Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Classic Starts

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  • (2 reviews)

    The hardest question when reading the classics is where to start. The Classic Starts series takes classics loved by children through the ages and makes them approachable and easy to read independently. Each novel is expertly abridged to around 160 pages, making them suitable for young readers, without losing the charm and excitement that made the original story so popular. 

    The language and selection of stories in the Classic Starts books are pitched at children 7+. You'll find something to love whether you want to introduce your children to some of your own favourite childhood books, like White Fang, Black Beauty or The Secret Garden, broaden their horizons with literary masterpieces such as The Three Musketeers or The Time Machine, or simply give them a rip-roaring adventure like Treasure Island or The Story of King Arthur. What all the books have in common is that they are stories that will appeal to children, thanks to their exciting plots and memorable characters.

    Enjoy all the excitement of the original story without getting stuck on the language. These books are sure to inspire an appreciation of great literature, making sure that children see the classics for what they are – fantastic stories. 

    There are many benefits to reading the classics early: learning about history, widening your vocabulary, but mostly you should read them for the sheer pleasure – these books are still being read hundreds of years after their initial publication simply because they are brilliant stories.

    We would say that the Classic Starts reading level is around Year 3 and over, aged 7+, although some younger readers will also be able to enjoy these stories as the language has been simplified. Start with children’s classic like Tom Sawyer or A Little Princess and then young enthusiasts may progress to more challenging reads like The Odyssey or Moby Dick

    You shouldn’t have to wait to read the best stories in literature!

    Book 1
    Book 1

    Classic Starts (R): The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: Retold from the Mark Twain Original

    Following Sterling's spectacularly successful launch of its children's classic novels (240,000 books in print to date), ... More

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    Book 2
    Book 2

    Black Beauty

    This title is suitable for children aged 7 years and up. Black Beauty is the classic horse story, a beautiful and touchi... More

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    Book 4
    Book 4

    Treasure Island

    This title is suitable for children aged 7 years and up. Pirates, buried treasure, and action aplenty - that's what's se... More

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    Book 5
    Book 5

    Classic Starts (R): The Swiss Family Robinson: Retold from the Johann David Wyss Original

    A shipwreck; a deserted island; a family, wondering if they can survive. Rich in suspense and surprises, "The Swiss Fami... More

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    Book 7
    Book 7

    The Secret Garden

    This title is a classic story children will adore. It is suitable for children aged 7 years and up. The discovery of a n... More

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    Book 9
    Book 9

    Classic Starts (R): The Three Musketeers: Retold from the Alexandre Dumas Original

    All for one and one for all! That's the rallying cry of the Musketeers - guards of the French King - and the call to adv... More

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    Book 10
    Book 10

    Classic Starts (R): Anne of Green Gables

    Following Sterling's spectacularly successful launch of its children's classic novels (240,000 books in print to date), ... More

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    Book 11
    Book 11

    Classic Starts (R): The Story of King Arthur & His Knights: Retold from the Howard Pyle Original

    From the Sword in the Stone and the founding of Camelot to the famed Round Table and the Lake of Enchantment, the legend... More

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    Book 12
    Book 12

    Classic Starts (R): The Adventures of Robin Hood: Retold from the Howard Pyle Original

    Following Sterling's spectacularly successful launch of its children's classic novels (240,000 books in print to date), ... More

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    Book 13
    Book 13

    Classic Starts (R): Heidi: Retold from the Johanna Spyri Original

    When Heidi's Aunt Dete brings the orphaned girl to live with her grandfather, no one can imagine the bitter, solitary ol... More

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    Book 14
    Book 14

    Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking-glass

    This title is suitable for children aged 7 years and up. Nothing's more magical than going down the rabbit hole and thro... More

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    Book 15
    Book 15

    Classic Starts (R): The Call of the Wild

    Following Sterling's spectacularly successful launch of its children's classic novels (240,000 books in print to date), ... More

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    Book 16
    Book 16

    Classic Starts (R): 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Retold from the Jules Verne Original

    You are about to enter a world of Jules Verne's classic science fiction undersea adventure. Join Professor Aronnax on a ... More

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    Book 17
    Book 17

    Classic Starts (R): White Fang

    Half wolf, half dog, White Fang fully understands the cruelty of both nature and humans. After nearly starving to deat... More

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    Book 18
    Book 18

    Classic Starts (R): The Iliad

    This high interest/low vocabulary retelling of The Iliad introduces young readers to Homer's thrilling epic tale. Set du... More

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    Book 19
    Book 19

    Classic Starts (R): Roman Myths

    This title features eleven of the best-loved ancient myths in one beautiful abridged collection. This high interest/low ... More

