101 Children’s Classics

I know, I know.  We’ve been through a lot of different changes on this site, but that is what happens when you read a blog written by someone with ADHD.  It’s time to get serious now, and experts says that blogs ought to have a focus.  This is also the time for you to chuckle that deep belly laugh you’ve got hiding down there.


We have big plans over here.  Debi plans on reading Homer and becoming a queen.

But we are going to give it a try anyway.  Yes, I’ve tried to focus before with the “raising creative children” theme, but we all know how that went.  I need something more simple and more tangible.  So I asked myself, What is it that matters most to me?  If I could give my children one thing what would it be?   That’s easy.  The gift of reading.

And since it’s my dream to publish a children’s book someday, I thought it would be just lovely to read all the books from the greats and see why my children love them.  So that’s what the goal is:  to read 101 classics with my children.  This may take a little while but we’ll cheat with picture books when necessary.

We’ll talk about practical things like, “Is is hard to gather the children?  Do they listen with rapt attention or wander off?  How do we find time to read?”

We’ll ask philosophical questions like, “Why is friendship so strongly valued in children’s literature but rarely valued in adult literature?”  and “Why do children’s authors kill off the mother so often?”

I really hope you might read some of the books with us.  Here’s the line up.

1.  Charlotte’s Web

We’re already Charlotte’s Web because the book is so lovely to read, the illustrations are gorgeous, and I used to raise pigs myself.

1 charlotte's web

2. Heidi

I’ve never read Heidi, but we are going to Germany to visit my sister in September, and we might swing by the Swiss Alps.  Nothing like going to your book’s setting to make it all real.  91eCI9eMcPL

3.  Skellig 

This is a beautiful book about a girl and boy who love birds and find a fallen angel hiding in their backyard.  We are aspiring birdwatchers ourselves, and this book might just launch us.

1 skellig5.  Black Beauty

I’ve never read this book, but it’s about a horse, and Deborah has been asking for a pony for the last few years now.  Hopefully the book will suffice.


6.  The Secret Garden

This will be a fun book to read next spring when we plant our own gardens, and who does not love the feisty Mary?

the secret garden

These books will work well for Deborah (4) and Ricky (6), but I’m not sure all get the older boys on board.  We can just cross our fingers.  Older boys like to choose their own books (or no books at all), but I’m hoping we might be able to read a few of these together.

1.  Ender’s Game 

This book is the ultimate boys’ book:  what more could a boy asks for than spaceships and video games?

enders game

2.  Treasure Island.

Who doesn’t love pirates?

1 treasure island 3.  Huckleberry Finn.  

The captain read Tom Sawyer to them a year ago, and the boys just ate it up.  Perhaps the captain will want to read Huck to them as well, but I’d like one of us to read it to them.

1 huckle

So THAT ought to keep us busy for a few years.

Note:  Both beckyblackburn.com and 101childrensclassics.com will get you to this site.  Hope to see you tomorrow.

What books do you want to read to your children?




  1. I love The Giver too! I’ve got to read that book too with them. It was ahead of it’s time and yet, so much more beautiful than some of the more recent dystopian fiction.

  2. We just read Heidi! I read it as an adolescent and LOVED it. I have the long version which the girls aren’t ready for yet, but I also have an illustrated shorter version, which is what we read. And we watched the movie with Shirley Temple. It was kind of lame that it was in black and white, but Shirley is so dang cute in it… she reminds me of Josie. The setting where the book takes place is only a 3 hour drive from here! Love the list. Ben just started reading James and the Giant Peach with Emily. He also read 100 Dresses with them.

  3. I love this idea! My husband and I have vowed to read The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald to our children. It’s one of the sweetest, most wholesome fiction books I’ve ever read.

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