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classic book list & literature guides

Posted on Jun 2, 2014 by in LEARN | 0 comments

Great literature has been on my mind lately.

One of my favorite courses when finishing my degree was English Lit.  I LOVED finding the symbolism and major thematic ties in great stories.  Just as Common Core is looming to slash the importance of analyzing literature I’ve been feeling a stronger pull to introduce my now 5th grader to the depths of the great stories that lie under the surface of words on the page. Introducing literature guides might be a good fit if your child is a passionate bookworm – focus on quality of understanding than quantity of books read. The ones I like provide historical background of the time that the author wrote the book, information about the author, chapter by chapter thought provoking questions, opportunities for diagramming character relationships, discussion of emotions, characters, moral challenges etc. Others are more summary notes – which can help understand more about the story, but don’t teach how to analyze a story as well on your own.

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Through word of mouth and internet searching I’ve come across some great resources which I’m super excited about:

LITERATURE GUIDES

Biblio Mania (free)
Bright Ideas Press
ChristianBook.com
 Glencoe Literature Library (free) * love this website
Progeny Press

Millstone Education – K-3 (free)
Millstone Education 4-7 (free)
Millstone Education 8-12 (free)
Rainbow Resource Center
Teacher Vision (some free)
Veritas Press

FREE E-BOOKS & AUDIO BOOKS

Amazon Prime (some free, membership required)
Authorama (free)
Biblio Mania (free)
LibriVox.org (free)  * love this website
Project Gutenberg (free)
Wired for Books (free)

READING COMPREHENSION

A fun free website offers online quizzes with prize points to test for reading comprehension K-8:
Book Adventure

Here is a running tab of Classic Books that I’ve come across either on our own shelves, the library, school reading lists and online curriculum sites. The kids do a ton of reading with other books but not all are on the radar of classics that stand the test of time but are still fantastic – maybe I’ll add those at the end ! One interesting point – not all copies of the same one classic are the same! Some have been radically shortened or simplified.  If you wish to obtain the most complete original you might need to dig a little or get out of the ones labelled ‘Children’s Classics.’

* for personal purposes a  denotes when we’ve read that book (not just watched the movie of which we’ve seen them… would like to read the book. )

CLASSIC BOOK LIST

A

A Christmas Carol
Across Five Aprils
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Aesop’s Fables (some)
A First Book of Fairy Tales
A Journey to the Center of the Earth
Aladdin and Other Favorites
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Animal Farm
Anne of Green Gables
Arabian Nights Stories
Alice in Wonderland
Around the World in 80 Days
A Lion to Guard Us
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A Tale of Two Cites

B

Bambi
Beauty and the Beast

Bible still reading
Black Beauty
By the Shores of Silver Lake

C

Call of the Wild 
Canterbury Tales
Charlotte’s Web
Chronicles of Narnia Series
Comedy of Errors
Cinderella

D

David Copperfield
Doctor Doolittle
Don Quixote

E

F

G

Grimm’s Fairy Tales still reading
Gulliver’s Travels listening audio book

H

Hansel and Gretel
Hans Brinker
Hardy Boys
Heidi
Huckleberry Finn

I

In Their Own Words: Paul Revere

J

Jack and the Beanstalk
Jane Eyre
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Jungle Book
Just So Stories

K

King Arthur
King Midas and the Golden Touch

L

Lassie
Light in August
Little House in the Big Woods
Little House on the Prairie
Little Men
Little Women
Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit

M

Maya the Bee
Moses Maimonides: The Guide for the Perplexed

N

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
1984

O

Old Yeller
On the Banks of Plum Creek

P

Paradise Lost
Pilgrim’s Progress
Pinocchio
Pollyanna
Praise of Folly
Pride & Prejudice

Q

R

Rapunzel
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Rikki Tikki Tavi
Rip Van Winkle
Robin Hood
Robinson Crusoe
Rumpelstiltskin

S

Shakespeare Stealer
Sleeping Beauty
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

T

Tales from Shakespeare
Talk
Tarzan
The Adventures of Pinocchio
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
The Black Stallion  
The Chocolate Touch
The Chrysalids
The Emperor’s New Clothes
The Fire on the Mountain
The Hiding Place
The Hunting of the Great Bear
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The Little Match Girl
The Little Prince
The Long Winter
The Magic Brocade
The Magic Paintbrush
The Metamorphosis
The Odyssey
The People Who Could Fly
The Prince and the Pauper
The Scarlet Letter
The Secret Garden
The Sign of the Beaver
The Swiss Family Robinson
The Tale of Peter Rabbit
The Time Machine
The Trumpet of the Swan
The Trumpeter of Krakow
The Ugly Duckling
The Velveteen Rabbit
The War Within
The Wind in the Willows
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Treasure Island
20,000 Leagues under the Sea

U

Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Utopia

V, W, X, Y, Z

Water Babies
White Fang
Why the Owl Has Big Eyes
William Tell

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BOOK SERIES’ LIST

All Creatures Great & Small
American Girls  still reading
Chronicles of Narnia Complete series
Dear America still reading
Diaries of a Wimpy Kid still reading
Emily Windsnap
Harry Potter still reading
Magic Tree House
Nancy Drew Mysteries still reading
Rainbow Magic Fairy Series
Royal Princess Diaries still reading
Seekers still reading
Spiderwick Chronicles
Survivors still reading
The Famous Five still reading
Warriors

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Grab a coffee or tea, a blanket and cuddle up with your kiddos on the sofa for some memorable reading time together!

Happy reading!

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