20 Heart-Warming Old Fashioned Books for Kids

These old fashioned books offer heart-warming stories that ring true today — because at the end of the day, kids are still just kids no matter when they lived.

Children will connect with the adolescent characters while being transported to a different time and place. These books are perfect for older elementary and middle-school children (ages 8-12).

For more reading ideas, visit our extensive list of childrens books for kids!

You can find these old fashioned books at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience.

Heart-Warming Old-Fashioned Books for Kids

Related Article: 10 More Vintage Chapter Books for Kids


Growing up I remember relishing reading Little House in the Big Woods and Heidi.

This year, I read The Penderwicks with my boys, who loved hearing about all of the adventures of the daughters and their new friend!


    1. Now that surprises me, because Barbara you are the one person I would have thought would know all of those books 🙂

  1. I love these recommendations. So many great memories came flooding back just reading the titles! I’ve read most of these, but there are some new ones I need to look at. 🙂

    Have you heard of Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace? That would be another wholesome, old-fashioned book (series) to add to the list.

    1. I actually haven’t heard of Betsy-Tacy before, Kim. I’ll have to check out that series. Thanks for the tip!

      1. The Betsy-Tacy books are just delightful–about best friends growing up together at the turn of the 20th century. Very imaginative, sweet, family-centered.

  2. I haven’t seen a couple of these. Can’t believe I missed a good book! It looks like a great list, and I’m a big fan of old fashioned values and the days before every kid was a whiny “whimpy kid.”

  3. This is an amazing list of books to read for sure. I loved the Secret Garden. I’ll never forget reading that book as long as I live.

  4. joan tazisalady says:

    great old books. You just reminded me to get copies of little women for my 2 granddaughters. TY

    1. Little Women is one of my all-time favorites! Hope they enjoy the book 😀

  5. Oh my goodness, it’s like you stepped into my childhood! I had completely forgotten about The Moffets! But I know I read it and loved it as a child. I’ll have to dig it up from my parents’ house. I also was obsessed with the All of a Kind family series! And The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew! And of course The Secret Garden, Little House, and the Little Princess. I think it is safe to say I trust your taste in kids’ books, and will have to check out everything else on this list. Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Can I just say I am grinning from ear to ear? I am SO thrilled to hear that I’ve jolted you back to your childhood. Personally, some of my favorite memories are actually of books as a kid. I even remember where I was when reading some of them… including The Secret Garden, which I read on an Amtrak train on my way to my grandmother’s house 🙂 I hope you pull some of your favorites out and read them all over again. Who says we’re too old?

  6. Shannon Reads says:

    To add to the list:
    The Railway Children — E. Nesbit
    Half Magic — Edgar Eager
    The Treasure Seekers — E Nesbit
    The Secret of Platform 13 — Eva Ibbotson
    One Dog and His Boy — Eva Ibbotson
    Journey to the River Sea — Eva Ibbotson
    The Little White Horse — Elizabeth Goudge **
    Linnets and Valerians — Elizabeth Goudge
    The Good Master — Kate Seredy
    An Old-Fashioned Girl — Alcott

    (The Little White Horse is back in print largely because JKR named it as her favorite book growing up.)

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