I have to admit that my children don't always share my love for classic books. But there are some classics that I have presented to my kids that we have all loved. Sometimes I will use an abridged version- especially for a young child. But I like to use versions that still sound like a classic- not one that has been totally changed to sound choppy.
Little Pilgrim's Progress by Helen Taylor is one of those children's versions that I do love. This children's version of Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan is truly a beautiful story. It brings the message of The Pilgrim's Progress to children in a way that they can understand and that we can discuss as a family. We've read this one aloud many times.
The Chronicles of NarniaNo discussion of classic books could be complete for me without talking about what is probably my favorite series of all time. And I certainly don't think they are just for kids. I get something new from The Chronicles every time I read them. And I can't read anything by C.S. Lewis without coming away with a new zeal for God and a quickening in my spirit. I've read the whole series aloud to my kids multiple times. They always laugh at me at the end of each because I can't make it through any without tearing up. It's hard to say which is my favorite. But I think it's probably The Silver Chair. I could spend a whole blog post- or more- discussing all the great lessons in this book.
Jane Eyre-My oldest daughter has read an abridged version of this classic that I don't like as much. I love the original Jane Eyre so much, and the abridged version just seems to fall flat. It is a little difficult reading for kids, but a middle school or high school student can probably enjoy the original.
The Secret Garden and A Little Princess -Both of these classics by Francis Hodgson Burnette are often read to girls. But when I read A Little Princess aloud to my younger girls last year, my son enjoyed listening in also. They are just really well-written stories, and boys can enjoy them also.
The Moffats- This and other books by Eleanor Estes have been some of my favorites since I was young, and I was thrilled to share them with my children when I had them. This original The Moffats is a great one, but I also love Rufus M. about the youngest Moffat boy and The Alley.
Paddington Treasury (Paddington Bear)-I read about the playful antics of Paddington the Bear when I was a little girl. For one Christmas I received two sets of Paddington books and a Paddington bear that my mom made. I still have those two sets of books, and I've read many out loud to my children. Paddington is a bear from "darkest Peru" who comes to London and ends up living with the Brown family. He's sweet and loving but always seems to be getting into mischief. Kids love hearing about Paddington's antics.
Redwall (Redwall, Book 1) by Brian Jacques. I'm not sure the Redwall books would be considered classics, but we've loved them since I stumbled upon them when my kids were young. The characters are small animals, and the setting is like the Middle ages. There's always a classic battle between good and evil. There is some magic involved. We've enjoyed many of the Redwall books and other Brian Jacques books that surround different characters.
One way that I've found that usually doesn't fail to get my kids interested in a classic book is to read it aloud. We do lots and lots of reading aloud. Often the kids will get excited about a book that they may never have picked up on their own just because I read it aloud. And sometimes they'll even read it later or read something else by the same author. Reading aloud is perfect- especially for those classics you really want to share.
If you have any favorite classics for kids, leave me a note in the comments.
Five Days of Great Kids Reads:
Favorite Picture Books
Favorite Early Reader Books
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Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity ~ Planning Your Homeschool Year
Nikki @ Angels of Heart ~ Easter: The Cross for Preschoolers
Jenn @ Treasuring Life's Blessings ~ Family Friendly Finger Food
Lisa @ Golden Grasses ~ The Working Woman's Guide to Homeschooling