Top Ten Classics (for kids)
Here’s another list idea from the good folks over at the Broke and Bookish. Making the classics for kids is my own spin, as is posting about Tuesday on Wednesday (though that part wasn’t really planned.)
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Do I really need to say more? I read Anne and the Emily of New Moon series over and over again. Is it an introvert/extrovert thing? As a child, extremely introverted, I liked Emily better, but as an adult, I’ve come back to Anne more often. Like many on this list, it’s usually cited as a classic for girls, but I have imposed it on most of the boys in my life with good results as well. Imagination is for everyone, after all.
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield
Orphan girls making a family and following their dreams in WWII London, including ballet, acting, and automotive engineering. Another classic with more boy appeal than you’d think on first glance – I think my son went for this on the wartime experience angle.
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Really, what child doesn’t find the idea of tiny people living secretly inside our houses intriguing? Did you leave small useful objects out in your house for the Borrowers, too?
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The portal fantasy where kids from our world find out they are the foretold by prophecy storyline feels overdone these days, but this one still holds up amazingly well, especially as a read-aloud or audiobook.
Mistress Masham’s Repose by T.H. White
This isn’t as well-known as White’s The Once and Future King, but it’s the one I went back to over and over again. Ill-treated orphan Maria finds a small population of Lilliputians, and must figure out a way to deal with them ethically. This looks like one I’ll have to read aloud to the boy, as it doesn’t look like it’s available on audiobook.
Momo by Michael Ende
I still need to read the most recent English translation of this yet – I first read it for a children’s literature class in Germany, where it quickly gained the special place in my heart that friends informed me it’s long held in Germany. It’s the story of an orphan girl who rescues a time-obsessed city from the truly frightening Gray Gentlemen, who smoke people’s saved time.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The magical story of the healing power of friendship and nature, with at least two of the three child characters starting out quite unlikeable before their redemption. Another one my son loved on audiobook.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
Smart, geeky kids risk everything to save their parents in this modern classic, one I was willing to bet my best friend was better than both the other books in the series (at the time) put together.
Even stretching my ten to a dozen, I haven’t had room for all the books I consider classic enough to impose on my children – but this will do for a start. What are your favorite classics from childhood and for children?