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Themes, Topics & Categories > 100-Year-Old Children's Books

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message 1: by Shari (new)

Shari | 6 comments Re-reading books from 100 years ago, seeing what perspective brings. Post your favorite titles, and your new take on and old friend.


message 2: by LauraW (new)

LauraW (lauralynnwalsh) | 127 comments I'll go with Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I never seem to get tired of that one. (Original publication date 1908)


message 3: by Shari (new)

Shari | 6 comments Have a new view of The Road to OZ, L. Frank Baum (1909). Do we often try to re-make others in the image of ourselves? How disagreeable that would be. Instead Ozma demonstrates how to give a gift that suits the recipient not the giver. Thus the Shaggy Man has new yet still shaggy clothes, and finds a way to participate in the first daunting splendor of such a place as the palace in the Emerald City.


message 4: by Becky (new)

Becky (annshreve) | 11 comments I love, "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott! She is one of my very favorite authors, and I collect different editions of this book. I also love some of her other works!


message 5: by Manybooks (last edited Jun 10, 2013 06:36AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7051 comments Mod
The Secret Garden

A Little Princess

And I think I like The Secret Garden even more as an adult than I did when I read it as a young teenager (then I only saw Mary Lennox as annoying, but now, I can see how neglected and emotionally stunted both she and Colin were).

And yes, anything by L.M. Montgomery (I reread her books almost religiously).

And I also would agree with those who choose Little Women (although I don't like the sequels as much and find the rest of Acott's work generally a bit too preachy, although I have read that it was mostly thus because the publishers demanded this, which kind of happened with L.M. Montgomery as well).


message 6: by Steve (new)

Steve Shilstone | 184 comments Shari wrote: "Have a new view of The Road to OZ, L. Frank Baum (1909). Do we often try to re-make others in the image of ourselves? How disagreeable that would be. Instead Ozma demonstrates how to give a gift ..."

Shari, I happen to be in an Oz book reading frenzy now. I, too, recently reread 'The Road to Oz' and agree 100% with your comment. As for the Oz books written by John Neill (The Wonder City of Oz, Lucky Bucky in Oz), as a writer, he falls far short of his illustration talent. The Shaggy Man of Oz, an entire book about the ragged fellow, was a bland and lifeless effort by somebody named Jack Snow. Ruth Plumly Thompson, on the other hand, wrote some very fine Oz books. Her characters are lively and interesting. Rereading her The Gnome King of Oz now. A Great 1st chapter.


message 7: by Becky (new)

Becky (annshreve) | 11 comments Speaking of "The Wizard Of Oz", I just bought a book by Baum called, "Little Wizard Of Oz Stories." Anyone know anything about this one? I bought at bookstore, that sells antique books.


message 8: by ABC (last edited Jun 10, 2013 05:28PM) (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments I am not sure of the exact dates. I am throwing out some books I have read.


Five Children and It
and other books by E. Nesbit
The Swiss Twins
and other books by Lucy Fitch Perkins
Mary Poppins
Peter Pan


Heidi
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Little Lord Fauntleroy and her other books
The Story of Doctor Dolittle This is racist, so an editted version might be preferable.

Black Beauty
A Bear Called Paddington
Finn Family Moomintroll


message 9: by Steve (new)

Steve Shilstone | 184 comments Becky wrote: "Speaking of "The Wizard Of Oz", I just bought a book by Baum called, "Little Wizard Of Oz Stories." Anyone know anything about this one? I bought at bookstore, that sells antique books."
All Things Oz, a 2003 book edited by Linda Sunshine, as its title suggests, includes 3 of the Little Wizard of Oz Stories among its 340 pages of fascinating Oz art and trivia.


message 10: by Becky (new)

Becky (annshreve) | 11 comments This book, was published in 1985, by Schocken Books in New York. It has an introduction by Michael Patrick Hearn, and is illustrated by John R. Neill. It also states that this edition copyright 1985 by the Baum Trust. It doesn't have a dust jacket. Its a red hardback. It has six stories.

