Some Free Classic Literature and Guides

Here are some links to free copies of popular literature classics.

Doctor Doolittle by Hugh Lofting
The Story of Doctor Doolittle by Hugh Lofting.
The Voyages of Doctor Doolittle by Hugh Lofting

Adventure Stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle January 1, 1912.
Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle January 1, 1903
The Hound of the Baskervilles: Another Adventure of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle January 1, 1902
The Valley of Fear: a Sherlock Holmes novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle January 1, 1914
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle January 1, 1901
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle January 1, 1894
The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle January 1, 1905

Adventure Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson January 1, 1907
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson January 1, 1886
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson January 1, 1907
The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses by Robert Louis Stevenson January 1, 1888

More Adventure Stories
Peter Pan by James Matthew Barrie.
The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss. A family survives being marooned on a deserted island.
The Golden Fleece and the Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles by Padraic Colum.

Adventure Stories by Howard Pyle
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood  by Howard Pyle. (Google Play). The adventures of Robin Hood and his merry men.
Men of Iron by Howard Pyle.
Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle.
From Google Play: “The gentle son of a medieval German robber baron, raised in the calm and thoughtful quiet of a monastery, returns to his father’s castle and, despite great suffering and blood-feuds, grows to honor and manhood.”
The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle.

Stories from Mark Twain
The Prince and the Pauper: a tale for young people of all ages by Mark Twain.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain.

Stories by Johanna Spyri
Heidi by Johanna Spyri. A young girl goes to live with her gruff grandfather in the Swiss Alps. This book is part of a series.

Stories from Lucy Maud Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. This is the first book of a series.

Family Series by Laura Lee Hope
The Bobbsey Twins by Laura Lee Hope. This is a series with a number of books, so if your child likes this one you can offer the rest of the series. Most appealing to young girls around a third-grade independent reading level. Please scroll down the page to find the listings for this book and also the rest of this series.
Bunny Brown and his sister Sue by Laura Lee Hope. This is a series by the author of the Bobbsey Twins. Read aloud the adventures of six-year-old Bunny Brown and his five-year-old sister Sue.

Family Series by Margaret Sidney
Five Little Peppers by Margaret Sidney.

Stories from E. Nesbit
The Railway Children by E. Nesbit ( From Wikipedia: “The story concerns a family who move to “Three Chimneys”, a house near the railway, after the father, who works at the Foreign office, is imprisoned after being falsely accused of spying. The children befriend an Old Gentleman who regularly takes the 9:15 train near their home; he is eventually able to help prove their father’s innocence, and the family is reunited.”
The Story of the Amulet by E. Nesbit.
Five Children and It by E. Nesbit ( This is actually the first book in a trilogy. From Wikipedia: “While playing in a gravel pit, the five children—Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane, and their baby brother, the Lamb—uncover a rather grumpy, ugly and occasionally malevolent sand-fairy known as the Psammead, who has the ability to grant wishes.”. .
The Book of Dragons by E. Nesbit.

Stories from Rudyard Kipling
Kim by Rudyard Kipling. An orphaned Irish boy grows up in India.
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (Google Play). The story of Mowgli, raised in the jungle by wolves and his good friend Baloo the bear.
Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling. From Google Play: “After being washed overboard from an ocean liner, a spoiled millionaire’s son is rescued by New England fishermen who put him to work on their boat.”

Stories from Frances Hodgson Burnett
A Little Princess by  Frances Hodgson Burnett. This was one of my favorite books from my own childhood. Sara Crewe lives at a boarding school and at first is surrounded by luxury. After the death of her father, she is reduced to working as a servant in the boarding school
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Orphaned Mary Lennox goes to live with her uncle in Yorkshire and discovers a secret.

Stories from Lewis Carroll
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Alice falls down a rabbit hole and has a number of adventures.

Stories from Louisa May Alcott
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. This book is part of a series. The lives and times of four sisters growing into adulthood.

Stories from Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.
​​The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens.
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

Stories of Oz from Frank L. Baum
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum. A favorite of my daughters in third and fourth grades. This is part of a series

Adventure Stories from Jack London
The Call of the Wild by Jack London.
White Fang by Jack London.

More Family Stories and Drama 
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. The life story of a horse in nineteenth-century England.
A girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter.
Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield (   This book, appealing to young girls, is a great choice for independent reading for the strong second grade reader or the third grader or older reader.

