Classic Books for Young Girls

by CountrySunshine

My top 5 recommendations of books every young girl will enjoy: The Secret Garden, Nurse Nancy, Thumbelina, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and The Velveteen Rabbit.

I've enjoyed reading ever since I was child. Perhaps my love for reading comes from my parents. They were both school teachers, and the written word was so important to them. Regardless of the reason, many of my favorite memories are the bedtime stories they read to me; and later, all of the books I devoured on my own.

While I have read thousands of books in my over 50 years, there are just a few that stand out from my childhood. These books were my favorites, and I read them until the pages were worn. Looking back on them, I realize that each story had a lesson, and that is in part what made them so enjoyable.

If you have a child in your life or on your gift list, these are the top 5 children's books for young girls that I recommend. Each is an enjoyable read and will teach a lesson that will last a lifetime.

Image Source: Wikimedia Public Domain

Nurse Nancy - A Little Golden Book

Nurse Nancy is my favorite all-time book from when I was a child. Written for children ages 3-5, this classic Little Golden Book is about Nancy and her older brothers. Like typical brothers, they didn't want to play with Nancy; instead, they played "big boy" games.

Of course, there comes a time when one of the brothers - Billy - falls and hurts his knee. Nurse Nancy comes to the rescue with her first aid kit, and patches his knee as good as new.

The pictures in this book are well-illustrated, and have the classic look from the 1950s. It has a kind, gentle tone to it, and is easy to read in just one sitting. Your child will adore this book, and will read it over & over. A must-have book for the little one in your life!

Note: When I received Nurse Nancy as a child, it came with red bandages inside the front cover. I am unsure as to whether the copy you purchase will have them. If not, be certain to add some before giving it as a gift!

Thumbelina - Ages 4+

Thumbelina is a classic children's story written by Hans Christian Anderson back in 1835. It is the story of a tiny girl who, through many adventures with creatures of the forest, seeks her true love. At the end, she finally meets a fairy prince like herself, and they marry to live happily ever after.

While many versions have been released over the years, I own this hardback form of this book. It has a hard cover, with a holographic image on the front. The pages are made of heavy cardboard, and the illustrations are beautiful! This version of Thumbelina will be a keepsake for years to come.

The Velveteen Rabbit - Ages 6-10

The story is about a stuffed toy rabbit who was given as a Christmas gift to a young boy. It takes awhile for the boy to notice the rabbit, as he has so many other toys. The rabbit is befriended by a Skin Horse, who advises that with time & patience, the rabbit will become "real" through the love of the young boy.


A great story of love, wisdom and acceptance; lessons that not only the young will learn, but is a good reminder to everyone.

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is the crazy neighbor that every child wants living next door. Her house was built upside down, and her late husband was a pirate. The best thing about her is how she handles children. She is so good at it, that the neighboring parents consult her when they need help with their kids.

There are several books in the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series. Each book has self-contained chapters, so you can read one at each sitting. Each chapter has a lesson, such as the one about a child that refused to wash his face. The cure? Let the dirt stay until it was so deep that Mrs. Piggle Wiggle planted radish seeds in the dirt!

The Secret Garden - Ages 9-12

The Secret Garden is a much more serious book than the others I have mentioned above. Written in 1911by Frances Hodgson Burnett, it is the story of Mary, a spoiled girl who goes to live with her rich uncle in England. He is mourning the loss of his wife, and is seldom at home.

Mary is confined to the house, and finally becomes friends with the servants. Eventually, she finds the key to the secret garden, spends much of her time there, and her life changes for the better.

This is a heart-warming novel, and it is sure to be a hit with your pre-teenage girls.

All of these books will warm the reader's heart, provide a few lessons, and instill a love of reading in a child. While there are many more books that do the same, these are the ones I recommend.


Copyright L.C. Clifton / Country Sunshine.  All Rights Reserved
Originally published November 18, 2012 on Squidoo


Updated: 06/04/2017, CountrySunshine
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Have you read these books, and are there others that you recommend?

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frankbeswick on 01/22/2016

The Secret Garden is at one level a book for girls, at another a book for children, but like all great works of literature it can be read by adults, who can appreciate the deep and serious issues that pervade the book. In this way it is on a par with any one of the Narnia books, which are capable of being similarly read at various depths.

CountrySunshine on 01/21/2016

I will have to look into this book! Thanks for the suggestion

Veronica on 01/21/2016

TY for those . I have read " The Secret Garden" but I could add a little known Dutch story which had a heroine as the main character even back as far as the 1950's and it is called " The Wheel on The School " by Meindert de Jong.

MY favourite time at school was when the teacher used to put the radio on for story time. This book was serialised . I loved it and asked my parents to buy it for my birthday. The book fell to bits I read it so often.

Fast forward 25 years and I was walking through a Yorkshire village and outside the bookshop, sitting on top of a pile of bargain books was "The wheel on the school " . I seized it quickly before anyone else could. It is a prized possession.

A 1950's book with girl as the instigator and heroine. Can't be bad.

CountrySunshine on 01/20/2016

I had forgotten about Heidi! It is a good story for young girls. I am unaware of the other authors and books you've recommended, but will definitely look into them. Thanks!

Tolovaj on 01/18/2016

I have read only Thumbelina (several times) and will try to find others from your list in our language. Secret Garden looks particularly intriguing. If I may add few good ones from my personal list, I would like to recommend everything written by Astrid Lindgren and Tove Jansson. Heidi is also one of immortal classics and we should not forget other works by H. C. Andersen (you listed his Thumbelina) as well. Snow Queen is definitely one of all time best works for slightly older kids.

CruiseReady on 11/04/2015

I've only read two of these - The Secret Garden and The Velvelveteen Rabbit, both of whichh are olovely. As a young girl, I adored Alice in Wonderland, though.

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