The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum was originally published in 1900. After more than 100 years it is still a favorite! It’s a classic. That means it has stayed popular for a long time. 100 years is definitely a long time! Listed below are 15 classic children’s books that were on the library shelves in the early 1900s when Central Library was built. These books are STILL favorites on our library shelves today!
In the list below, the book covers on the left show you what the books looked like 100 years ago. Click on one of the old book jackets to read the book online. You don’t even need to wait to check it out. These books are part of the public domain. Public domain means that since these books were published before 1923, they are not subject to copyright. That means you can read them for free!
The book covers on the right show you what the books look like today. Click on one of these newer versions to see it in the computer catalog. You can place a hold there with your IndyPL library card if you would like to read it. For most of the newer versions just the cover and maybe the illustrations have changed, but for some of them the story has been changed a little to either reflect the times or tell the story in a new way. Try Matt Phelan’s Snow White. It’s a graphic novel version of the traditional Snow White story that is really good!
You can find even MORE classic books for kids to read for free at:
Use your indyPL Library Card to check out books at any of our locations, or check out e-books and e-audiobooks from home right to your device. Click on a book jacket below to request a book or download it. Need help? Call or ask a Library staff member at any of our locations, text a librarian at 317 333-6877, or leave a comment.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Tells the adventures and pranks of a mischievous boy growing up in a Mississippi River town in the early nineteenth century.
Aesop’s Fables – Aesop’s wise, witty and timeless fables. The version on the right sets the fables in an African setting.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Offers the classic tale about a young girl who goes on a fantastical trip after falling into a deep hole where she meets a cast of weird and wonderful creatures along the way.
Anne of Green Gables – Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.
Cinderella – In her haste to flee the palace before the fairy godmother’s magic loses effect, Cinderella leaves behind a glass slipper.
Heidi – A Swiss orphan is heartbroken when she must leave her beloved grandfather and their happy home in the mountains to go to school and to care for an invalid girl in the city.
The Jungle Book – An anthology of stories chronicles the adventures of Mowgli, a young boy raised by wolves, as he learns the ways of the jungle from Baloo the bear and matches wits with his archenemy, Shere Khan, in a collection that also includes the tale of Rikki-tikki-tavi.
A Little Princess – Alone in a new country, wealthy Sara Crewe tries to make friends at boarding school and settle in. But when she learns that she’ll never see her beloved father again, her life is turned upside down. Transformed from princess to pauper, she must swap dancing lessons and luxury for drudgery and a room in the attic. Will she find that kindness and generosity are all the riches she truly needs?
Pinocchio – The adventures of a talking wooden puppet whose nose grows whenever he tells a lie.
The Secret Garden – A ten-year-old orphan comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors where she discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden.
Snow White – The story of a beleaguered girl who finds shelter with seven dwarves after the sudden death of her father and suffering cruelty at the hands of her stepmother.
Three Little Pigs – The three pigs and their narrow escape of the wolf.
Through the Looking Glass – In this sequel to “Alice in Wonderland” Alice goes through the mirror to find a strange world where curious adventures await her.
The Wind in the Willows – The escapades of four animal friends who live along a river in the English countryside–Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger.
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