Last night my daughter Catherine and I went to our first mother-daughter book club of the year. We had read The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, who was a contemporary of Charles Dickens. The book was challenging—it was nearly 500 pages and written in the style popular in the 1860s when writers were paid by the word and published their books by installments in magazines. Because of the length, two of the mother-daughter pairs had not finished it. But whether we finished or not, we all liked what we read, and we had a great discussion of how the book was first published and how excited people were to buy the magazine each time a new installment came out.
Our group also talked about how this book is among the forgotten classics—books from long ago that have stayed in print but for some reason have not made it onto the list of must-read classics. We decided to create our own list of favorites that may fall under this category, and here’s what we came up with:
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain (14+)
- The Adventures of Pinnochio by Carlo Collodi (9-12)
- The Call of the Wild by Jack London (14+)
- Five Children and It by E. Nesbit (9-12)
- I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (14+)
- The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks (9-12)
- Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling (9-12)
- Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett (12+)
- The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (14+)
- The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (7-11)
- Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (14+)
While many of these titles are well known because of the movies made from them, they’re not commonly recommended for reading. I have read many of these to my daughters outside of book club, and I’m looking forward to reading others now that we’ve talked about them. Do you have a book to add to this list? Post a comment below to tell us about it.