I rediscovered these classic books, and really enjoyed all of them! I thought I would share some of my favorites with you and maybe even persuade you to read them. This is my “Top Ten List of Classics,” counting down to my favorite.
1. The Pearl, by John Steinbeck
Steinbeck’s descriptive writing landed this book on my top ten list! This story is about a man named Kino who lives in poverty with his wife Juana, and his baby son, Coyotito. Kino is a pearl diver and one day he finds a giant pearl that changes his life completely. A story about greed and wealth versus generosity and humble living, this novella should not be missed!
2. Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell
This novel is written in the perspective of a horse named Black Beauty. Black Beauty tells of his struggles and triumphs, from the time he was born to the time he retires from pulling taxi-cabs. My heart was moved both with Black Beauty’s cruel owners and with his loving ones. The author does a great job of putting everything in a horse’s view. A famous success, this novel is a great read for any animal lover!
3. A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Burnett creates the world of Sara Crewe, an orphaned girl who goes to live at Miss Minchin’s Boarding School while her father journeys with his friend to a diamond mine in India. However, unfortunate events leave Sara with no money, and the envious Miss Minchin immediately takes away all of Sara’s possessions and banishes her to be a maid at the boarding school. Truly reflecting the importance of friendship and kindness, this book shows what it takes for a young girl to stand up for what she believes is right.
4. Heidi, by Johanna Spyri
This is the story of a young girl living with her grandfather in the isolated Swiss Alps. A once unmoved man is softened by the presence of his innocent, carefree granddaughter. They learn how to live together in the grandfather’s secluded cabin. Johanna Spyri’s idea of capturing the manners of a sweet child takes the reader to the Swiss Alps frolicking along in the sloping hills with Heidi.
5. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Another of Burnett’s well-renowned works of literature, The Secret Garden is about a young, spoiled girl named Mary Lennox. She is living with her wealthy family in India, until a traumatic event sends her to live with her uncle in England. The discovery of a mysteriously secret garden on her uncle’s property leads her on a mystical journey.
6. The Witch of Blackbird Pond, by Elizabeth George Speare
This Newbery Medal winning novel tells the story of Katherine Tyler (Kit) having to flee Barbados and sail to America. While on the ship, she jumps into the frigid water to get a doll for a little girl. This begins the trial of fitting in since people immediately assume she is a witch for being able to swim. Join Kit on the adventure of finding who you are and standing up for your friends.
7. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
This is the story of the March sisters helping their family and one another through the absence of their father when he leaves the family to fight in the Civil War. The March sisters represent the common American woman’s difficulties and hardships. These sisters should inspire us all to reach out to one another during hard times. Personally, Beth is my favorite of the sisters because she is so sweet and sincere.
8. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
Cleverly describing the always present prejudice in the South in the 1930s, Harper Lee’s story of learning not to judge a book by its cover touched me. The Finch family, especially the kind, smart, and wise Mr. Finch, is well-respected in Maycomb County and learns to defend both their misunderstood neighbor and an accused black man with great integrity.
9. Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery
This series got me hooked from the very first book! This is Lucy Maud Montgomery’s story of how a mistake at an orphanage can turn into a beautiful blessing. A couple looking to adopt a boy to help with farm-work back at their home on Prince Edward Island accidentally receive Anne instead. Anne is full of life and very imaginative. Anne begins immediately to brighten their lives and soften their hearts, and they decide to keep her. Follow Anne through her story, and you will long to know this brilliant loveable girl!
10. Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
In this novel written by the genius du Maurier, Mr. de Winter escapes his dark past and meets the narrator and marries her. The ghostly housekeeper immediately resents the new Mrs. de Winter despite the girl’s efforts to befriend the housekeeper. The wife feels she is always being compared to Mr. de Winter’s first wife, Rebecca. This chillingly perfect romantic suspense novel takes the reader to Manderley, and du Maurier’s thrilling writing adds to the aura, making this classic book my favorite.
I hope that you are inspired by my list to read some of these classics! I would love to hear feedback from you about my top ten list, and find out some of your favorites!
-Kelsey H., 9th grade