Classic Books to Read With Your Daughter

When it comes to books, I’m a historical fiction kind of girl. As long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to “old” stories – the ones filled with period dresses, adventures in the unknown and bedtime at sundown. Don’t all us mothers dream of a sundown bedtime? Even though my daughter is just two, I’m anticipating chapter book snuggles at bedtime in the near future. I can’t wait to relive my childhood favorites and wanted to share a a handful that I hope to begin reading with my girl. 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott ||| Talk about a story with personality! Alcott spins a memorable tale of four sisters filled with their day to day life, humorous misfortune, tragedy and great blessings. I always fancied myself a mix of Meg and Jo … who do you identify most with? 

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink ||| Caddie is full of excitement as she explores the Wisconsin frontier. Her tomboy antics grow in the sequel, Magical Melons. Shortly after reading Caddie Woodlawn I became quite committed to expanding the “prairie” elements of my dress up box – bonnets, long dresses and aprons.   

All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor ||| A simple story about five sisters at the turn of the century. There is just something special about families filled with tons of girls.   

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder ||| Most are familiar with Little House on the Prairie from the TV show, but the stories give so much more background, characters and excitement. With a total of nine books in the series, you could spend an entire year reading and following this website’s additional activity recommendations. 

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield ||| Have a little shoe addict? Why not delve into the first of Streakfeild’s Shoe books?   

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery ||| At one time I thought I would convince my husband to visit Prince Edward Island for our honeymoon. That didn’t quite happen (perhaps for an anniversary trip?), but it goes to show how much a part of my childhood Anne was. Yep, we’re pretty much on a first name basis. One of the best things about each of these books is that there are sequels and series with almost all of them! So, once you/your daughter fall in love, the story can continue. Because of their popularity, many have also been turned into feature films … sometimes more than once. Whether book or film, it’s no wonder these are all classics – they’ve been around for decades and I can’t wait to open to cover and relive it all with my daughter. And who knows, perhaps with a granddaughter or two someday! 

What books do you have fond memories of from your childhood reading days? 

P.S. At first glance, these stories seem to be “girl books”, but each of them have strong male characters and I fully plan to read these with my son as well. I grew up in a family with all girls and my husband has just one brother so we’re learning how to merge boy/girl childhood traditions like bedtime stories since we have a daughter and son. Although my husband has barely heard of some of these titles, I think my son will enjoy many elements and I know he’ll add some “boy book” favorites to our home library.

This post was originally published on the Baby Gizmo Blog.
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  1. Carey says

    My daughter is 6 and my son 4 is, and so far we have read 3 of the Little House books. I can assure you that my son enjoys them just as much as my daughter. Thanks for the other recommendations, I haven't heard of some of them.

  2. says

    Thanks for sharing this post! We have read the first Little House on the Prairie book and loved it. I plan to read the others as well. I can't wait to check out some of these other books. And now that we have a little boy too I'm anxious to think about even more bedtime possibilities.

  3. says

    everytime i go to goodwill i look in the kids section and find a ton of those books. takes me back!

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  5. Mary Sauer says

    This list reminds me of my childhood. I have such a love for each of these books. I was just thinking, during all of this snow, that I would have loved to have a copy of The Long Winter in the

  6. Lyndsay Kirkham says

    Love this post! My son is also a huge fan of Anne of Green Gables. And I have big plans to read him Little Women when he is a bit older. The subversive feminist undercurrent of LMA's work is just fab! A great post that I will be pinning and sharing with my readers!