The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911)

Mary, an unloved child brought up by servants in India, is sent to live at mysterious Mistlethwait Manor in Yorkshire. There she learns to love, and to see in the magic in nature.

Heidi by Johanna Spyri (1881)

Heidi is sent to live with her hermit uncle in his Alpine hut. She softens the old man’s heart, and they live together happily until she is taken away to be a companion for an invalid girl in Frankfurt. All she wants is to return to the mountains, and the people she has left behind there.

Five Children and It by E Nesbit (1902)

Five siblings find a sand-fairy in the gravel pit by their new home in the country. It grumpily agrees to give them one wish a day. But making wishes is harder than they thought.

The Railway Children by E Nesbit (1906)

After their father is mysteriously taken away one day, Roberta, Phyllis and Peter find themselves living in genteel poverty in a cottage in Yorkshire. Left to their own devices while their mother is busy writing for a living, they befriend their new neighbours and fall in love with the railway near their house. In return, the railway brings all sorts of people and adventure into their lives.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (1902)

Peter is not quite as well behaved as his sisters, and nearly pays a very high price for his naughtiness. This is the best known of the many stories written about the animals around the Lake District home of Beatrix Potter.

Pollyanna by Eleanor H Porter (1913)

Whenever Pollyanna meets with trouble or despair, she plays The Glad Game, taught to her by her much-loved father. The game is simple: just find the silver lining in every situation. However, sometimes this is very hard to do.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868-1869)

The trials and tribulations of four sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy – as they grow from childhood to womanhood. Supported by their gentle and loving mother, they make new friends, write stories, fight illness and try not to mind being poor so much. What would make them happiest of all would be for their father to return from the Civil War.

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