Vintage Children’s Literature Reading Challenge



I didn’t think I’d be joining any challenges this year, but the Vintage Children’s Literature Reading Challenge caught my eye. Hosted by Arabella at The Genteel Arsenal, it has a very easy set of rules. I will be going for ‘Alice’ status and plan to read six vintage children’s novels by the end of the year. I wasn’t a huge reader as a child so I feel that I missed out on reading many of the classics that lots of kids read and love. This is a great opportunity for me to familiarize myself with some of the beloved books of childhood. Here are the books I plan to read for the challenge:

Black Beauty

The Secret Garden

The Wind in the Willows

Little House in the Big Woods

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Alice in Wonderland

What is your favorite children’s classic?

35 thoughts on “Vintage Children’s Literature Reading Challenge

  1. Karyn

    I can no longer remember which classic children’s books I enjoyed, so I asked my 11 year old daughter for her views. She tells me her favourite book is The Little Princess by Frances Hodges Burnett, and that she loves more than any other classic or contemporary novel she has read. I haven’t read it myself, but there must be something special about a book which can appeal to a child born nearly 100 years after it was written.


  2. Charlie

    Hope you enjoy them, you’ve picked some great ones that are good at any age. I think as an adult my favourites would be The Secret Garden and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. When I was younger I liked the Enid Blyton series, and a lot of fairy tales.


  3. jessicabookworm

    This is such a lovely idea for a challenge. I am almost tempted to join myself! But I will refrain as I am reading a few children’s classics for The Classics Club anyway. As I child I adored The Chronicles of Narnia series by C S Lewis! Which coincidentally I have challenged myself to re-read this year. My all time favourite children’s classic though is The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien. Good luck for the challenge, hope you enjoy it πŸ™‚


  4. JoAnn (Lakeside Musing)

    Enjoy the challenge! Can’t tell you how many times I read Black Beauty… and loved it over and over again. Sadly, none of my girls ever cared for it. Harriet the Spy is another book I loved and reread constantly.


  5. Lisa

    This sounds like a lovely challenge! I re-read pretty compulsively when I was younger, and I feel like I also missed out on some good books and authors. I don’t know if I could pick a single favorite, but Little House in the Big Woods would be in the top five. I would also say Sydney Taylor’s All of a Kind Family series, Jean Lee Latham’s Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, and Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy books (though I only read the high school series, not the younger books).


    1. Thanks for the recommendations – I haven’t heard of them! I’m really looking forward to the Little House book. I loved the series as a child, but it never inspired me to read the books, unfortunately.


    1. The Anne books were the only traditional children’s series that I read – and I read it when I was 16 or 17! But I loved them and have very fond memories of spending time in PEI.


  6. Helen

    I hope you enjoy the challenge. I love all of the books on your list, especially Black Beauty and The Secret Garden. My favourite book when I was a child was Watership Down by Richard Adams and it’s still one of my favourites as an adult too!


  7. Miss Bibliophile

    Sounds like a fun challenge. A few of the books on your list are also on my Classics Club reading list, so I may be reading along with you on some of them. I think my favorite children’s classic is Anne of Green Gables, although that might be my favorite looking back rather than favorite at the time. I also remember really like Shel Silverstein’s poetry books.


  8. Michelle

    Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, and Aesop’s Fables come to mind. My fourth grade teacher introduced me to Laura Ingalls Wilder, and I devoured the entire Little House series. But I have to say, the book that sticks out most in my memory as the one that turned me into a reader, was Old Yellar. And last but not least, The Diary of Anne Frank was a book that I sunk myself into more than once in my tween years.


  9. Sunday Taylor

    Little Women, The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, and Alice and Wonderland are the four I can think of at the moment. What a fun reading challenge that should be!


  10. Katrina

    I really enjoyed all of those books but I think my favourite one would be The Secret Garden. I didn’t get around to Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh until I was reading them to my boys, you should give them a go sometime, if you haven’t already read them. Winnie the Pooh is funny!


  11. Karen K.

    I loved A Little Princess and the Narnia books — my favorites were (and still are) Prince Caspian and The Horse and His Boy. And the Oz books — Ozma of Oz is by far my favorite. I also loved The Phantom Tollbooth.

    As an adult, I discovered Anne of Green Gables and the works of E. Nesbit. I read The Story of the Treasure Seekers last year and absolutely loved it. I hope to read The Railway Children soon.



    Great challenge. Little Women and Good Wives are my favourites. Never got on with Alice. Loved The Secret Garden, though. Look forward to your posts!


  13. Arabella

    I am so sorry it has taken me so long to visit and comment. I have to admit that I didn’t get to read a lot of children’s classics as a child either and I do regret that. Great list though, Black Beauty was one I did read as a child and felt quite haunted by it, no other pony/horse book is quite like it, it is a great read. And you can’t go wrong with any of those titles. Look forward to reading your thoughts.


  14. Arabella

    I am so sorry it has taken me so long to comment. Great list all such good books. I also did not really children’s classics as a child, but am using this as an opportunity to catch up. Thanks and happy reading!


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