Compiled by : Aideen
As we are now facing a period of unprecedented social isolation, I thought it fitting to compile my Top 5 Children’s classics which have a common theme of quarantine or illness. These may sound like bleak topics but these books are uplifting where insurmountable obstacles are overcome. As a child I was a voracious reader and read a lot of classics. Little wonder that I ended up in my current profession!
There are a lot of common themes running through these books such as illness/quarantine (sometimes due to a tragic sudden accident) orphans also feature strongly! So here it goes… my top 5 books which are all available on your Borrowbox app to download in ebook or eAudiobook format
The Secret Garden
A novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, published in 1911. The book centres around a neglected yet spoiled girl unwanted by her parents and raised primarily by her servants in India, She is sent to live with her wealthy uncle whom she has never met, after her parents are killed by a cholera epidemic. There, at his isolated moorland house, Mary discovers many secrets including a neglected garden & her invalided cousin Colin, who is confined to bed and unable to walk. Incidentally, “A little Princess” also by Frances Hodgson Burnett is available on Borrowbox, another book I would highly recommend.
I have to confess this is one book I didn’t read as a child but I am familiar with the Walt Disney 1960 film starring Hayley Mills above. Pollyanna is a 1913 novel by American author Eleanor H. Porter & considered a classic of children’s literature. It is a story of a cheerful orphan who comes to live with her aunt and changes the outlook of a small town. The ‘glad game’ she plays, of finding a silver lining in every cloud, transforms the sick, the lonely and the plain miserable. “Most generally there is something about everything that you can be glad about, if you keep hunting long enough to find it”. This is Pollyanna’s philosophy inspired by her late Father. Until one day, Pollyanna has a terrible accident and loses the use of her legs. Can the game save her?
Bolinda Borrowbox Pollyanna Audiobook
A classic children’s novel by Swiss writer Johanna Spyri, published in two volumes 1880- 1881. The title character is a young orphan who is sent to the Swiss mountains to live with her grandfather. She had previously been cared for by her Aunty Dete. Heidi’s grandfather, a recluse, is initially very resentful of the introduction of Heidi into his solitary life. Heidi gradually wins him over with her gentle and endearing personality & makes many friends including Peter the goatherd. So when Dete returns to take Heidi to Frankfurt to be a hired lady’s companion to a wealthy girl named Clara Sesemann, everyone including her grandfather is devastated. Clara, who is unable to walk and regarded as an invalid is charmed by Heidi’s simple friendliness and her descriptions of life on the Alps. However Heidi begins to pine for the Alps and is determined to return to the happiness of life with her grandfather.
Bolinda Borrowbox Heidi Audiobook
What Katy Did
A children’s book written in 1872 by Sarah Chauncey Woolsey under her pen name Susan Coolidge. Katy is a tomboy with a wild imagination and high spirits. She is always up to mischief, but plans for the day when she will be ‘beautiful and beloved, and amiable as an angel’. An accidental fall from a swing seems to threaten her hopes for the future, but Katy struggles to overcome her difficulties with pluck, vitality and good humour. “ Katy” by Jacqueline Wilson, inspired by this classic novel is available on borrowbox
Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables is the classic children’s book by L M Montgomery and the inspiration for the Netflix Original series Anne with an E. It was written in 1908 by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. Set in the late 19th century, the novel recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan girl, who is mistakenly sent to two middle-aged siblings, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. They were expecting a boy to help them on their farm and get a shock when a red-haired feisty girl arrives!