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Fifty Famous Stories Retold
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Fifty Famous Stories Retold

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  754 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
No book is better for introducing children ages 6 to 9 to legendary historical figures than this collection of stories admirably retold by James Baldwin at the beginning of the last century. Selecting the best of our literary heritage, Baldwin cast it into a form that delights children of all ages. Beginning with stories of heroes from British history, including King Alfre ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published November 2nd 2005 by Yesterday's Classics (first published 1896)
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Akemi G.
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Free ebook (here), a collection of very short stories.

Rating books written for children is hard because I am not the target audience any more. Many of these stories carry morals, and we have grown to dislike didactical qualities. Worse, some of the messages are outdated. (I'm sure many parents, as well as their kids, bark at the story of Casabianca.) Stories that are attributed to historical figures may or may not be true.

Yet, these simple stories have been loved over many generations. Try a f
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's not a retell. It's just the stories.
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Covers a wide range of literary references (classical stories). Mostly English, Roman, and Greek classics.

A wee bit of haughty colonial attitude detected behind the writing, but not too insufferable considering that this text is the product of its time. I would still recommend this to anyone who wants to be quickly acquainted with well-known characters from English, Greek, Roman history.
Wendy Jones
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this book to my boys, as they could never get enough. We will be buying the next two written by this author for more fun and inspiration.
Colin Jones
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book!
Rick Davis
A good book to introduce younger kids (around 6 years old probably) to stories that every child should know. Includes the stories of Horatius Cocles, the 300 Spartans, King Alfred and the Cakes, the Wise Men of Gotham and more.
Great librivox reader but I didn't enjoy the stories so much. I only persisted with the book because it kept putting me to sleep.
John Yelverton
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful collection of short stories both real and fiction used to give children insight into morality and inspire them by the heroic deeds of others. All the stories are short, and would be perfect for bedtime stories.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-to-the-kids
Delightful little classic with short, easy, charming chapters. This book should be essential reading for everyone - even though I was reading it to the kids, I learned so much! Some cultural references I didn't know I was missing suddenly made sense. I know what the sword of Damocles is now!
Apr 21, 2016 rated it liked it
First published in 1896, this book was meant as a children's reader. It gave learning readers a chance to practice their skills while acculturating them with many old tales that would allow them to understand common literary references later when they encountered them. Times have moved on and there were a few references that I'd never encountered in my 50+ years of reading as well as many that I'd been familiar with since childhood. More surprisingly there were a couple that added details and fi ...more
Jul 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This isn't a book that you would read from front to back, but it has a variety of stories that are often referred to in leterature. (Actually in The Office, the Birtish Version, he referred to the Sword of Damocles. Funny stuff.) My kids have learned from this book and so have I. They are diveded into different countries. We just read the ones on Greece and will read more when we check it out again. Another plus is that the stories are very short so it isn't hard for the kids to sit and listen d ...more
Barbara Lovejoy
Dec 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I don't remember how I learned about this book but I do remember it was by chance. Rather than read the whole book at one time I decided to read a story a day. Each story is only 1-3 pages long. Really enjoyed the stories. These stories would be great to share with students (or one's own children).
Some of these stories I didn't know, and some I had heard referred to by other works. But, this particular edition has a hyphenation addiction that made reading it kind of annoying. If you're looking to get some background on some popular stories referenced in older literature, this would be a good book to read though.
Dec 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Great short famous stories. Some I have heard, Some I have not. I bought the book because many of the stories would be good for talks, or activites or papers, or just quick bed-time stories.
It isn't the fastest read, or best written but most of the stories were worth reading.
Jan 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Interesting collection of stories. Most of them I'd never heard before.
Some had a great moral lesson, others were kind of silly. It's worth the read to find the gems. They'd make great bedtime stories!

Sep 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book can be downloaded at
Another great book for new readers. Courageous stories with real heros and heroine, and written before God was taken out of most children books.
Dec 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: school, sy09-10, sy10-11
We enjoyed this compilation of short stories although we read them in historical order instead of from start to finish. We also enjoyed fact checking the stories to find out if they were legend or real. A good read.
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It had a lot of fun adventures. I thought the book was cool. There were lots of different chapters of Kings. I learned that if your not really cared for you might not know how old you are. The kings' sons were the second kings when the other kings died.
Feb 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ao-year1
My second grader loves these stories. It is often the first book he chooses. The stories are short but packed with information. We've also supplemented with audio of the stories adding a bit more excitement to them.
Jul 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Storytelling at its best--thoroughly charming.
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
good, but a weird ending
Marts  (Thinker)
Oct 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
A collection of 50 tales which have actually been related to many for generations! As I listened there are a few that I remembered.

Available at Librivox.
Jan 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Short stories that you have heard referenced somewhere else. Now you know where they came from.
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
another current read with the kids.
Jan 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
These are mostly stories from Europe history with the kings and noblemen. They are stories of character and growth. Also, will be short and fun to read and discuss with the kids.
Clare P
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-read-in-2014
Another wonderful collection of folk tales. I think it is very important and interesting to be aware of folk stories. Entertaining for children and adults alike!
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Quick, enjoyable read mixing real history, myth and legend, and wisdom to be gleaned from both. Aimed at children, but a nice breather for adults.
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good collection of stories, some a bit short but interesting none the less. I enjoyed the more familiar stories particularity, Pocahontas and Robin Hood etc.
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, biography, non-fiction
Starts with British and Scottish kings and men. Moves to others with a couple of stories about women (3). Even one story about a bell. Some seem more folk tale than real event.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

James Baldwin (1841-1925) was an American editor and author. Largely self-educated, he began teaching at the age of 24. In addition to editing school books, he started writing books of his own. After the publication in 1882 of The Story of Siegfried, he went on
More about James Baldwin