1. The Cowardly lion and the Hungry Tiger

2. Little Dorothy and Toto

3.Tik-Tok and the Nome King

4.Ozma and the Little Wizard

5. Jack Pumpkinhead and the Sawhorse

6.The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman

This one has 145 pages.

Any ideas about this one?


message 11: by Steve (new)

Steve Shilstone | 184 comments Becky wrote: "This book, was published in 1985, by Schocken Books in New York. It has an introduction by Michael Patrick Hearn, and is illustrated by John R. Neill. It also states that this edition copyright 19..."

I think it was originally published in 1913. That's according to my All Things Oz book.


message 12: by Becky (new)

Becky (annshreve) | 11 comments You are correct! Wish I had the 1913 edition, instead of the 1985 edition.


message 13: by LauraW (new)

LauraW (lauralynnwalsh) | 127 comments I got to thinking about The Hardy Boys, which evidently started in the 1920s and then I wondered about The Bobbsey Twins. The first of those books evidently started in 1904. When I was growing up, I loved The Bobbsey Twins - not very sophisticated, but good kid books. In a way, my tastes are still similar - a bit too naive, a bit too simplistic. Now, I'm off to see how old Nancy Drew is (1930).


message 14: by Becky (new)

Becky (annshreve) | 11 comments I too, adore, "Anne Of Green Gables." I also love, the series of, "Emily Of New Moon." If you haven't read these, I really encourage you too. They are magical! One of most treasure book, is a VERY old copy of "Kilmeny Of The Orchard" by Montgomery! It has a beautiful cover with a woman's face on it!


message 15: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6183 comments Mod
I didn't read Anne's stories at the right time of my life and somehow can't anjoy them now, but I did like Emily of New Moon and the sequels.

My highest recommendation of a lesser known set is The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie. A little preachy, some would say - but enchanting nonetheless. What they have that so many other of these old stories didn't is a little bit of humor, some of which goes over a child's head the first time s/he reads the stories.


message 16: by Manybooks (last edited Jun 11, 2013 04:56PM) (new)

Manybooks | 7051 comments Mod
Chandra wrote: "I love the Emily series almost as much as I love Anne. It is fabulous and really deserves to be more well known!

I am afraid I don't love Kilmeny though. It ties with Mistress Pat as my least ..."


I think I actually like the Emily series even better than AOGG (just slightly, but I feel closer to Emily who is as imaginative as Anne but also more introverted).

I also found Kilmeny a bit strange, but it is the one story from
Further Chronicles of Avonlea, Tannis of the Flats that I truly despise.

With Heidi, I have found that most of the many translations (and there are a huge number of them), don't come close to the original (and especially some of the older ones, really seem awkward). And it's funny, Heidi does have quite a bit of religious preachiness contained within, but I don't really notice it as nearly as much as I notice it in many other works of that time (like Louisa May Alcott). Considering that Johanna Spyri actually to a certain point wrote Heidi as a "Bildungsroman" (and specifically according to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Wilhelm Meister), the book can be read and analysed on many different levels and appreciated by both children and adults (just think about the question wether Heidi herself is psychologically healthy and wether actually, physically ill Clara is the more resilient, the healthier one of the two girls).


message 17: by Becky (new)

Becky (annshreve) | 11 comments Has anyone read, "The Little White Horse" by Elizabeth Goudge? I adore it. Her descriptive passages are incredible!!

I haven't actually read, "Kilmeny Of The Orchard", I just loved the cover and bought at an antique book shop.

I too loved the "Emily" books as much or even more than the "Anne" books.


message 18: by Shari (new)

Shari | 6 comments Kirei wrote: "I am not sure of the exact dates. I am throwing out some books I have read.

The dates for Paddington start in 1958 (and while we are reading them now, they're not as old as Peter Pan which comes in just under the wire at 1911.)

Tom Sawyer (1876)
E. Nesbits are all 100 years old, unless published posthumously.

