Classical Childrens Books

Stories About Families

Some stories have happy families and happy endings, other tales have characters who need to ask, 'What is a family?' as they learn about life at and away from home. Entertaining and thougtful books about characters who discover their place in their family and in the world.

Miracles on Maple Hill

By Virginia Sorenson
4th-7th Grade
Post=World War II, Rural Pennsylvania
Marly loves to hear her mother's stories of the summers she spent at her grandmother's Pennsylvania farm years ago. Now her father has returned home, a broken man after years spent as a prisoner of war. Is it possible that a visit to the old abandoned homestead will help her father heal? Bound together at the farm, the family finds beauty of nature, new friends, and each other.

Little House on the Prairie

By Laura Ingalls Wilder

This is the second book in this well known series describing several generations of a real pioneer family. True Little House fans might recommend starting with the first book in the series, "Little House in the Big Woods." The first book of the series preserves the details of daily life and the numerous chores that comprise the family routine. Little House on the Prairie contains more adventures and dangers, and discusses wider issues of life on the prairie. The stories are not like the TV series with the same name.

The Railway Children

By Edith Nesbit

This is a fictitious story of a British family based on political incidents between Russia and England in the early 1900's. A wealthy family is impoverished after their father is falsely accused of spying for Russia. The three children and their mother move to the country near a railway line. Here the children befriend one another and their new community. They show kindess to friends and strangers - rich and poor. Finally, the family gets the gift they are waiting for. A tale of family, friendship, and good manners.

All the Cities of Gold

By Karen Newell

True Story
1948 Kansas & Massachusets
Fourteen year old Donna is on a journey to visit her mother and to discover why they were separated in the first place. Though she uncovers rumors of her families past, she does not achieve her goal of being reunited with her mother. Returning to her step-mother and grand-mother, she is forced to consider what a family and home really are.

The Box Car Children

By Gertrude Chandler Warner

Two brothers and two sisters run off together after their parents' death to avoid being separated from each other. They find an abandoned train box car to live in. The children fear being found by their grandfather. But they have a surprise when they finally meet him. This first story turned into a series which now comprises over 100 books. The first 19 in the series were written by the original author.

Cheaper by the Dozen

By Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

Forget the new movie by the same name, because they are NOT the same. This is a true story written by a brother and sister about their family in the 1910's and 1920's. Extrememly amusing, the story explores some of the idiosyncracies of their family life in a kind and entertaining manner. Themes include family and modern inventions.

Letters from the Corrugated Castle: A Novel of Gold Rush California

by Joan Blos
5th-9th Grade
California Gold Rush
Eldora is an orphan who has moved to California during the Gold Rush with her aunt and uncle - the only family she has ever known. An unexpected letter comes from a wealthy ranch owner stating Eldora is her daughter. Will Eldora be able to go from rags to riches; living in a corrugated house her aunt and uncle made to living in a luxurious ranchero? With changes all around her, Eldora learns the true meaning of family and friends.

Anne of Green Gables

By Lucy Maud Montogomery

Fictitious story about an orphan girl who is mistakenly sent to a farm on Prince Edward Island, when the owners had requested an orphan boy to serve as a farm hand. There she captures the hearts of a pragmatic spinster and her shy brother, as well as the millions of readers. Life in a turn of the century farming village in Canada is reflected.

More Stories About Kids and Families

Other Lands

Look at our list of stories from other lands. Read about children and families from other cultures and places.

Hard Times

Hard times strengthen families. Read about families in the depression and sharecropping families who lean on and learn from each other in difficult times.

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