Okay. So we covered the girls. But what about those boys and their e-readers? My suggestions might surprise you!
1) The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald. I know, this was number one on the list for girls, and I hope you don’t think I’m cheating here when I tell you this is the story of a young miner, Curdie, as he rescues Princess Irene from the evil goblins that live below. If you still aren’t convinced, consider that other literary greats (C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkein, E. Nesbit, and G.K. Chesterton) were inspired by George MacDonald. And then, there’s always the sequel.
2) The Adventures of Poor Mrs. Quack by Thornton W. Burgess. There is general familiarity with Burgess’ Bird Book for Children, and his Animal Book for Children. But did you know there is an entire library of short stories concerning the various animals of North America? My son loves these.
3) Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Pirates. ‘Nuff said. Except maybe, the reading level is a little advanced. Also, if your child is sensitive to the kind of violence that usually follows a pirate around, then consider yourself warned.
4) The Nonsense Book by Edward Lear. If silliness for silliness sake isn’t for you, then skip this suggestion. Our family is a little less refined than the most, and my own son can be heard – guttural giggles echoing through our small home – and seen with this book in hand. Gutenberg offers the download both with and without pictures. For boys? If space isn’t an issue, then go for the pictures.
5) Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang. Yes, its good for boys too. So are Lang’s other compilations: Red, Orange, Brown, Violet, Yellow, Pink, and more . For the more sensitive readers, you may want to pre-read these stories. They are full of what fairy tales are full of: good and evil in all their beautiful and grotesque forms.
6) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. A good ghost story to really round out the holiday.
7) Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. If your son has ever wondered how the Camel Got His Hump, or How the Rhinocerous Got His Skin, then this book is definitely for
8) Uncle Wiggily’s Adventures by Howard Roger Garis. A peculiarly dressed rabbit gentleman finds inventive and effective means to help children rid themselves of their faults. There are more in the series.
9) A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls by Nathaniel Hawthorne. A young Williams College student, Eustace Bright, retells a handful of Greek Myths to his younger cousins and their friends. The language is advanced, but the retelling are well worth the struggle. At the very least, as a read aloud. When you are ready, there is a sequel: Tanglewood Tales.
10) Boy Scouts Handbook by Boy Scouts of America. Maybe not quite as durable as its physical counterpart, but still handy to have in its electronic form.
As with the girls, this list is only a start. When you are ready for more, I’d suggest using Gutenberg’s “Related Books” function and continue the search. There is an abundance of really good literature out there to be enjoyed. So much, in fact, that it’s really not worth the time to read the bad stuff. I’ll be back next week with a list for the “teens” on your list.