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Free Classics on Kindle for Kids

Lori Soard
boy reading on Kindle

If you own a Kindle, or have Kindle software installed on your smart phone or computer, you'll be able to provide hours upon hours of free reading to your child by downloading classic novels appropriate for children. From picture books to chapter books, there are a wealth of these classic books are being made available for young readers.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by author Beatrix Potter, is about Mrs. Rabbit and her four children. She warns them to stay away from Mr. McGregor's garden because it is dangerous. However, Peter is a bit naughty and a lot curious and disobeys his mother. He soon gets in serious trouble. Not only does Peter Rabbit have a very close call with Mr. McGregor, but when he finally makes it home, the other children, who obeyed, are given a treat and he is sent to bed without supper. The book provides a good lesson to children about the consequences of disobeying.

  • Age Range: 6 to 9
  • Book Type: Picture book (pictures in black and white)

Among Malay Pirates : a Tale of Adventure and Peril

Among Malay Pirates: a Tale of Adventure and Peril by G.A. Henty is a collection of short stories about topics like the Malay Pirates, a shipwreck and prisoners escaping from the Chinese.

  • Age Range: 9 to 12
  • Book Type: Chapter book

The Secret Garden

The Secret Garden was written by Frances Hodgson Burnett and is about a young girl named Mary Lennox. Mary's family dies during a cholera epidemic. She goes to live with her uncle, who has a mansion. A large garden surrounds the mansion, but Mary discovers a hidden garden within the garden and also discovers herself.

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Book Type: Chapter book

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Mark Twain's classic story about Tom Sawyer follows the main character, Tom, on his adventures. The story is filled with Twain's hallmark humor as Tom and Huck Finn explore a haunted house, or when Tom talks others into painting a fence for him.

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Book Type: Novel

Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood is a children's story that can be found in The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault, which is offered free for the Kindle. The story is a French fairy tale about a young girl who sets off to take her ailing grandmother a basket of food. Along the way she runs into the big, bad wolf and the advice "don't talk to strangers" becomes readily apparent.

Later, the wolf pretends to be Red's grandmother and tries to attack her. There are different versions of the story, including a free Kindle picture book adapted by Carl Sommers that is more appropriate for young readers.

Sometimes the grandmother is locked in the closet and sometimes the wolf eats her. Sometimes Red escapes with the help of a lumberjack and sometimes she, too, is eaten.

  • Age Range: 1 and up
  • Book Type: Picture book

Treasure Island

Treasure Island was written by Robert Louis Stevenson and published in 1883. It is a coming-of-age story and follows the narration of Jim Hawkins, a young boy who goes on an adventure to find a treasure chest. The story is filled with adventure and lively characters like Bones, Long John Silver and Captain Flint.

  • Age Range: 9 to 12
  • Book Type: Novel, broken into six parts

The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book is a unique story by Rudyard Kipling that was published in 1894. The original story was more like a collection of short stories, which follow Mowgli and features animals teaching moral lessons to the young boy.

The stories were the basis for the Disney movie by the same name. There is a second collection of stories about Mowgli, simply called, The Second Jungle Book.

  • Age Range: 9 to 12
  • Book Type: Collection of short stories

The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows is a classic children's book by Kenneth Grahame. The book features four talking animal characters. The story starts with Mole, who gets tired of spring cleaning and goes for a walk. He meets a water rat and they go for a ride in their boat and visit Toad.

The story continues with a visit to Badger. Once the main characters are introduced, the real action begins with the theme of friends coming to your rescue when you most need it.

  • Age Range: 6 to 9
  • Book Type: Chapter book (note that the free Kindle version is not illustrated - you may want to download images of the main animals characterized and tape them around the room as you read the story to your child.)

Black Beauty

Black Beauty was published in 1877 by author Anna Sewell, and it follows the story of a colt born on a farm. The colt is well-loved, but then things go wrong, and he ends up going through many different situations, including abusive owners and being passed from one owner to the next.

Just when things seem the bleakest, the young boy who was part of his original family (now a grown man) finds him and brings him home to live out his final days in peace and happiness.

  • Age Range: 9 to 12
  • Book Type: Novel

The Railway Children

The Railway Children was written by author Edith Nesbit and published in book form in 1906. It was first a serialized novel that appeared in The London Magazine in 1905. The plot focuses on a tale of three children whose father has been unjustly arrested for spying.

The children make friends with an old man who waits for the train every morning near their home. He helps them prove that their father is innocent of the crime and the father returns home.

  • Age Range: 9 to 12
  • Book Type: Novel

Reading the Classics

Being well read means having gone through at least some of the classic novels that will be studied in high school and college, analyzed and discussed among social circles. However, getting children interested in the classics can be a challenge at times.

The pacing of the writing is different than modern novels and the language may seem unusual at times. By taking those classics to modern technology, such as the Kindle, parents increase the possibility that kids will give these books a try.

If your child reads the classics above and desires to read more, Amazon offers a page that lists available classics. The page is updated as new books are added.

Free Classics on Kindle for Kids