- An Angel in Disguise by T.S. Arthur
When it's time to decide who will adopt the orphans, it seems that there are no takers for the smallest child, until the blacksmith and his wife prove to have the warmest hearts in town.
- The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde
This spiritual allegory is one of Wilde's best works. The giant forbids the children from playing in his garden, until he becomes enlightened by a little boy, representing Christ. Themes of redemption, humility, and compassion are beautifully interwoven in the story.
- Poor Dear Margaret Kirby by Kathleen Norris
A charming story about the sometimes unlikely road that some people travel to find happiness.
- The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde
In life, the Prince enjoyed nothing but happiness; as a statue he asks a swallow to help him remedy the misery and ugliness he sees.
- The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
This is a tender and ironic tale about sacrifice and expressions of love.
- The Aged Mother by Matsuo Basho
A loyal son helps his wise mother escape a kingdom whose ruler demands all old people be committed to death.
- The Last Dream of Old Oak by Hans Christian Andersen
This unlikely conversation between an oak and a mayfly emphasizes the value of perspective.
- Springtime a la Carte by O. Henry
The most brilliant and crowning feat of Sarah's battle with the world was the deal she made with Schulenberg's Home Restaurant. Will her beau Walter make good on his promise?
- The Widow's Cruise by Frank Stockton
With four elder mariners visiting on the porch, who would think the best sea story would come from the widow Duckett herself?
- The Luck of Roaring Camp by Bret Harte
Death was common in the wild mining settlement of Roaring Camp, but birth was a new thing.
- Mix War, Art and Dancing by Ernest Hemingway
Hemingway's heartwarming account of the respite a dance provides during wartime.
- The Antique Ring by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Hawthorne's fanciful story-within-a-story. After being presented the ring, this fiance has one requirement: "In short, you must kindle your imagination at the lustre of this diamond, and make a legend for it."
- The Fable of the Man Who Didn't Care for Storybooks by George Ade
Eventually he discovered: "All Books of Fiction were a Mockery."
- A Burglar's Christmas by Willa Cather
A down-trodden man, desperate and alone on the streets of Chicago, bumps into a wealthy young lady. "There is nothing more maddening than to have morally consented to crime and then lack the nerve force to carry it out."
- A Story Without a Title by Anton Chekhov
"There is no faith, no truth in men. Whose task is it to save them?" After witnessing town life for three months, the wise old monk reports back to the monastery of his enlightning discoveries.
- The Child's Story by Charles Dickens
This is a clever story about the journey through all the stages of life, and a hope that our children will grow to appreciate it.
- Hot Potatoes by Arnold Bennett
What lengths a stage-mother will go (and how long potatoes stay hot) to ensure her musician-son's hands are warm for the festival!
- In the Spring by Guy de Maupassant
"Return of spring. French citizens, beware of love!"
- The Ephemera: Emblem of Human Life by Benjamin Franklin
Franklin's letter is a play-on-words to celebrate the ephemeral. Life certainly IS short-- take it from a mayfly.
- Cousin Tribulation's Story by Louisa May Alcott
A heartwarming story about an oatmeal parade and "angel-children" who help a family in need.
- Caline by Kate Chopin
An acadian girl's curiousity is piqued after a train breaks down near her farm.
- A Tent in Agony by Stephen Crane
A small man and a bear together in a tent? "The hand of heaven sometimes falls heavily upon the righteous."
- The Notary of Perigueux by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Hypochondriacs beware: "Do not trust they body with a physician" (or a lit pipe!) A rare treat of humorous prose by H.W. Longfellow.
- Kew Gardens by Virginia Woolf
Woolf's vivid and colorful imagery, and eccentric characters with a range of mental faculties, bring the reader along on a happy hallucination.
- Society and Solitude - Success by Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Self-trust is the first secret of success, the belief that if you are here the authorities of the universe put you here, and for cause...so long as you work at that you are well and successful."
- Walking by Henry David Thoreau
"If you have paid your debts, and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and are a free man, then you are ready for a walk."
- Tobermory by H.H. Munro (SAKI)
What if your dog or cat could talk? Then recite those snide comments you made about your dinner guests when they arrive?
- Clovis on Parental Responsibilities by H.H. Munro (SAKI)
Poking fun at the likes of modern-day "helicopter" parents, Marion Eggelby couldn't be more proud of her job raising perfect children. Bridge-playing is absolutely out of the question, tatamount to criminal classes!
- Little Benjamin by Laura E. Richards
Left at their door-step as a baby ten years ago, he's been nothing but trouble ever since. Should he stay or go?
