“A Little Princess” by Frances Hodgson Burnett – A backwards Cinderella story of sorts, this is the tale of 12-year-old Sara Crewe. The story opens as Sara finds herself alone in a new boarding school in a new country — England. The transition from her comfortable home and a life of privilege in India is a difficult one, made even more so when she learns that she’ll never see her beloved father again. Transformed from princess to pauper, she swaps dancing lessons and luxury for drudgery and a room in the attic, learning much about herself and those she loves in the process.
“The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame — Published in 1908 and continuously in print since, this is one of the best loved children’s titles in English literature. This is the story of four friends — Ratty, Mole, Badger, and Toad — who have exhilarating adventures on the river, escapades in the Wild Wood, and silly highjinks on the open road. “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
“The House at Pooh Corner” by A.A. Milne – The further adventures of our beloved Christopher Robin, Piglet, Owl, Eeyore, Kanga, tiny Roo, and of course, Pooh himself. This is the volume that introduces us to the thoroughly bouncy and lovable Tigger, who leads the rest into some very colorful adventure. How thoughtful, indeed, of Mr. Milne to provide us with this delightful companion volume.
“Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder – The second of the nine Little House books, this volume follows Laura and her family as they leave the Big Woods of Wisconsin and set out for Kansas. We travel with them in a covered wagon, and look on as they build their little house, plow and plant, hunt wild ducks and turkeys, and gather grass for their cows. Though there are hardships and scary moments, Laura and her folks are always busy and happy in their new home. Cherished by generations of readers, this book provides a unique glimpse into America’s Frontier past.
“Peter Pan” by J.M. Barrie – One starry night, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell lead the three Darling children over the rooftops of London and away to Neverland — the island where lost boys play, mermaids splash, and fairies make mischief. A villainous-looking gang of pirates lurk in the docks, led by the terrifying Captain James Hook. Magic and excitement are in the air, but if Captain Hook has his way, before long, someone will be walking the plank and swimming with the crocodiles. This story, in its original language, is one of the most magical tales for children (and adults) ever told.