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I love old books. I was an English major, after all, so reading a book that’s 100 years old appeals to me.

However, we shouldn’t fall into the trap of allowing our kids to only read old books. Past generations have had their own faults, and I believe we should encourage our kids to read widely along the timeline. (Redeemed Reader has a wonderful post about 6 Risks of Reading Old Books).

But we absolutely should encourage our kids to read the best old books! So let me introduce a few of my favorite old books for girls (some will appeal to boys as well).
 The Railway Children is my very favorite of Edith Nesbit’s books. You’ll love the relationship between the siblings (they sometimes fight, but always make-up). And the story is incredibly sweet and very interesting. The Librivox version read by Karen Savage makes it even more delightful!
Grandma’s Attic books (In Grandma’s Attic, More Stories from Grandma’s Attic, Still More Stories from Grandma’s Attic, and Treasures from Grandma’s Attic) are delightful tales told by a grandmother to her granddaughter of when she was a girl. These books really aren’t that old, but since the stories of Grandma’s childhood are, we’ll leave them here.

 (I’ve included a link to the Kindle Versions here because they are usually $.99 – $1.99 each. You can’t beat that!)

Betsy-Tacy Books by Maud Hart Lovelace are just delightfully sweet. Girls will love these imaginative stories of play and friendship.
 Milly Molly Mandy by Joyce Lankester Brisley is one of my all-time favorite read-alouds! These stories are so sweet, interesting, and well told. They are a delight to read.

Only the storybook remains in print, others, above, are all available on Kindle.
 Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield was not only an interesting read for my daughter, it was a thoughtful read for me as a parent, one that made me evaluate my parenting and teaching style. (If you listened to Episode 42 of the Read-Aloud Revival Podcast, this is an example of a children’s book that can make you a better parent).

Thornton W. Burgess’s Animal Stories are so delightful! They are fun to read and they aren’t too challenging for kids getting used to chapter books. The Librivox versions narrated by John Lieder are wonderful!

Kindle versions (pictured below) are a good deal–each has five stories.

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old books for girls

What are your favorite older books?