Search: vintage children's classics

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The Big Green Book

Robert Graves (Author)

THE TIMES CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE WEEK

The little boy Jack discovers a big green book of magic in the attic, and learns all sorts of spells – spells to change the look of things, spells to make him old and grey, or disappear entirely! Of course I can't tell you how all these things were done, because this was a long time ago and the big green book has now disappeared. But if you want to read about what Jack did with his new magic powers, and how his poor old aunt and uncle were quite bewildered, then take a look inside...

An enchanting, strange and sometimes chilling tale, masterfully illustrated by Maurice Sendak.

Black Beauty

Anna Sewell (Author)

"You saved your mistress's life, Beauty! yes, you saved her life"

Black Beauty is the prettiest young horse in the meadows, and spends many happy days under the apple trees with his friends Ginger and Merrylegs. But this easy life comes to an end when Beauty is sold and goes from farm to inn to cabhorse in London, enduring rough treatment from foolish and careless masters. Beauty remains faithful, hardworking and full of spirit despite his trials, and through him we learn that all horses and humans alike deserve to be treated with kindness.

BACKSTORY: Find out about the unusual author and learn some horsey vocabulary.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Mark Twain (Author)

'There comes a time in every boy's life when when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure'

Impish, daring young Tom Sawyer is a hero to his friends and a torment to his relations. For wherever there is mischief or adventure, Tom is at the heart of it. During one hot summer, Tom witnesses a murder, runs away to be a pirate, attends his own funeral, rescues an innocent man from the gallows, searches for treasure in a haunted house, foils a devilish plot and discovers a box of gold. But can he escape his nemesis, the villainous Injun Joe?

BACKSTORY: Find out some fascinating facts about the author and have a go at a game of marbles!

The Wind on the Moon

Eric Linklater (Author)

'I have often wondered what I would be when I grow up, but never, never, never did I expect to be a Kangaroo!'

When the wind on the moon blew straight into Dinah and Dorinda’s hearts it meant that they couldn’t help but behave badly for a whole year. Transformed into kangaroos,they terrorise the sleepy town of Midmeddlecum with glee. But what they didn’t count on was being locked in a zoo. Things get even stickier for the mischievous sisters when they learn their father has been imprisoned in a dungeon by Count Hulagu Bloot, the tyrant of Bombardy. Their poor father! Can they rescue him in time?

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can find out what life was like when this book was written and meet some more naughty children!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Grahame (Author)

"Ho! ho! I am the Toad, the motor-car snatcher, the prison-breaker, the Toad who always escapes!"

Tired of spring cleaning, Mole ventures above ground into the warm sunshine, and happens upon his friend Ratty. Together they picnic on the sparkling, burbling river, brave the sinister Wild Wood in wintertime to visit the bad-tempered Badger, and take to the open road in a caravan with dear, silly old Toad. But when Toad's attention turns to motor cars, his reckless behaviour goes from bad to worse. Badger, Rat and Mole must save their friend from ruin, and Toad Hall from the clutches of the rascally Stoats and Weasels.

BACKSTORY: Get outdoors and explore the natural world, and test your knowledge of The Wind in the Willows.

Treasure Island

Robert Louis Stevenson (Author)

Fifteen men on the dead man's chest-
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

When young Jim Hawkins discovers a map showing the way to Captain Flint's treasure, he and Squire Trelawney set sail on the Hispaniola to search for the gold. Little do they know that among their crew is the dastardly pirate Long John Silver. Silver has a devious plan to keep the gold all to himself. Can brave Jim outwit the most infamous pirate ever to sail the high seas? Will he escape from Treasure Island alive?

BACKSTORY: Learn the truth about pirates and add to your seafaring vocabulary!

Great Expectations

Charles Dickens (Author)

'Hold your noise! Keep still, you little devil, or I'll cut your throat!'

Little orphan Pip scarcely imagines how a terrifying encounter with a convict on the lonely marshes will later transform his life. Pip is more troubled by his visits to strange old Miss Havisham - her decaying wedding dress and the house full of memories - and the beautiful girl Estella who makes him ashamed of his country manners and coarse hands. A blacksmith's apprentice could never hope to win Estella, but then, young Pip's future might not turn out quite as expected...

