Three Classics to Share with your Daughter
At the beginning of the school year, my oldest daughter’s rising time coincided with my baby’s first feeding, so it was natural for her to curl up beside me on the couch to finish waking up while I read a chapter of a book.
The baby sleeps later now, but we’ve kept the tradition. Lately I pulled out some classics that I enjoyed as a child, and I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing these favorites with her.
A note on reading classics: The wording and terms in these books were more unfamiliar than some of the other books we’ve read, so I often stopped to explain a word’s definition or to make sure she was following the plot. I tried playing Pollyanna as an audio book and she zoned out immediately, but she enjoyed the story when I read it to her since I could pause to explain if I sensed she was getting lost.
Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter. After Pollyanna’s father died, leaving her orphaned, she moved in with her aunt Polly, a stiff, proper old maid. Pollyanna’s father had taught her to play the “glad game” and she couldn’t help telling everyone she met about the game, leaving a trail of happiness in her wake. However, one day Pollyanna’s ability to play the game was seriously tested.
This book is free on Kindle. You can read Kindle books on any device using the free Kindle app.
At the Little Brown House by Ruth Alberta Brown. Peace Greenfield lived with her five orphaned sisters on a farm. She meant well, but somehow all her efforts to help her family ended in near disaster, from selling poisoned hens to distracting the neighbor’s bull with red rags, to trying to borrow money to pay back the mortgage on the family farm.
I first discovered this book in our church library when I was a girl. I borrowed it several times, including once to read it to my 4th and 5th grade students. Don’t tell the church librarian, but I also took it with me to Haiti to read to my students there. Don’t worry; I returned it!
This book is free on Kindle.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. After her parents died, Mary Lennox left her home in India to live with her Uncle Archibald Craven on the edge of the English moor. (I just noticed that all three of these books are about orphans.) She had no Ayah or governess to look after her in her new home, so she began to wander about in the vast gardens of Misselthwaite Manor. When she learned there was a garden that had been shut up for ten years, ever since the mistress of the estate died, her curiosity was piqued. She also began to wonder about the crying she heard at night, even though the servants insisted that it was just the wind whistling on the moor.
At the beginning of the story, Mistress Mary is quite contrary, loving no one. It made some interesting discussions to compare her with Pollyanna, who was opposite in most every way.