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin.

Stories from H.G.Wells
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells.
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.

Stories from Jules Verne
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.
Around the world in eighty days by Jules Verne.

More Fiction
Uncle Tom’s cabin by Harriet Elizabeth Beecher Stowe. Lexile rating: 1050

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame ( This book predates the Frog and Toad stories, but is similar, with the adventures of Rat and Mole. Lexile rating: 1150  Scroll down the page to find the book. From Wikipedia: “Alternately slow moving and fast paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphized animal characters in a pastoral version of England. ”

Water Babies by Charles Kingsley ( A long-time favorite of the grade three to five age group. This is a story about Tom, a chimney sweep, who falls into a river and is transformed into ‘water baby’. Tom has a number of adventures and moral lessons along the way, and later earns the ability to return to human form. Not rated.

The Adventures of Pinnochio by Carl Collodi (Google Play). My fourth-grade reader could not put this book down. Pinnochio, a wooden puppet, has some adventures and becomes a real boy. Not rated.

Penrod by Booth Tarkington. From Google Play: “Penrod Schofield was neither overwhelmingly bad nor the complete little gentleman. He was an ordinary 12-year-old boy growing up in early twentieth-century America. With his gang members Sam, Herman, and Verman and his long-suffering dog Duke, he romps through adventures and misadventures.”. Not rated.

The Harvester by Gene Stratton-Porter. From Google Play: “The story of a young man who finds the girl of his dreams and wins her love.”. Not rated.

Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. This book is part of a series. Lexile rating: 1270

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper. Lexile rating 1350

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. Lexile rating: 1370

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. Lexile rating 1410

The man without a country by Edward Everett Hale

The Red Badge of Courage: an episode of the American civil war by Stephen Crane. Lexile rating 900

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

This Side of Paradise by Francis Scott Fitzgerald. From Google Play: “Describes life at Princeton among the glittering, bored, and disillusioned”

The life and exploits of the ingenious gentleman, Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley  –

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. This story has two volumes and this is volume one. Here is volume two.

The Scarlet Letter: A Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. From Google Play: “”Who is this man, this Scarlet Pimpernel?” Each day this question grew more pressing to the rulers of the French Revolution. Only this man and his band of followers threatened their total power. Only this maddeningly elusive figure defied the vast network of fanatics, informers, and secret agents that the Revolution spread out to catch its enemies. Some said this man of many disguises, endless ruses, and infinite daring was an exiled French nobleman, returned to wreak vengeance. Others said he was an English lord, seeking sheer adventure and supreme sport in playing the most dangerous game of all. But of only one thing could those who sought him be sure. They knew all too well the symbol of his presence, the blood-red flower known as the Scarlet Pimpernel.”

Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

Moby Dick; Or, The Whale by Herman Melville

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. From Google Play: “Austen’s most celebrated novel tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet, a bright, lively young woman with four sisters, and a mother determined to marry them to wealthy men. ”

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (

Dracula by Bram Stoker

My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (

Historical fiction collections for the middle school  and older child

Horatio Alger stories by of course, Horatio Alger. Well-known stories of boys who rise to success through hard work. Scroll down the page to find the books. These books reflect the social and cultural prejudices of the times.
R.M. Ballantyne wrote about a hundred adventure books for boys. If your boy can’t find a good book to read, offer him one of these. Scroll down the page to find the books.
G.A.Henty though controversial for some of the social and cultural prejudices common to his time period, G.A. Henty wrote 122 historical adventure stories that are still popular today. Scroll down to find the books.

Classic works collections for grade nine and up

Harvard Classics and Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction
70+ volumes of classic works, also known as the ‘five-foot shelf’,  selected by former Harvard University President Charles W. Eliot that comprise the elements of a liberal education. A high school student who has read these books can be considered to have experienced an ‘unparalleled’ course of instruction in Western Literature. Find links to these works at

The Harvard Classics Reading Guide. Read your way in one year’s time through selections from the Harvard Classics in fifteen minutes a day with this Reading Guide 

My Harvard Classics. Read your way through the Harvard Classics in ninety days with this reading guide. This interactive and enjoyable site has links to free pdf downloads of all of the complete books as well as links to audio recordings of the selections from the guide.

A website to find and read great classic books online

Public Literature
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