Books & Magazines

Enduring and beloved books for school-aged children

This collection of books should be on every child’s bookshelf, to be visited and re-visited as old friends. They are the type of books that can be reread as children and adults to appreciate the craftsmanship and storyteller’s art exhibited within the pages of the book. All are classics, all are superb examples of children’s literature, and all are highly recommended for children over the age of 8 years.

the yearling

“THE YEARLING” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

($7.99 ) at Books-A-Million, check out Books-A-Million deals for satisfying savings.

Recommended for children over the age of 10

Many years ago, in the late 19th century, a young boy, Jody Baxter, lives with his parents in a small, isolated home in the thick woods of northern Florida. Jody is the youngest of seven children, but none of his siblings survived infancy. Jody’s father is a tough, generous man, but the tragedy of losing all her other children has put a barrier between his mother and her one remaining son. Life is difficult, and Jody is lonely. He longs for a pet of his own, but eking out an existence for 3 people doesn’t leave much room for the additional burden of an animal.

Jody and his father are led to an orphaned fawn, “Flagg,” which Jody eagerly adopts. An unbreakable and happy bond develops, with Jody hanging onto any tender moment with his pet to fill the hole in his young heart. Flagg becomes a bright spot without which Jody can’t live. But when the time comes to give him up, can Jody come up with the courage to set him free?

This book is a true ‘coming of age’ story, an eye-opening experience for the modern child who has no concept of difficulty or hardship compared with that faced by pioneers. The bond between boy and deer touches the heart and keeps you reading to the inevitable conclusion.

 

where the red fern grows

WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS by Wilson Rawls

($6.99 ) at Barnes & Noble, (Shield yourself from bad deals with Barnes and Noble promotions.)

Recommended for children over the age of 9.
This is often considered a companion book to “The Yearling,” with its common themes of bravery, friendship and hardship. It’s been a classic in school classrooms and in homes since it was first written.

Life in the woods is tough for Billy and his two coon hounds, Big Dan and Little Ann. “Where the Red Fern Grows” shows their romp through the Ozarks, trying to ‘tree’ the elusive raccoon. In time, the trio wins the coveted gold cup in the annual coon-hunt contest, capturing the ghost coon and fighting a mountain lion.

When triumph turns to tragedy, Billy grieves, but takes comfort in the beautiful old Native American legend of the sacred red fern that grows over the graves of his two best friends, his hounds.

 

Bambi

BAMBI, a LIFE IN THE WOODS by Felix Salten

($6.99) at Amazon.  (Amazon sales: We salute you!)

Recommended for children aged 8+
No, this isn’t the Disney version – it’s the tried and true story of a little fawn, Bambi and his life in the forest. The language is moving and beautifully descriptive and many an older child, for many a year, has memorized passages from this book.

This novel traces the life of Bambi, a male roe deer throughout his lifetime. It shares the loss of his mother, his finding of a mate, and the lessons learned from his father and the dangers posed by human hunters in the forest.

Bambi’s life begins with joy: forest animals such as Friend Hare, the chattering squirrel, the noisy screech owl and Bambi’s twin cousins, the frail Gobo and beautiful Faline. But then winter comes and Bambi learns of the dangers within the woods, things he couldn’t possibly understand. The first snowfall makes food hard to find. Bambi’s father, a handsome stag, roams the forest, but leaves Bambi and his mother alone to face the harsh reality of Winter.

Then there is Man. He comes to the forest with weapons that can wound an animal. He does terrible things to Gobo, to Bambi’s mother, and even to Bambi. But He can’t keep Bambi from growing into a handsome stag himself, and becoming…the Prince of the Forest.

 

charlottee's web

“CHARLOTTE’S WEB” by EB White

($6.81)at Walmart. (Explore a world of discounts with Walmart sales.)

Recommended for children aged 8+

Who can ever forget Charlotte and her magical web-spinning abilities that saved her friend Wilbur, the pig? On October 15, 1952, E.B. White first published this book, much to the delight and amazement of generations of children and their parents. From book to movie and back again, it’s a constant wonder and testament to friendship despite (or perhaps because of) differences. It’s an affirmation of miracles, barn magic and the change of seasons – the cycle of life and death.

Most of all, “Charlotte’s Web” is the story of a little girl named Fern, who loves a little pig named Wilbur. It’s about Wilbur’s love for his dear friend, Charlotte A. Cavatica, a beautiful grey spider who lives with Wilbur in the barn. With the help of Templeton, the rat who never did anything for anybody unless there was something in it for him, and by a wonderfully clever plan of her own, Charlotte saves the life of Wilbur, who by this time had grown up to quite a pig.

This book also illustrates the magic of a childhood on the farm, the special nature of Fern, the little girl, who can understand the animals when they speak.

black beauty

“BLACK BEAUTY” by Anna Sewell.

($4.99)at Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club. (Pounce on Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club offers for a good deal or two.)

Recommended for children aged 8+

“Black Beauty” is the story of a horse, told by a horse, for animal lovers everywhere. First published in 1877 and set in Victorian London, this was Anna Sewell’s only novel, composed during the last years of life while she was an invalid. It immediately became a best-selling classic, reaching the ranks of one of the top selling books of all time.

This book teaches animal welfare and how to treat people with kindness, sympathy and respect. Black Beauty started his life as a carefree colt on an English farm with  his mother, and progressed, through circumstance, to his difficult existence pulling cabs in London, culminating with a happy retirement in the countryside. Along the way he encounters hardship and recounts tales of cruelty and kindness to humans and animals, with each chapter telling of such an incident or containing a moral lesson.

watership down

 

“WATERSHIP DOWN” by Richard Adams

 

($11.99)at Powell’s Book.

Recommended for children aged 10+

”Watership Down” is a story of courage and survival, a testament to the determination of a band of very special rabbits on their flight from the intrusion of men and the destruction of their home.

The story is set in England’s Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, and here we meet a stouthearted pair of brothers, who lead a colony of friends and companions through their native Sadleford Warren to a new, safe home. They face the danger of predators and adversaries as they journey to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society.

redwall

“REDWALL” SERIES by Brian Jacques

($9.99)at Target. check out Target promo codes for your saving.

 

Recommended for children aged 8+

Whether you are adult or a child, this enthralling series of tales is filled with the things we long for in an epic adventure: danger, hair-raising escapes, tragedy, mystery, wonder, a despicable villain and a hero whom we embrace with open arms.

That hero is Matthias, a young mouse who must rise above his fears and failures to save his friends at Redwall Abbey. The villain is Cluny the Scourge, one of the most deliciously despicable rats of all time. The unforgettable cast of supporting characters includes the stalwart badger Constance, an irrepressible hare named Basil Stag Hare, and the elderly, wise mouse, Brother Methuselah.

But most of all there is Matthias, seeking his true destiny in a journey that will lead through danger and despair to true wisdom. As in all of Jacques books, the animals dominate. Set in Medieval England, this fantasy and morale tale has captivated readers of all ages.