Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

Good Reads: Character Trails by Marilyn Boyer

If you’re a mom of young ones and you’ve been over to my house in the past few months, you’ve probably heard me talk about Marilyn Boyer’s Character books. I can’t help myself; I love them.

And it’s just not me who loves them. My children adore these books.

We read Crossroads of Character last year and Silas (only two and a half at the time) begged for me to keep reading another story and another story. I’ve never had the children all be so engaged in our morning devotional as they were with Crossroads of Character.

What they loved was that Crossroads of Character taught character lessons with stories and full color pictures. All of the children in the stories are Marilyn Boyer’s grandchildren. My children loved following along with the antics of each of the children in the book. Since there were children each of their ages, they especially got excited about the stories.

We were all so sad when we finished Crossroads of Character, so I was thrilled to discover that there was another book in the “series”. Character Trails is similar to Crossroads of Character, but it’s geared for a little bit older age level (I’d say 5-10 year olds).

There are 12 different character qualities covered. For each character quality, there is a Bible story, a story from history, and a story from Marilyn’s grandchildren that exemplifies that character quality.

Once again, my children were completely engaged. Some of the Bible stories and stories from history were ones they were very familiar with. But there were others that were new to them.

Character Trails provided a springboard for many great discussions. And, once again, we were sad when we were finished with the book. I think my children are very hopeful that Marilyn continues to release these books so that they can follow along as her grandchildren grow up!

If you’re looking for a quality book on character for younger children, I’d definitely recommend Crossroads of Character and Character Trails. We read one story every day at breakfast and it was the perfect length for the current ages of my children.

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!


  • Blessed Mama says:

    My 6 year old daughter LOVES these books! Character Trails is what she wanted for Christmas so badly (and my children don’t really ask for things). She loves that the book is about real children. She talks about the children all the time and has learned so many wonderful character lessons. It is cute, but my daughter is quite sure that when homeschools her children when she is older that she will get the Boyers whole preschool curriculum for her children- (we’ve never used it), but she loves their books that much!

  • Kim says:

    Thank you so much for posting about this. My kids love Crossroads of Character and I am so excited to learn she has a new book out.

  • These look WONDERFUL. I just started my book list for next year and put these at the top. I think my kids would really like them.
    Have you read “In Grandma’s Attic”? Probably so, but we recently read it and it was great. Character or Bible truths illustrated in funny stories, the characters learn from them and my kids were very interested. The rest of those are also on my list for next year.
    Thanks for the suggestion!

  • E. Baer says:

    Just curious where you got yours? Thanks!

    • Crystal says:

      We got this at the HEAV conference last year that the Boyers spoke at. You can also get it online through their site, through Amazon, or probably through other homeschool companies.

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you! I was just praying about something to help my son with his decision making. I ordered four of their items!! Thanks for the great info!

  • Kate says:

    Thanks for the recommendation! I am always looking for things to read to my son. Right now we are reading “the Jesus Storybook Bible” and “James and the Giant Peach”. (He is 6). I want to look for this book at my library.

  • Shawndel says:

    We have the preschool and the elementary books and we love them. We had the privelege of hearing the boyers speak last year at a homeschool conference and have enjoyed their resources and encouragement ever since. I am so glad you like them too!!

  • E says:

    I am wondering if I could borrow or buy this book from you when your family is done with?

  • Jessica says:

    On the website you provided, it looks like the books you mentioned are level 1 and 2, and that it goes up through level 9 or 10. Do you know if the other books are a continuation of these books about her grandchildren, or are they different than these two?

    Thanks for the book recommendations! I also homeschool, so I like adding your read-alouds to my list. We recently finished Understood Betsy and Rascal and are about to start Vinegar Boy (3 books you had on your 2013 list). We’ve already read several of the others you mentioned. Have you read the Patricia St. John books (I think there are 5)? We REALLY enjoyed those and I would highly recommend them!

    • Crystal says:

      I don’t think it’s a continuation — at least from what I can tell. I’d need to ask Marilyn for sure. I’m *really* hoping she produces more books!

      By the way, Vinegar Boy is a little strong in some parts for children. I didn’t realize that when I got it. I’ve been editing a little when reading because some of the language is strong. Just thought I should mention that.

      We haven’t read Patricia St. John, but I want to! We are totally enthralled with Paddington Bear and The Rats of Nimh right now!

      • Crystal and Jessica,
        So glad you liked the books. I do plan to continue producing more books in this series! Crossroads of Character presents 12 character qualities and Character Trails deals with 12 different ones. We will begin working on another with the grandkids in it this spring/summer. Portraits of Integrity is our newest release. It has 45 character- based stories from history but doesn’t have the grandkids in it. Great to read as a family! Just about to send another off to press with character-based stories from the War for Independence, then we’re working on another with character based stories from World War II. So many inspiring stories in the history of our country!

  • Lisa says:

    Great post, Crystal!
    We’ve used many of the Boyers materials over the years and have truly loved everything we’ve gotten from them!

  • Sarah Ann Wong says:

    Character Trails and Crossroads of Character don’t just look like great books for the kids, they look like a great way to encourage them to write their own books about their own lives. Thanks for the inspiration!

Money Saving Mom® Comment Policy

We love comments from readers, so chime in with your thoughts below! We do our best to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging, so please keep your comments cordial and kind. Read more information on our comment policy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *