There is something for everyone in this recommended list, from ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ to ‘Wuthering Heights’: whether you read all the time…or very rarely! Look on Wikipedia for more information about the books or for book reviews.

You do not have to buy the book, go to your local library or use the LRC at school. Some of the older classics like Jane Eyre can be found free online and are free on Kindle. It's great to share reading with your parents or carers, you can take turns, reading together.

What’s a classic… a classic is a book that ‘has never finished saying what it has to say’; a book that has stood the test of time and been enjoyed by many generations of people. Reading a classic novel is participating in the world around you and discovering new things about yourself and others.

Reading the Classics

  • Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë - A gutsy herioine discovers mystery and romance
  • Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte: True love is doomed.
  • Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens: Orphan Oliver finds adventure and happiness
  • Great Expectations – Charles Dickens: Pip gets rich – but does it bring him happiness?
  • A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens: Ghostly encounters help Scrooge become happy.
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen – Independent Lizzie attracts Mr Darcy – but will pride and prejudice get in the way?
  • Emma – Jane Austen – Emma’s too busy playing matchmaker to notice romance
  • The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss - the cat causes chaos on a rainy day
  • Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Montgomery - Orphan Anne builds a new life
  • Little Women – Louisa May Alcott – Tales of four sisters growing up
  • Harry Potter series – J.K Rowling – Join Harry, Hermione and Ron for wizard fun!
  • Little White Horse – Elizabeth Goudge – Fantasy and magic at Moonacre Manor
  • Black Beauty – Anna Sewell – Trials and tribulations of a much loved horse
  • The Diary of Anne Frank – Anne Frank – Tragic yet ultimately uplifting
  • Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carrol – Join Alice as she meets some crazy characters
  • The Lord of the Flies – William Golding - A plane crashes – how will the boys survive?
  • Grimm’s Fairy Tales – Grimm brothers
  • Tom Brown’s Schooldays – Thomas Hughes – Victorian schoolboy defeats bully.
  • Watership Down – Richard Adams – Talking rabbits find a new home
  • Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome – Adventures during a summer holiday
  • The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S Lewis – The wardrobe holds the secret to a new world.
  • Mallory Towers – Enid Blyton – Tales from a girls’ boarding school
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Tom Sawyer – Carefree Huck helps people.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee – Racism and friendship in segregated America
  • The Happy Prince – Oscar Wilde – A moral lesson, a statue and a swallow.
  • A Little Princess – Frances Hodgson Burnett – Poor Sara discovers her secret past.
  • Peter Pan – J M Barrie – Fairies, pirates and the Never Never Land!
  • The Railway Children – E. Nesbit – The children prove their father’s innocence.
  • The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame - Ratty, Mole and Toad share adventures
  • The Just So Stories – Rudyard Kipling - Find out how the camel got his hump
  • Winnie The Pooh – A.A Milne – The tales of Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and friends.
  • The Hobbit – J R R Tolkein – Bilbo Baggins embarks on a quest
  • The Famous Five books – Enid Blyton: Mystery, adventure, secret tunnels & hidden treasure!
  • The Color Purple – Alice Walker – Emotional tale of a black woman living in 1930s USA
  • The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint – Exupery - The Prince learns lessons about life.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl - Will Charlie get the yummy golden ticket?
  • James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl – James achieves happiness in a magical way!
  • Tom’s Midnight Garden – Phillipa Pearce – Tom makes a friend from the past.
  • The Book Thief – Marcus Zusak – Liesel learns to read – helped by Death.
  • The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Luis Zafon – Daniel visits the Cemetery of Forgotten Books
  • Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak – Max meets the Wild Things!
  • Are you there God? It’s me Margaret. – Judy Blume – Margaret speaks to God about her teenage worries.
  • The Velveteen Rabbit– Margery Williams – What happens to toys who are no longer loved?
  • His Dark Materials trilogy – Philip Pulman: Talking bears; witches and a parallel universe
  • The Complete Collection of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle- Mystery, intrigue and the indomitable Holmes!
  • Moby Dick – Herman Melville – Ishmael hunts an elusive whale.
  • Not Now Bernard – David McKee – For everyone who thinks their parents don’t listen…
  • The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy – The original Harry Potter!
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom – Michael Morpurgo – A family adventure takes a tragic twist.
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou – a young girl grows up and experiences traumatic events.
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