Includes exclusive material: In ‘The Backstory’ you can learn about Victorian convicts and the alternative ending to Great Expectations!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Peter Duck

Arthur Ransome (Author)

‘Why do they call him Black Jake? Is it because of his hair?’ Titty asked.
‘Because of his heart’ said Peter Duck

The Swallows and Amazons, as well as Captain Flint and the ancient able seaman Peter Duck, set sail on the Wild Cat bound for the Channel. But they are shadowed by the Viper, manned by none other than Black Jake - a beastly pirate with a dark plan. Can the children race ahead and uncover the buried treasure before the pirate? Can they survive storms, earthquakes, crabs and even a waterspout and make it home?

Haroun and Luka

Salman Rushdie (Author)

Haroun: What’s the use of stories that aren’t even true?

I asked that question and the Unthinkable Thing happened: my father can’t tell stories anymore. That means no more laughter in the city of Alifbay and now the place stinks of sadness. So it’s up to me to put things right. If the water genie Iff can take me on the Hoopoe bird Butt all the way to Gup City then maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to persuade the Grand Comptroller to give my father his Story Water supply back. Trouble is, that is strictly forbidden, one hundred percent banned, no way Jose territory...

Luka: What do sea monsters eat?

The Old Man of the River of Time: Fish and Ships. Why was six afraid of seven?

Luka: Because seven eight nine.

Luckily, my father is the Riddle King and taught me everything I know. But the stakes are high in this riddle battle, couldn’t be higher in fact! To save my father from Un-Life, I’ve got to beat the Old Man and steal the Fire of Life that burns at the top of the Mountain of Knowledge. Only problem is that nobody in the entire recorded history of the World of Magic has ever successfully stolen the Fire of Life...

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can read an interview with the author and solve some fiendish riddles!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Just So Stories

Rudyard Kipling (Author) , Philip Pullman (Introducer)

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY PHILIP PULLMAN

Have you ever wondered how the leopard got his spots? Or how the camel got his hump? Rudyard Kipling's witty and beautifully written stories explain these secrets and many more and introduce such memorable characters as the Elephant's Child, the Cat that Walked by Himself and the Butterfly that Stamped.

The Dark is Rising

Susan Cooper (Author)

'This night will be bad, and tomorrow will be beyond imagining

It’s Christmas-time in the Stanton family house: presents, carol singing, good cheer. But for eleven-year-old Will Stanton something sinister has begun, inching round his subconscious, shouting silent warnings he can’t decipher. Then on Midwinter Day Will wakes up to a different world – silent, covered in snow and ancient forest, a world of another time. A world where evil lurks.

Because Will is not the ordinary boy he always thought he was. He is the last of the Old Ones and the power to vanquish the evil magic of the Dark lies within him.

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can read an interview with the author and discover the ancient beliefs that inspired the story.

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Children Who Stayed Behind

Bruce Carter (Author)

Brighton is braced for war. It’s a time in history that never happened, and England’s coast has become the front line of the Second World War. Rolls of barbed wire line Brighton Beach, soldiers scan the horizon, people wait nervously for an attack. When an emergency evacuation is announced, people hurry to pack up and get out, but in the panic Drake, Gillian and Sammy miss the last train…

And then, one night, in the deserted city, the pier mysteriously lights up. Which leaves the children wondering – who else got left behind?

In the Backstory you can find out more about the Second World War and hear from Deborah Moggach, the author's daughter, what inspired this wartime tale!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from Peter Pan and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Big Six

Arthur Ransome (Author)

‘Why shouldn’t we be detectives too?’

When Dick and Dorothea arrive in the Norfolk Broads all set for a blissful summer on the river, they find their friends the Death and Glories in a very bad situation. Accused of setting boats adrift, sabotage and theft, the boys are under suspicion by everyone on the river. And in the meantime, the real culprits are still at large. There’s no choice but to form a crime-busting team: The Big Six. As the evidence stacks against them, can they solve the mystery and trap the real criminals?

Includes exclusive material: In ‘The Backstory’ find out about birds, boats and fish and put your own detective skills to the test!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

John Diamond

Leon Garfield (Author)

'My father, that stern and upright man, was nothing but a swindler and a thief!'

What is the matter with old Mr Jones? Endless footsteps and low groans can be heard from his room in the dead of night. Only his son William knows the a terrible secret: his father betrayed his business partner Mr Diamond, and swindled him out of a great fortune. William resolves to go to London, find Mr Diamond and make amends. But the murky big city, with its sinister characters and treacherous back streets, is no place for a boy of twelve. And Mr Diamond's own son is not the sort of person to forgive and forget. Danger and deceit lie waiting...

