it.

Books I would recommend for ages 12 and up would include Ishmael and Self-raised, The Treasure of the Secret Cove, That Printer of Udell’s (a book that changed Ronald Reagan’s life), The Secret Bridge, Sir Knight of the Splendid Way, The Lost Clue, The White Gypsy and The Lamplighter (which, when it was published, was more popular than The Scarlet Letter).

How would you encourage a parent who desires to cultivate a love of rich literature, stories in general, in their young children? What advise would you offer them?

READ, READ, READ. READ TO THEM. READ WITH THEM…listen to the stories in the car and before bed. Make story time in the home a special time that creates a yearning for just one more chapter.

In parallel to God’s command in Deuteronomy to teach our children when they rise up, walk by the way, and lie down, stories and the retelling of them are powerful ways to impart truth. Moreover, stories are an excellent tool to let the story do the teaching without the parent forcing the point. And stories allow the parent to demonstrate to their children that they are being influenced as well.

When parents demonstrate that these truths are changing their lives, now you have an example that will live on and be an influence for the rest of their lives.

Thank you so much for joining me, it is a delight to have you! God bless the work you are doing for the kingdom.


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