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A List of Great Classic Stories for Kids

Updated on August 18, 2015

Introducing classic literature to my kids is very important to me. I have scoured lists of classic books for elementary age kids. Finding abridged versions of classic works isn't always easy. The used book section of my library is often helpful but I didn't really feel like I was reading as many classics as I wanted.

Then I stumbled upon a collection of classic stories and found that this is a much better way to expose kids to classic books without having to buy or borrow lots of individual books. This is a list of some really good classic collections aimed at elementary school age children. I have been able to introduce my 7 year old to dozens of classic works with these books.

Of course, you can read the original versions of classic children's stories. The problem is that two many archaic words need to be explained to kids. This isn't necessarily a bad thing because it can expand a child's vocabulary. But constant explanations and definitions of words can take away the enjoyment of reading a classic story. If a child doesn't enjoy listening to classic works they may start to dislike them. Some kids may enjoy the challenge of wading through classics but others won't.

You can easily expose your kids to lots of classic stories like Robin Hood
You can easily expose your kids to lots of classic stories like Robin Hood

Classics Collections List

  • Usborne Illustrated Classics for Boys and Usborne Illustrated Classics for Girls - don't worry about boys and girls being in the title. It's worth it to get both. The boys book has Moonfleet, Around the World in 80 Days, Robin Hood, Gulliver's Travels, The Canterville Ghost and Robinson Crusoe. The girls version has Heidi, Little Women, The Railway Children, Black Beauty, The Secret Garden and The Wizard of Oz. According to Usborne, these books are for ages 6+. See sample pages.
  • Shakespeare for Kids - Usborne has a couple of different collections of Shakespeare's works. I got Usborne Stories from Shakespeare. It includes A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, As you like it, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, The Winter's Tale, Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew. This book is probably best for ages 7 and up. See sample pages.
  • Usborne Illustrated Stories from Dickens - this book has wonderful retellings of Oliver Twist, Bleak House, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield that's probably best for ages 6 and up.
  • Favorite Greek Myths by Mary Pope Osborne is an excellent introduction to mythology for young children. It has a dozen stories.
  • Classics to Read Aloud to Your Children: Selections from Shakespeare, Twain, Dickens, O.Henry, London, Longfellow, Irving Aesop, Homer, Cervantes, Hawthorne, and More - this is one I haven't read to my kids yet. It's probably better for 3rd grade and up but that depends on the child. This book has shorts stories, excerpts from novels, myths and poetry.
  • Aesop's Fables for Children: Includes a Read-and-Listen CD - this is an excellent collection of Aesop's Fables. It's very nicely illustrated and the CD is nice to listen to in the car.


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    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 5 years ago from New Jersey

      It's always great to find ways to introduce kids to books and reading.

    • JoanCA profile image

      JoanCA 5 years ago

      Thanks midget38 and MG Singh. Hopefully this will provide parents with a convenient way to read more classics to their kids.

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 5 years ago from Singapore

      I liked your hub. Classics are bady ignored. I am glad you advocated it

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Wonderful for kids who do not have the reading habit, and with the advent of technology and social media, they read so much less. Sharing!

    • JoanCA profile image

      JoanCA 5 years ago


      I fondly remember reading a lot of classics as well, especially Dickens. You probably can't go wrong with a book that generations of readers have loved.

    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 5 years ago from Philadelphia

      Thanks JoanCA for sharing this hub. You have certainly brought me way back to my childhood days -- the days when I myself were reading most of these Books that you have mentioned above. Some of my favorites were: Romeo & Juliet, Wizard of Oz, Robin Wood, Merchant of Venice, Around the World in eighty days and more. I even enjoyed reading Tom Sawyer, The Tale of Two cities etc.