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can find out more about the wonderful author and learn some Cockney rhyming slang!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Mistress Masham's Repose

T. H. White (Author)

Maria is the orphan mistress of a crumbling manor four times as long as Buckingham Palace. Her grounds are so vast and overgrown that Maria is already ten years old before she discovers that a community of Lilliputians live on her land – the proud but tiny people whom Gulliver met on his famous travels.

To keep their secret safe, Maria must outsmart her vile Governess and the greedy Vicar as they plot to steal her inheritance. Fortunately, Maria has a few tricks up her sleeve, and an entire army in her pocket.

Includes exclusive content: In the 'Backstory' you can take the Mistress Masham quiz and find out why this is Anne Fine's favourite book.

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from Peter Pan and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Story of Tracy Beaker

Jacqueline Wilson (Author)

STRICTLY PRIVATE. KEEP OUT ON PAIN OF DEATH.

I'm Tracy Beaker - have you heard of me? I'm stuck in The Dumping Ground just at the moment, but I'm sure my Mum will come and get me soon. A certain Justine-Hateful-Littlewood has stolen my best friend Louise but I don't let it get me down. I never cry. Ever. I've done a bit of screaming and stamping in my time mind you … I like eating birthday cake. And Smarties and Big Macs with French fries and strawberry milkshakes. I also like story writing. This is a story all about me - so I know you'll enjoy it!

Includes exclusive material: In ‘The Backstory’ you can read an interview with Jacqueline Wilson and take Nick Sharratt's drawing challenge!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Book of Complete Nonsense

Come bathe in stew, and dine on meals of eels or worms or jellied gnats,
See shoes and ships and sealing wax and fuzzy bears and owls and cats,
Depart for the Land where the Bong Tree grows or the Land of Bumbley Boo
Find sky in your pie and teatrays up on high and a place where mice say moo.
But be warned of the things that lurk and linger, the creatures that snatch and shock
Be sure to bamboozle the Blunderbat and beware the Jabberwock!

If rhymes and riddles your brain have fried
For shame! then set this book aside,
But daring children, more courageous,
Will take a peek inside these pages...

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can about the different sorts of nonsense and read Michael Rosen’s tips on how to write your own!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern (Author)

The circus arrives without warning. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Against the grey sky the towering tents are striped black and white. A sign hanging upon iron gates reads:

Opens at Nightfall
Closes at Dawn

As dusk shifts to twilight, tiny lights begin to flicker all over the tents, as though the whole circus is covered in fireflies. When the tents are aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign lights up:

Le Cirque des Rêves
The Circus of Dreams

The gates shudder and unlock, seemingly by their own volition.
They swing outward, inviting the crowd inside.

Now the circus is open
Now you may enter

BACKSTORY: Read an interview with Erin Morgenstern about how she invented her circus

Pollyanna

Eleanor H. Porter (Author)

THE COMPLETE AND UNABRIDGED TEXT

'Most generally there is something about everything that you can be glad about, if you keep hunting long enough to find it'

When her father dies, Pollyanna is sent to live with her stern Aunt Polly. She is poor, orphaned and alone but Pollyanna just feels lucky to have an aunt at all. The truth is that her dear father, before he died, taught her a trick for life – the 'Glad Game' – the aim of which is to find the good in every bad situation. Before long, Pollyanna’s sunny outlook has brightened up the whole town. But when a horrible accident occurs can the Game save Pollyanna?

Includes exclusive material: In The Backstory you can test your knowledge of the book and find out if you’re as optimistic as Pollyanna!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Extraordinary Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle (Author)

‘On the contrary, my dear Watson, you can see everything. You fail, however, to reason from what you see’

Herein lie the problems: a stolen jewel, the inexplicable death of a young woman, the disappearance of one of the most remarkable racehorses in England, a missing butler, the curious symbols of dancing men, a broken bust of Napoleon, a possible kidnapping and the bad business of a coachman shot through the heart.

The solution? Elementary my dear friend. Call the super sleuth famed for his rapid deductions, his swift intuitions and ingenious solutions - Sherlock Holmes of 221b Baker Street.

Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can test your powers of observation and deduction, learn about the author and brush up on your detective skills!

Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

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