Anyone else have the corroboration on the others? Are they in fact 100 year old books for children?



message 19: by Laima (new)

Laima | 6 comments Little house on the Prairie!! I read all of the books as a child.
Not sure when they were published.


message 20: by Shari (new)

Shari | 6 comments Laura Ingalls Wilder's books are 1932 to 1943. So the next generation will see these as 100 year old books, an interesting perspective compared to the ones that are 100 years old from today.


message 21: by Shari (new)

Shari | 6 comments More interest in 100 year old children's books...This is from several weeks ago, but today I found it, encouraging children to read one 100 year old book and finding it quite different in emphasis from the 1930's and later renderings.

http://www.npr.org/2013/04/15/1749381...


message 22: by Libby (new)

Libby | 6 comments One that I have read and re-read many times is Penrod by Booth Tarkington, copyright 1914. what amazed me reading it years after I had read and loved it as a child is the casual racism that contrasts with the friendships that also crossed the color line. i think it probably was a true picture of small town midwest.


message 23: by Anne (new)

Anne Nydam | 124 comments -- I agree with Libby that Penrod is a great read, at the same time as being full of the sort of racism that doesn't mean to be malicious but is yet so deeply ingrained. When I read it to my kids I did lots of editing as I went to eliminate all the little phrases that elevated race to a defining feature, although we did also have to have some discussion of what things were like "back then." But I actually found the sexism harder to smooth over because, as Libby points out, white and black children do actually play together, share interests, and become friends in these books, while in Tarkington's world boys and girls are completely different species that can never have anything in common. (And girls are usually pretty unimpressive beings, too, I'm afraid.)
-- I also agree with Chandra that George MacDonald's fairy tales are incredibly evocative and beautiful, and while he absolutely had a moral agenda, they come across as more mystical than preachy. They're our current read-aloud here with my 10-year-olds, who are actually really enjoying the flowery, Romantic descriptions that you might think would be just too old-fashioned for kids today.
-- And another cheer for A Little Princess which, again, has held up beautifully. It's one of my all-time favorite books ever, and was still able to capture the imaginations of my children, too.


message 24: by Steve (new)

Steve Shilstone | 184 comments Gundula wrote: "Chandra wrote: "I love the Emily series almost as much as I love Anne. It is fabulous and really deserves to be more well known!

I am afraid I don't love Kilmeny though. It ties with Mistress ..."


And it's Johanna Spyri's 186th birthday today. As far as reading translations, Gundula, I always wonder what flavor I'm missing from the original language. Therefore, I do envy you reading Heidi as Spyri wrote it.


message 25: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7051 comments Mod
Steve wrote: "Gundula wrote: "Chandra wrote: "I love the Emily series almost as much as I love Anne. It is fabulous and really deserves to be more well known!

I am afraid I don't love Kilmeny though. It tie..."


With Heidi, some of the translation problems are actually due to the fact that English no longer has an informal and a formal way of addressing people. Some of the problems Heidi faces in Frankfurt are due to the fact that she is informal with everyone and uses "informal" speech with the maid and the valet (which completely shocks Mrs. Rottenmeier, but is also something that is very hard to show in English because formal/informal ways of speaking, of addressing individuals no longer exists in English as it does in German (and French, Spanish, Italian etc.).


message 26: by Libby (new)

Libby | 6 comments i agree with Gundula's comments -- there a so many stories, like The secret Garden, when read from an adult context. I guess that's another great reason for reading aloud.

i hadn't thought about the female characters in Penrod, except that I would counter that the story was about Penrod and at a point in his life where girls were foreign and just off the horizon and it was at a time when the lives of little girls and their siblings were horribly constrained. You could say they had no lives of their own.I would point to the wonderful dance party chapter where the visitor introduces the Tango and the scandalous freedoms it briefly allows.

