School in a Book: Classic Literature: Children’s

The School in a Book curriculum isn’t just for adults. As soon as children can follow a simple plot, they can begin booking it down this list. They can also enjoy adapted versions of many of the books for adults–even the Iliad and the Odyssey. (I also discuss with them many of the simpler concepts in the science lists.)

A few notes on reading to your kids: If you like, just read. Good syntax and rhythm is an education in itself. However, you might want to incorporate reading comprehension into your experience. You can do this by asking your child to summarize the story or to tell you what they think it means. Both of these tasks prepare them for competence in writing, an activity that depends on clear thinking and good organization. Some education professionals say that most college students can’t correctly identify the main points of a given text; don’t let this be your kid. (Older kids need to start outlining texts in writing as soon as they’re ready.)

By the way, shortcut-takers like me can scout out fun video versions of these stories on YouTube and elsewhere on the internet. Sometimes, I cue up five or six and pat myself on the back for providing my young children with such a great educational head start.

Classic Children’s Stories:

Classic Children’s Books:

Classic Middle Grade Books:

  • A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
  • A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • A Wrinkle In Time (four-part series), Madeleine L’Engle
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
  • Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll
  • Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
  • Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Patterson
  • Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White
  • Chronicles of Avonlea, Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh
  • Heidi, Johanna Spyri
  • Jacob Have I Loved, Katherine Patterson
  • Lassie Come-Home, Eric Knight
  • Paddle-to-the-Sea, Holling Clancy Holling
  • Paul Revere’s Ride, Henry Longfellow
  • Peter Pan, James Barrie
  • Peter and Wendy, James Barrie
  • Phoebe the Spy, Judith Griffin
  • Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi
  • Pipi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren
  • Pollyanna, Elanor Hodgman
  • Stuart Little, E.B. White
  • Summer of the Monkeys, Wilson Rawls
  • The Bears’ House, Marilyn Sachs
  • The Boys’ Book of Survival
  • The Cabin Faced West, Jean Fritz
  • The Children of Noisy Village, Astrid Lindgren
  • The Complete Adventures of the Borrowers, Mary Norton
  • The Dangerous Book for Boys, Conn and Hal Iggulden
  • The Daring Book for Girls, Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz
  • The Door in the Wall, Marguerite de Angeli
  • The Encyclopedia Brown series, Donald J. Sobol
  • The Little House on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Scarlet Pimpernell, Emma Orczy
  • The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, Hugh Lofting
  • The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
  • Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
  • The Yearling, Marjorie Rawlings
  • Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Beverly Cleary
  • Other books from the Ramona series, Beverly Cleary
  • Then Again, Maybe I Won’t, Judy Blume
  • Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself, Judy Blume
  • Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, Judy Blume
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
  • James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
  • Matilda, Roald Dahl


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