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).

Be sure to check out our extensive book lists 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!

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    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.

    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. 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?

    4. 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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