- The Thorny Road of Honor by Hans Christian Andersen
Andersen pays tribute to the often misunderstood or ridiculed innovators, "martyred geniuses" whose accomplishments were borne on a "thorny road."
- The Golden Windows by Laura E. Richards
Part morality tale, part science and philosophy lesson, sometimes we value what we see from a distance, and fail to recognize our own good fortune.
- How the Captain Made Christmas by Thomas Nelson Page
With the right conductor, sharing memories about home and the promises of true love make this Christmas train ride a delightful recollection.
- Deacon Pitkin's Farm by Harriet Beecher Stowe
A young man who forfeits his education to save his family's farm is a perfect tale of appreciation for Thanksgiving or any time.
- Androclus and the Lion by James Baldwin
Kindness yields welcome returns, big and small.
- The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
"When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
- The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry
Crime doesn't pay, in fact, it'll cost you!
- The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen
Andersen's inspiring story is about finding out where we fit in the world, and building confidence as we discover who we are.
- A Little Tiny Thing by Anonymous
A girl's lesson about showing consideration for all creatures, big or small. Illustrations make the story!
- The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Mr. McGregor can't catch this mischievous rabbit, who manages to escape harm but loses his coat and shoes and has to go to bed without blackberries and cream.
- The Bremen Town Musicians by The Brothers Grimm
Nothing beats Neighborhood Watch like these outcast animals: a donkey, dog, cat and rooster scare away the burglars and save the day.
- Little Bo-Peep by Joseph Martin Kronheim
Peep gets help from a princess trapped as an owl and some elves to rescue her flock.
- Five Little Pigs by Joseph Martin Kronheim
Your "piggies" will be wiggling when you read this short story based on the counting chant, This Little Piggy.
- The Coming of the King by Laura E. Richards
An allegory about improving our conditions and welcoming a stranger, king or no king.
- The Shadow by Laura E. Richards
Though we are get sad sometimes, turn from the shadow to see "the bright side" to be happy!
- Humpty Dumpty by L. Frank Baum
After you read Mother Goose's rhymn, enjoy Baum's tale about two wandering eggs. They are scrambling for fun!
- The Cunning Little Tailor by The Brothers Grimm
Being the smartest of three tailors meant he could solve the riddles, distract a bear, teach it violin, and win the affections of the princess!
- The Great Feast by Laura E. Richards
With a little imagination and the help of a Play Angel, one small cookie is all it takes to make a grand celebration!
- The Night Moth With a Crooked Feeler by Clara Dillingham Pierson
A young moth learned to care more for a warm heart and courage than for whole wings and straight feelers.
- A Story of Robin Hood by James Baldwin
Who knew Robin Hood stood up for unrequited lovers as well as for the poor!
- The Elephant's Child by Rudyard Kipling
This is the "tall-tale" explanation how the elephant came to have his long trunk. Enjoy all the Just So Stories
- How They Ran Away by Louisa May Alcott
A funny story about two boys' hoping for a hunting adventure. They got more than they bargained for.
- A Modern Cinderella by Louisa May Alcott
This girl has plans! A bit of a liberating Cinderella story in which old, comfortable shoes are best for showing off those dance moves.
- The Adventures of Aladdin by The Brothers Grimm
The story about a boy who uses a magic lamp to extend good fortune and prosperity to his family and fight the bad magicians to preserve his kingdom.
- Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves by Arabian Nights
- The Bogey-Beast, enjoy other Short Stories for Children
Being fortunate is all relative; enjoy this tale about an old lady who is happy no matter what life brings.
- Christmas Ever Day by William Dean Howells
This story is akin to "Groundhog Day" -- young children may not have thought through what it would be like if Christmas never ended.
- Jimmy Scarecrow's Christmas by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Children will delight in Wilkin's story about a thoughtful scarecrow who gets recruited by Santa to scare away polar explorers and spread joy at Christmas time.
The story of a tiny girl who bloomed inside a flower, no larger than the woman's thumb.
- Papa Panov's Special Christmas by Leo Tolstoy
Now THIS is a perfect Christmas story, celebrating kindness and compassion.
- Reginald on Christmas Presents by H.H. Munro (SAKI)
Not that Reginald's complaining about clueless relatives' holiday gifts (he is). Foreshadowing the advent of the gift card. What did we do before Amazon?
- Christmas; or, The Good Fairy by Harriet Beecher Stowe
This sweet story is about a young girl who takes the time to select just the right thoughtful gift for each deserving recipient; a true expression of the joy of giving!
- A Christmas Dream, and How It Came to be True by Louisa May Alcott