Classical Childrens Books

Sets of Classic Literature

These sets of classic literature for kids will instill a love of reading and satisfy their desire to read more of their favorite characters.

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories

By Caroline Keene
(pseudonym for different ghost writers

The world's most famous - and best selling - female detective. These books, as well as the Hardy Boys and Bobbsey Twins series, were produced in the early 21st century for the Stratmeyer Book Syndicate. In the 1950's, the books were revised and removed racial stereotypes and Nancy became less bold and out-spoken. The series officially ended in 2003, when Nancy became the heroine of the Girl Detective series. 175 titles are in the Mystery Stories series. 11 other series starring Nancy Drew have also been published.

The Hardy Boys

By Franklin W. Dixon
(pseudonym for numerous ghost writers)

Join the two teenage brothers who never quarrel or age, as they continue their eighty year mission of solving mysteries and stopping criminals. The first 38 books were revised in the 1950's to take out objectionable material - including negative racial stereotypes and some disrespectful attitudes of the boys to some law enforcement personnel. Critics have stated that in the revised editions, much of the fast action and thrilling danger scenes were also diminished. Both the older and the newer versions remain in demand. The first 10 titles of the series include: For true fans, there are over 190 Hardy Boy Mysteries available. Plus, new books are continuing to be created as a new series (hence, not a classic) entitled The Hardy Boys Casefiles. In 1988 the Hardy Boys and the famous Nancy Drew joined together to form super mysteries. Plenty of mysteries are here for fans of these adolescent but fearless detectives.

The Bobbsey Twins

By Laura Lee Hope

This is one of the first sets of classic literature written for children, though it was actually written by a number of different authors using the same pen name. The books are over one hundred years, and were one of the first books read by myself, my mother, and my grandmother. (My grandmother is over 100 years old, and still living.)

The story revolves around two sits of twins - all siblings. Critics have noted that as the books were produced, the culture modernized, but the children stayed the same age. But for those who enjoy reading the adventures of children from a previous generation, such trivalities may be overlooked.

The first five books in the series of 72 books are:

My Father's Dragon

By Ruth Gannett

Easy, first chapter books.
Fantasy story of a boy who goes to a wild island to rescue a baby dragon. The three have been combined into a single book "Three Tales of My Father's Dragon."

Anne of Green Gables

By Lucy Maud Montgomery

The story of an orphan girl whose life begins when she leaves the orphanage and goes to live on a farm on Prince Edward Island by accident. Anne Shirley has a vivid imagination, softens hard hearts, and draws kindred spirits around hers as her life unfolds in this beautiful series of books.

Little House Books

By Laura Ingals Wilder

This is another one of the sets of classic literature that follows one girl from childhood to maturity. These are true stories written to capture a lost era.

Trixie Belden

By Julie Campbell (actual author of first six books)
Kathryn Kenny (pseudonym for various ghost writers)

While these detective stories never gained the popularity of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, Trixie definitely earned her place in the sets of classic literature. Trixie is younger (only 13) and her siblings and best friends have a club - The Bobwhites of the Glen. They have an incredible amount of fun, at home or on their frequent travels; simultaneously catching criminals and solving mysteries. The first book appeared in 1948 and titles were added fairly slowly. There is a cohesiveness to the first fifteen books (in chronological order, 1940's and 1950's era). The series reopened in the 1970's with titles over #16, which are more modern and less cohesive. The first eight books are:

The Black Stallion

By Walter Farley

A total of 33 stories are in this set.

Little Women

By Louisa May Alcott

Ideas for the study of Little Women.

Chronicles of Narnia

By C.S. Lewis

Four siblings leave post WWII England through secret passages to enter the fantasy world of Narnia. Each of the seven books is a different visit - and the children who are priviledged to go changes with the different volumes. The story starts with the famous Lion, Witch, and The Wardrobe. Subsequent volumes tell the stories of the creation of Narnia as well as its final end.

Cherry Ames

By Helen Wells

Setting: 1950s, 1960s
Cherry Ames starts as a student nurse in the first book in the series, and by the time she has completed her careet in the 27th book she has been a cruise nurse, a school nurse, a flight nurse, a private duty nurse, an army nurse, a rural nurse, a dude ranch nurse, a department store nurse and 18 other sub-specialities. Besides caring for the ill she is also a first class detective and solves crimes and mysteries the male authorities cannot. Written in post World War American, the series was encouragement to young girls to consider the career of nursing. Cherry (short for Charity - an appropriate name for the caring detective/nurse) hails from the era of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. While she never obtained the same level of popularity, young readers still enjoy her crime solving skills while developing a varied resume that would amaze most modern nurses.

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