Classical Childrens Books

Charles Dickens Novels

Charles Dicken's novels are among the most read books of the 19th century. Intricate plots, memorable characters, and scenes of danger and suspense fill the pages of his books.

Reading Charles Dickens Novels

There is, of course, no set order that Dicken's books should be read in. However, some books are more appropriate for younger readers than others. Here we have listed six of the best known books by Dickens in an order for younger to older students. This is based on length, ease of understanding the plot, and appropriateness of the story.

Students who enjoy the historical genre of Charles Dickens, might consider reading one of his novels every summer staring in upper elementary school. With action packed stories, critique of social injustices, and numerous high-interest characters, such summer reading will stretch their thinking.

A Christmas Carol

7th Grade

Christmas Carol "God bless us, every one!" are the closing words of this memorable tale. Probably the best known of all Charles Dicken's novels, A Christmas Carol contrasts the poor but generous Bob Cratchit, and the wealthy miser, Ebenezer Scrooge. A classic Christmas tale that reminds readers year after year that real wealth is not found in money.

Oliver Twist

8th Grade

Oliver Twist Here is one of Charles Dicken's novels about the suffering classes and the fate of a helpless orphan. Hungry and abused, Oliver longs for another place. The twists and turns of his life lead him from mistreatment in an orphanage to an unwitting accomplice to a criminal gang. Meanwhile, someone wants to dispose of gentle Oliver. How could such a harmless child be at the center of plotting and intrigue?

Tale of Two Cities

9th Grade

Tale of Two Cities A dramatic plot contrasts the French and the English revolution. A doctor and his daughter get caught up in the sensational events of history as they try to rescue a young man falsely accused and facing the infamous guillotine. A story of courage and love in the midst of vengeance and hate.

Great Expectations

10th Grade

Great Expectations Great Expectations is a novel full of suspense, extraordinary characters, and numerous twists and turns in the plot. The main character is Pip, an orphan boy, who is treated cruelly by many. He comes under the favor of an anonymous and surprising benefactor and so develops great expectations of arising above the working class. In the end, everything turns out very different than expected, for Pip, his friends, relatives and benefactor. An unforgetable Charles Dicken's novel from 19th century England.

Hard Times

11th Grade

Hard Times Hard Times is a story that illustrates the hard conditions of the working class, while simultaneously exposing the empty philosophy of the upper, utilatarian class. "Now what I want is facts," is the opening statement of the main character, Thomas Gradgrind, who is unable to appreciate or teach his two children the importance of beauty or compassion. Too late, he realizes facts and practical utility are not enough.

David Copperfield

12th Grade

David Copperfield Of all of Charles Dicken's novels, David Copperfield is the most autobiographic. Like his other works, it shows the harshness of nineteenth century England to the misfortunate, as David endures an unloving step-father, boarding school, and laboring in a sweatshop. Filled with colorful characters, it describes the contorted journey of David from childhood to manhood.

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