Accessible Classic Literature for Children

Many children and even parents are intimidated by classic literature. The writing in classic books may be a little different from what we know in contemporary books, and you may thing that a child is unable to a classic story.  These concerns need not dissuade you from opening up a time-tested story with your young children.

Classic literature will sharpen their reading skills, increase vocabulary and make you and your child more interesting people altogether.  Here are some classic stories that can ease even the most reluctant reader into the world of classic literature.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens– A much-loved story about a greedy man who is visited by ghosts who try to teach him the error of his ways. This story has received much treatment in cartoons, movies and popular culture.  The book is a scant 88 pages long.  The general understanding of this story along with its brevity make it a perfect introduction into classic literature.

Little Women by Loiusa May Alcott– The story of four sisters who learn lessons about love and family throughout their lives.  This book contains themes that women and girls from any age will recognize.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson- The story of a young man in search of a buried treasure and a name for himself.  This is the original pirate adventure book.  The story is unforgettable and transcends time and location.


The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling– A story of a boy who is raised by wolves and befriends other jungle animals while trying to escape a tiger who hates all people.  Children will feel this book is accessible due to the several motion pictures based on the story.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee– A story about the trial of an innocent man that tells of racial inequality in the south during the Great Depression.  This is still required reading in many schools.  This book will open the door to meaningful conversation about race and prejudice.


Each of these stories has at least one film version, which can help to clarify the story to your children. So, don’t pass on the classic stories just because they aren’t what many children are reading today. These novels are full of adventure, mystery, and timeless life lessons.