10 Classic Books to Read with Your Child

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Reading with your child is an enjoyable activity that many parents love to do with their kids, and according to the U.S. Department of Education is one worth doing often. The U.S. Department of Education has stated that it will not only help her learn to read, but it will also help her to be successful throughout all of her education and onto her career.  Check out these classic stories that you may remember from your childhood and read them with your children.

  1. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe published in 1719.  This book is about an adventurer who ends up being the only person to live through a disastrous ship wreck.  He survives alone on an island for almost 30 years, and the story offers an important lesson about learning to rely on yourself. The lessons can be applied not only to Crusoe in the novel, but also to any challenges your child may face.
  2. The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Rudolph Wyss published in 1813.  Amazingly enough this is another story about a ship wreck.  Back when these stories were written the big adventures happened on the high seas.  This story is about a family that survives for 10 years on a deserted island.  The details of how the family adapted to life on the island are marvelous and by reading this story you can reinforce to your kids how important it is to use their imagination in their everyday lives. 
  3. Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie published in 1904.  A classic story about Peter Pan who, as a baby, was rescued by fairies and taken to Neverland.  He becomes the leader of the Lost Boys, and wants a life with no responsibility and the ability to play all the time.  When Peter goes back to London he gets involved with Wendy and her brothers.  He takes them with him to Neverland and they have lots of exciting adventures with Captain Hook.  
  4. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas published in 1844.  Set in France, this story is about a young hot head, D’Artagnan, who comes to town and fights with each of the 3 musketeers.  A musketeer was a soldier that carried a musket.  He ended up finding that they had a lot in common and he joined with them on an adventure to retrieve some diamond earrings for Queen Anne.  D’Artagnan is begged to do this task by the woman he’s in love with and convinces the 3 musketeers to help him, as they bind together to protect the kingdom.
  5. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis published in 1950.  Four children are sent to the country during World War II to keep them safe.  The children are bored, and end up playing hide and seek one day, only to find that the wardrobe that young Lucy has hidden in is actually a doorway to another world called Narnia.  She convinces her brothers and sister to come with her to Narnia.  They are all shocked and amazed.  What further amazes them is that they learn they are to become the kings and queens of Narnia.  But before that can happen they have to defeat the witch, who has made it Winter all the time, and bring back Spring.    
  6. A Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne published in 1864.  There’s something about having to follow a map that leads to great adventures, and this fabulous science fiction novel starts out with just that.  The map leads to an opening that goes to the center of the earth.  Professor Trevor Anderson, Sean, and their guide, take off to find Trevor’s brother.  During their trip they find dangerous and fantastical animals and risk their lives to find a lost world at the center of the earth.
  7. Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving published in 1820.  A curious story about Rip Van Winkle who was kind of lazy and wandered around having fun.  He ran into a bunch of guys bowling in the woods and ended up staying with them enjoying the games and the drink.  After he drinks this strange liquid he sits down under a tree and falls asleep for 20 years.  When he wakes up the world around him is quite different. 
  8. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll published in 1865.  The book is very different than the Disney version of this story.  Alice gets bored as most children do, but Alice decides to follow this white rabbit down his hole.  She ends up in Wonderland and eats and drinks all sorts of magical things to make her big and small.  In the end she makes friends with many strange characters and learns that maybe her life isn’t so bad after all.
  9. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain published in 1876.  Tom is a sneaky sort of boy and likes to play tricks on people.  During the story he is told he must white wash a fence.  To avoid this task, he manipulates people into doing his job for him.  He embarks on other adventures that teach him a few lessons in the end.
  10. Heidi by Johanna Spyri published in 1884.  Heidi loses her parents and becomes an orphan.  She is sent to live in the mountains with her only living relative, her grumpy old grandpa.  Over time she wins him over with her bright personality and the two enjoy living together in the mountains.  Then it’s decided that Heidi needs to attend school in the city and take care of a girl in a wheelchair.  This girl ends up becoming Heidi’s best friend and then Heidi is forced to make the difficult decision between staying in the city with her friend and going back to her mountain home with her grandpa. 
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3 Responses to “10 Classic Books to Read with Your Child”

  1. Jo Ann Kairys Says:

    July 25th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks for this great list – true classics!

  2. Jay Ramella Says:

    July 30th, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    My father, a 1st world War (1914-18) Vet left his memoirs with me,(a child of 11), in beautifully written stories. Still 2b published!

  3. RGBSenex Says:

    July 31st, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Goodness me, what a dull list – reminds me of what my mother wanted me to read 50 years ago. Have we learned nothing?

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