Lamplighter is really Lamplighter Publishing --so the catalog is a chance to read about reading! They carefully choose books from the 18th and 19th centuries that uplift rather than promote wallowing in: teen-angst, sorcery, victimhood, etc. . According to founder Mark Hamby:
It is our commitment that each Lamplighter book instills moral values through role models that either demonstrate exemplary behavior or suffer consequences of making wrong choices. A riveting plot, a worthy theme, and endearing characters motivate readers, both young and old, to adopt a similar moral code by emulating the characters that have been etched into their awakened conscience. It is our intent that when a family reads a Lamplighter story together, they will build a lasting memory that will far surpass the fleeting moments of mediocrity.
There must be over a hundred titles in this years catalog and I can't presume to know everyone's taste and interest but here are a few suggestions from our collection (incidentally, most of these were purchased from their "scratch and dent" list but I haven't notices any flaws).
Lamplighter Theatre Audios
You can't go wrong with any of them. I've got them loaded on my MP3 player to listen to as I walk or in the car. Sign up for their eMail list because they sometimes have PHENOMINAL sales (on at least two occasions they have offered 7 of them for $7). It's like radio theater not just reading aloud. Each story starts with someone with a problem visiting Finnian Jones, collector of books and other oddities. Rather than offer solutions, he always suggests a book to the troubled individual. When that person opens the pages we also get transported into the story.
Some of our favorite titles are : Sir Malcom & the Missing Prince, A Peep Behind the Scenes, Charlie's Choice, and Teddy's Button. The radio theater version of this last title has been altered quite a bit from the original book in my point of view, but it's still very good.
The White Knights This book seems to be one of the few exceptions to the list of 18th & 19th century titles. It seems to be written during the first World War. Three boys, with a fascination about King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table find their own quests of righting wrongs and doing good deeds.
That Printer of Udell's This was supposedly on of Ronald Reagan's favorite books, or at least one that left a lasting impact upon him. Towards the beginning of the story, a down and out tramp walks into a church meeting. The parishioners promise to pray for the man but offer no meaningful assistance. It's a printer who doesn't attend church at all that provides a meal, a bed, and a job. Now I've read the parable of the Good Samaritan more times than I can count, but hearing the story told in this fashion really convicted me.
Titus: A Comrade of the Cross The author of this book submitted it in a contest for stories that would set a child's heart on fire for Jesus Christ. It begins with a stolen child of a prominent official and you won't believe the irony at the end at Christ's crucifixion (I don't want to spoil the ending too much so I won't say more). You may need to read this one aloud as the author has put all the dialogue into King James English.
Prisoners of the Sea Survivors of a shipwreck discover an empty mansion on a deserted island. This story has plenty of swashbuckling action for boys.
You owe it to yourself to request a catalog. In the back are lists ,broken up by age ranges, that include titles and moral themes (laziness, peer pressure, humility, selflessness, etc.) so you can pick books that may help your child in areas they are struggling.
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