Here is a list of novels that will introduce our children to the amazing art of story telling,
Everyone has fond memories of growing up. Books and stories from our childhood are highly intertwined with these memories. I still fondly remember the book cover of the ‘The Black Beauty’ my brother brought me from the library and also the little ache I felt as I closed the last page. As Carlos Ruiz Zafon correctly pointed out “Few things leave a deeper mark on the reader, than the first book that finds its way to his heart.”
Below given are a list of some classic children’s novels that I believe can find its way into your child’s heart
1. Black Beauty
Black Beauty is a classic tale of a horse as it goes through its life cycle told through its own perspective. It was written by Anna Sewell and published in 1887. The story since being told through the perspective of a horse generates in the children a sense of empathy not only to others but towards animals and other living organisms in general. Moreover it is a warm tale and an adventure through the horse’s life portraying all its happiness and misery. Black beauty is indeed sad at some of its parts but at the same time it is a beautifully touching and a heart warming story your kids will sure carry with them for a long time
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a novel written by the famous Mark Twain and published in 1876. It is set around the adventures of a young mischievous boy named Tom Sawyer living with his grand mother in a fictitious town near the coast of the Mississippi river. The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn is a sequel for the novel with a spin-off character Huckleberry Finn introduced first along Tom. The novel is a celebration of childhood and the process of growing with all its curiosity and sense of playful rebellion leading each of the young characters in their adventures. Its simple story telling set in Twain’s almost magical village background is sure to take your kids along the ride for search of freedom while at the same time dealing with serious issues through social commentary in an expertly subtle way
Roald Dahl is a master story teller and has a very simple but captivating style of storytelling to be able to connect with children in many layers. It is thus no surprise when he writes a story from the perspective of a lead young girl unlike most of his previous all male perspective dominated childhood novels. Instantly everyone across the globe especially the women and girls identified with her loving character design and be part of her innocent search for self expression and freedom. Like most of his other works Mathilda does offer an interesting mix of fun, adventure and mystery in a special taste anyone would fall in love with.
Alice in wonderland is one of the most recognized children book in the world. This fantasy masterpiece by Lewis Carol, published in 1865 is a roller coaster adventure by a little girl named Alice who falls into a rabbit hole and subsequently goes through a magical land meeting very interesting characters with a very subtle kind of perspective on life in general. This is one of the reasons why it was even accounted in the top 100 novel list by many adults too. Its wide popularity is truly a result of its fantastic story telling that in itself carries with it a sense of magic for its readers.
When you talk about magic and adventures in fantasy land there is very little out there that can match the popularity of this young magical prodigy and his wizard school of Hogwarts. The book was so popular among its fan base even leading to its author J K Rowling being even considered one of the best story tellers of our generation. Each book of the series is set in a tone that is gradually maturing and at the same time soulfully identifiable to its readers which makes this series a very good companion to grow up reading with.
6. Jungle Book
There is almost no one in the world who doesn’t recognize atleast the premise of this Rudyard Kipling classing by hearing the name of the book itself. Many times it has been portrayed on the big screen as well with various levels of success. And most probably because of this big screen exposure that many doesn’t realise that the original book by Rudyard Kipling is more of a collection of tales than a full own story about a kid raised in the jungle along a pack of wolves. The book is collection of seven short stories and poems exploring the human effect in our surroundings and among fellow beings in general.
Every kid who has ever read this classic adventure by Robert Louis Stevenson have had the fantasy of being a pirate. It is the mysterious storytelling style of the book along with its highly exaggerated characters that gave this sort o appeal to Treasure Island. The influence of this book on the whole of literature is so large that all the pirate characters thereafter used in movies and other books had followed very striking similarities from the characteristics of many of Stevenson’s character. And also unlike most other children books, the characters of Treasure Island are given more depth and layers which becomes evident through its explosive narration style.
There is something that a sense of adventure creates in children as you may have already noticed that many of the books in this list are of some kind of adventure or the other. And when this adventure is on a global scale though a journey that takes you along to 15 countries around the world with a vast array of cultures and characters thrown into the midst, there is no wonder this classic book from the highly revered Jules Verne makes its way into this list. His imagination has no bounds and this novel is still regarded as one of his best work by a large portion of his cult followers (while some debate it to be the Journey to the center of the Earth)
A man being deserted in a dangerous island for almost three decades. Doesn’t seem like the theme that a children’s book can deal with but Daniel Defoe with his brilliant story narration keeps us moving from page to the other counting days along with Robinson Crusoe. This novel was first published in 1719 and many consider it one of the first modern English novel. But it has stood its time and does indeed make a great read for anyone and could relate to ideas of self, survival and coexistence with nature. Its narration style is also very unique and gives children an idea about the historical development of literature.
10. Moby Dick
The vast sea has always conquered the imagination of many writers especially in the 18th and 19th century. And as such many classic books were written keeping the mysteries of the sea as a central theme. Moby Dick by Hemran Melville is a popular result from these line of thoughts. It tells the story from the perspective of an young sailor travelling the sea in a whaling boat under the infamous Captian Ahab. The title character, the mighty whale Moby Dick, is the soul of the story as the obsession of Ahab in killing this enormous beast is what that drives the story forward. It does add to the fantasy and mysterious elements of the book which indeed work very well along with detailed character study of its main crew.