Classic Fiction for Children – All About Family

I haven’t focused much on literature fiction here on Homeschool Commons because there are other sites dedicated to free fiction ebooks, and I wanted to share some of the other great resources you can find in the public domain.

However, as a lover of great books, I feel compelled to share the great classics that are available at the click of a mouse. create an entire ebook library for your kids for free!

This is a first list of many – and it focuses on stories about children and families. Children often love to read about the experiences of other young people.

The Box-Car Children


This original classic, that eventually became a hugely popular series, tells the story of four orphans who make their home in an abandoned train box car.

We read this book for a family book club at our library and fell in love. Perfect for a read-aloud or chapter book reader!

Download The Box-Car Children

Understood Betsy


Don’t skip this book for the more well-known “girl gets sent to live with relatives” stories. Betsy is an endearing role-model for girls and boys as she teaches them how to be self-sufficient and a true friend.

Read the reviews on Goodreads

Download Understood Betsy


I remember seeing the movie adaptations of this book as a child. Pollyanna looks on the bright side of everything and she brings joy and encouragement to everyone around her. When Polly’s spirits are tested by a terrible fate, she gets to learn some of her own lessons.

… there is something about everything that you can be glad about, if you keep hunting long enough to find it.

Download Pollyanna

Little Women


Classic! One of my favorite books of all time. Follow four sisters and their mother as they deal with poverty, the Civil War, death, marriage, and becoming “little women”.

Download Little Women

The Railway Children

I have not read this book, but it is another classic about children learning through adversity. From Goodreads:

Three children, forced to alter their comfortable lifestyle when their father is taken away by strangers, move with their mother to a simple cottage near a railway station where their days are filled with excitement and adventure.

Download The Railway Children

The Secret Garden


A story about tragedy, about friendship, and about releasing heavy burdens. Mary discovers that there are many secrets in her new home. A garden that belonged to her uncle’s late wife and her cousin Colin – a sickly lad whose fits are so terrible that no one tries to reason with him.

Download The Secret Garden

Anne of Green Gables

A young orphan girl (so many orphan stories!) is mistakenly sent to Mr. and Mrs. Cuthbert  who wanted a boy!

Look for the entire Anne series on gutenberg.

Download Anne of Green Gables



Heidi delights children even today as she warms the heart of her grandfather, plays with Peter the goat-herd, and shares the amazing experiences of living in the Swiss Alps.

Download Heidi

Rebeccca of Sunnybrook Farm

Similar to Anne of Green Gables and Pollyanna – Rebecca came first! This spunky gal is sent to live with her two prim and proper aunts.

Download Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

What Katy Did

From Wikipedia:

Katy is a tall untidy tomboy, forever getting into scrapes but wishing to be beautiful and beloved. When a terrible accident makes her an invalid, her illness and four-year recovery gradually teach her to be as good and kind as she has always wanted.

Download What Katy Did

The Adventurous Seven


A Victorian adventure novel about seven siblings set out to find their father – a doctor in Australia. Fun for the entire family!

Download The Adventurous Seven

Listen to these books on free audio!

You can search the titles of most of these books to find their audio versions on!

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