We are fortunate to live in the same small-town Midwest neighborhood that the adult literary writer William Maxwell carefully documented in all of his fiction about early 20th century life and where Langston Hughes lived briefly as a 14-year-old. Very close matches to Penrod and, I guess, if I were sharing it with children today I would, like Huck Finn or To Kill, place it into the context of the times.


message 27: by Michele (last edited Jun 14, 2013 10:30PM) (new)

Michele | 181 comments I love The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. I also loved Anne of Green Gables. I can still occasionally get kids to read A Little Princess. For some reason, Anne is harder to sell. I think in 8 years I've only had one girl read the whole book. I actually like Little Women better now than I did as a child--I thought it was dull and waaay too long. I loved Heidi however, although I can't get anyone to sit through the language of that book--not in its original form anyway. Condensed versions will get read. Another series I discovered as a young adult is the color fairy books by Andrew Lang, although I'm not really sure they could be called children's books. I've not read all of them, but I liked what I read: The Green Fairy Book, The Blue Fairy Book, The Red Fairy Book.


message 28: by Steve (new)

Steve Shilstone | 184 comments Speaking of 100 year old books, how about 150 year old books? The Reverend Dodgson's pair of Alice books are certainly high on my list of candidates for immortality.


message 29: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6183 comments Mod
Oh absolutely Steve. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There are books to read and reread as one grows up and grows more experienced.

But I wonder if kids nowadays are enjoying them? Michele?


message 30: by Manybooks (last edited Jun 15, 2013 09:03AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7051 comments Mod
Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "Oh absolutely Steve. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There are books to read and reread as one grows up and grows more experienced.

But I wonder if kids ..."


And even Little Women is basically closer to a 150 years old children's book (as it was first published in 1868). With the Alice books, I do wonder wether they are enjoyed in the same way by children and adults (adults might like the plays on words while children might be more drawn to the surreal adventure).


message 31: by Anne (new)

Anne Nydam | 124 comments Cheryl, here's a post on my children's reaction to "Alice" -
http://nydamprintsblackandwhite.blogs...
Of course, children are all different, so others may have different reactions, but with mine it wasn't the "old-fashioned" language or style that was the problem.


message 32: by Steve (new)

Steve Shilstone | 184 comments Anne wrote: "Cheryl, here's a post on my children's reaction to "Alice" -
http://nydamprintsblackandwhite.blogs...
Of course, children are all different, so others may have..."


I bet they'll come back to Alice in time. And they're right about the plot. There is no plot. And for good reason. Dodgson made it all up on the spot as he and his friend Duckworth rowed the 3 Liddell sisters along the river. He padded it a bit when Alice Liddell insisted he write it out, and he changed a few more things when it finally was published in its present incarnation. But its skeleton will always be the completely off the top of his head responses to 'Then what happened?' Now the second Alice book is something different. He had time to compose on his own. That's why it's a nice neat chess game filled with the customary nonsense.


message 33: by ABC (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments A Dog of Flanders I was trying to remember this title when I made my original post, but the title escaped me!


message 34: by J.R. (last edited Jun 18, 2013 02:35AM) (new)

J.R. Barker | 34 comments What a great thread this is! I'm trying to find old fairy tales and stories to read at the moment.

I read dog of flanders recently, it's a lovely tale but incredibly sad.


message 35: by Ava (last edited Jun 23, 2013 11:53AM) (new)

Ava | 3 comments I have found an author named L.M. Boston. has anyone heard of her books? They are childrens books, I think, and theyre kind of like fantasy suspense mysteries, but very interesting from a kids perspective. It s for a kid anyway./
"Nothing Said" is one of hers.


message 36: by Ava (new)

Ava | 3 comments I like those authors that make up their books on the spot- "Alice in Wonderland". It reminds me of playing and making up stories while you draw. I just started doing that again, and it gives you this wonderful excited feeling, like I bet some people get when they ad-lib . Feeling like you are creating a fairy tale from short thinking is so fun. Lynda Barry mentions it in her book, "What It Is". Its a fantastic book.


message 37: by Ava (new)

Ava | 3 comments Chandra wrote: "Oh, I love George MacDonald!!! I haven't read the titles you mention, but his shorter tales are among my favorite Victorian fairy tales - The Light Princess and The Day Boy and the Night Girl are ..."

