Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is actually all about the ten childhood characters I would love to revisit as adults, but every character I thought of already had another book featuring him/her as an adult. Take Anne for example. I absolutely love Anne of Green Gables, so I thought of Anne immediately, but then remembered that there are seven other books—Anne of Avonlea, Anne of the Island, Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, Anne of Ingleside, Rainbow Valley, and Rilla of Ingleside—all featuring Anne as she grows up, and her growing family. Anyway, I couldn’t come up with a very good list, but it got me thinking all about classics, so I figured I would list some of my favorite old classics instead.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Grown-up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth, and precocious Amy. The four March sister couldn’t be more different. But with their father away at war, and their mother working to support the family, they have to rely on one another. Whether they’re putting on a play, forming a secret society, or celebrating Christmas, there’s one thing they can’t help wondering: Will Father return home safely?
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
David Copperfield is the story of a young man’s adventures on his journey from an unhappy and impoverished childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters he encounters are his tyrannical stepfather, Mr. Murdstone; his brilliant, but ultimately unworthy school-friend James Steerforth; his formidable aunt, Betsey Trotwood; the eternally humble, yet treacherous Uriah Heep; frivolous, enchanting Dora Spenlow; and the magnificently impecunious Wilkins Micawber, one of literature’s great comic creations. In David Copperfield—the novel he described as his “favourite child”—Dickens drew revealingly on his own experiences to create one of the most exuberant and endearingly popular works, filled with tragedy and comedy in equal measure.
Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
Often rated as important as the Bible as a Christian document, this famous story of man’s progress through life in search of salvation remains one of the most entertaining allegories of faith ever written. Set against realistic backdrops of town and country, the powerful drama of the pilgrim’s trials and temptations follows him in his harrowing journey to the Celestial City. Along a road filled with monsters and spiritual terrors, Christian confronts such emblematic characters as Worldly Wiseman, Giant Despair, Talkative, Ignorance, and the demons of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. But he is also joined by Hopeful and Faithful.
Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
I absolutely love all nine books in this series, and I couldn’t pick just one to add to this list, so I figured this once, it would be okay to list each one: Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, Farmer Boy, On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years, and The First Four Years, collectively as one of my favorite classics. You can’t get a feel for the whole story without reading all of them. Also, the pictured copies are actually the same copies as the ones I own!
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Eleven-year-old Rebecca Randall is quite a handful, and now she’s leaving her beloved Sunnybrook Farm to live with her well-to-do elderly aunts and get an education. But they were expecting Rebecca’s quite, hardworking older sister instead. Can the bright-eyed and talkative girl win them over, especially her strict, rule-bound Aunt Miranda? Just as Rebecca’s “grand spirit” charms everyone in the story, it will captivate readers too.
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
Okay, so I lied when I said I would mention a whole series only once, because here I go again. But I absolutely love Narnia, and I can’t just list one book, so I had no other choice! The Magician’s Nephew, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle all had to be on this list; there’s no way it would’ve been complete without them!
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
“Fight on, brave knights! Man dies, but glory lives!”
Banished from England for seeking to marry against his father’s wishes, Ivanhoe joins Richard the Lion Heart on a crusade in the Holy Land. On his return, his passionate desire is to be reunited with the beautiful but forbidden Lady Rowena, but he soon finds himself playing a more dangerous game as he is drawn into a bitter power struggle between the noble King Richard and his evil and scheming brother John. The first of Scott’s novels to address a purely English subject, Ivanhoe is set in a highly romanticized medieval world of tournaments and sieges, chivalry and adventure, where dispossessed Saxons are pitted against their Norman overlords, and where the historical and fictional seamlessly merge.
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
Taking up a challenge from his whist partners, a mysterious English gentleman named Phileas Fogg wagers half his fortune and abandons his quiet domestic routine to undertake a daring feat: to circle the globe in a mere 80 days, an achievement unheard of in the Victorian world.
Fogg and Passepartout, his devoted manservant, avail themselves of virtually every known means of transportation in their wild race against time. All the while, a devious detective dogs their every step and introduces fresh obstacles. The resourceful Fogg faces each new trial with unshakable aplomb, through a constantly shifting background of exotic locales—from the jungles of India, a Chinese opium den, and a Japanese circus to a full-throttle train ride under attack by Sioux and a bloodless mutiny aboard a tramp steamer.
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Alone in a new country, wealthy Sara Crewe tries to settle in and make friends at boarding school. But when she learns that she’ll never see her beloved father again, her life is turned upside down. Transformed from princess to pauper, she must swap dancing lessons and luxury for hard work and a room in the attic. Will she find that kindness and generosity are all the riches she truly needs?
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill a Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.
Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill a Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior—to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 15 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.
Well, those are ten of my favorite classics! What about you? What are some of your favorite classic novels?
Happy Tuesday and Happy reading!
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
To see where I’m linking up, check out my Where I Party page.
Photo credits go to a fabulous thing called the internet.
All credit for the italicized synopses go to each author and one of their many respective publishers.