Yes I agree. :D


message 38: by Shari (new)

Shari | 6 comments The Carroll Alice books were of some interest the first time through, but weren't requested as over and over again reads. Then one evening I picked it up, and heard "oh Alice my favorite!" Evidently they had made an impression. From then on they became highly requested. Now we read chapters in random order, knowing the story. A year to 18 months had passed in the interim. perhaps Alice takes so time to think about.

(with 5 year old)
Cheryl in CC NV wrote: "Oh absolutely Steve. Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There are books to read and reread as one grows up and grows more experienced.

But I wonder if kids ..."



message 39: by Anne (new)

Anne Nydam | 124 comments LM Boston wrote the "Green Knowe" series, which I know has had some mention elsewhere here, although I can't remember where to point you to the right thread. The first two books of the series were big favorites of mine, and my kids enjoyed them, too, so we definitely recommend them. I never liked the subsequent ones in the series as much, and I'm not familiar with "Nothing Said." I'll have to check it out.


message 40: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 5662 comments Mod
I also love L M Montgomery's books, especially the Emily series. Also "Peter Pan". I love this thread! :-)


message 41: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6183 comments Mod
Treasure of Green Knowe
Nothing Said

(just cuz I'm on a PC so it's easy for me to add links :)


message 42: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2282 comments Mod
The Boston "Green Knowe" books are not quite 100 years old yet. I believe they were published in the 1950s.


message 43: by Steve (new)

Steve Shilstone | 184 comments What Katy Did (Carr family #1 1872) by Susan Coolidge is the first of a series and the only one I've read (so far). It's a real winner.


message 44: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6183 comments Mod
Steve, I enjoyed the entire series a couple of years ago. Especially the one with the wedding, iirc. Surprisingly readable and relevant for their age.


message 45: by Ann (new)

Ann Hollingworth (annhollingworth) | 21 comments Gundula wrote: "The Secret Garden

A Little Princess

And I think I like The Secret Garden even more as an adult than I did when I read it as a young teenager (then I only saw M..."


Yes, me, too!
A Little Princess
The Secret Garden
and
Black Beauty


message 46: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7051 comments Mod
Ann wrote: "Gundula wrote: "The Secret Garden

A Little Princess

And I think I like The Secret Garden even more as an adult than I did when I read it as a young teenager (t..."


I find Black Beauty more devastating as a book now, but also much more intense (and it is amazing that this book actually lead to huge improvements for horses, especially cart horses in Great Britain.


message 47: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7051 comments Mod
Beth Sniffs Books wrote: "Gundula wrote: "....With Heidi, I have found that most of the many translations (and there are a huge number of them), don't come close to the original (and especially some of the older ones, reall..."

The free translation is probably one of the earlier ones, which might be a bit less flowing than more modern translations, but will also likely be more complete (but that is just me speculating).


message 48: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7051 comments Mod
Beth Sniffs Books wrote: "Well I'll do my best not to be overly sensitive to the written word while I'm reading Heidi -- you know looking for it to be awkward or whatever. It's definitely something I plan to read..."

I've only ever read the German original in detail. I'll have to go back to some notes I took on different Heidi translations but that means having to find them first.


message 49: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7051 comments Mod
Beth Sniffs Books wrote: "Gundula,
Oh there is no need to do that just for me. Although I'd definitely be interested in hearing about that, not just for Heidi, but any children's book -- I'm a bit naive about translations a..."


I checked and the third book which link you posted is translated by Elizabeth Stork and I seem to recall that she is a well-known early translator of Johanna Spyri.


message 50: by Chris (new)

Chris Meads | 94 comments Black Beauty and Bambi (Felix Salten) along with the Hardy Boys.


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