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    Book 20
    Book 20

    Classic Starts (R): Around the World in 80 Days: Retold from the Jules Verne Original

    One boy, penniless and in rags, forced to beg in the street. The other, a king's son, coddled and given all he could wan... More

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    Book 21
    Book 21

    Classic Starts (R): Journey to the Center of the Earth

    This title is suitable for children aged 7 to 9 years old. 'Go down the crater of the volcano Snaefells. Follow the shad... More

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    22
    22

    Classic Starts (R): The Odyssey

    This title is suitable for children aged 7 to 9 years old. In this title, Homer's epic tale of the warrior Odysseus' dec... More

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    Book 23
    Book 23

    Classic Starts (R): Greek Myths

    This title is suitable for children aged 7 to 9 years old. From Icarus' legendary flight to Orpheus' trip to the underwo... More

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    Book 24
    Book 24

    Classic Starts (R): Moby-Dick

    Call me Ishmael. These three famous words begin one of the most epic novels ever written, a tale of one obsessed captain... More

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    Book 25
    Book 25

    Classic Starts (R): The Time Machine

    This title is ideal for young readers who can experience the wonder of this timeless story in an easy to read abridged f... More

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    Book 26
    Book 26

    Classic Starts (R): The Last of the Mohicans

    This is a fascinating adventure story, grounded in American history. As the French and Indian war rages, the two daughte... More

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    Book 27
    Book 27

    Classic Starts (R): The Jungle Book

    One of the most beloved classics in children's literature, Kipling's masterpiece follows Mowgli, the boy raised by wolve... More

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    Book 28
    Book 28

    Classic Starts (R): Pinocchio

    Mischievous, lazy, and full of tricks, the puppet Pinocchio causes trouble for his creator, Geppetto, almost as soon as ... More

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    Book 29
    Book 29

    Classic Starts (R): The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle

    Doctor Dolittle is a very special vet - because he knows how to talk to the animals! So when he hears that there's terri... More

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    Book 30
    Book 30

    Classic Starts (R): Treasure Island

    Every child deserves an appealing introduction to the classics, with age-appropriate text and beautiful art throughout... More

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    Book 31
    Book 31

    Classic Starts (R): The Prince and the Pauper

    One boy, penniless and in rags, forced to beg in the street. The other, a king's son, coddled and given all he could wan... More

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    Book 29
    Book 29

    Classic Starts (R): Arabian Nights

    "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves", "Aladdin" and "Sinbad the Sailor": these are just some of the strange and amazing stor... More

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    Book 33
    Book 33

    Classic Starts (R): Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

    Eleven-year-old Rebecca Randall is quite a handful - and now she's leaving her beloved Sunnybrook Farm to live with her ... More

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    Book 24
    Book 24

    Classic Starts (R): Little Lord Fauntleroy

    In this sentimental favourite, young Cedric Errol learns that he is actually a British lord and heir to an estate and hi... More

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    Book 35
    Book 35

    Classic Starts (R): A Little Princess

    Following Sterling's spectacularly successful launch of its children's classic novels (240,000 books in print to date), ... More

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    Book 36
    Book 36

    Classic Starts (R): The Phantom of the Opera

    The long-ago mysteries of the great opera house in Paris have never been explained. Why did so many terrible tragedies h... More

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    Book 19
    Book 19

    Classic Starts (R): The Man in the Iron Mask

    Dumas' famous musketeers return in another exciting swashbuckler. And this time, Aramis is embarking on the most perilou... More

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    Book 38
    Book 38

    Classic Starts (R): Ballet Stories

    This lovely collection will make little ballerinas dance for joy! Inside, they'll find eight of the most beautiful balle... More

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    Book 14
    Book 14

    Classic Starts (R): Five Little Peppers and How They Grew

    'To help mother': that was the goal of each and every one of the five Pepper children. Yet even as 'Mamsie' struggles ha... More

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    Book 20
    Book 20

    Classic Starts (R) Audio: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    This title is ideal for young readers who can experience the wonder of this timeless story in an easy to read abridged f... More

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    Book 45
    Book 45

    Classic Starts (R): Gulliver's Travels: Retold from the Jonathan Swift Original

    Through the eyes of Lemuel Gulliver, Swift's unforgettable satire takes readers into worlds formerly unimagined. Visit f... More

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    Book 13
    Book 13

    Classic Starts (R): The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Retold from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Original

    Following Sterling's spectacularly successful launch of its children's classic novels (240,000 books in print to date), ... More

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    Book 47
    Book 47

    Classic Starts (R): Oliver Twist: Retold from the Charles Dickens Original

    Dickens' timeless novel transports young readers to a colorful Victorian England filled with mistreated orphans, grim wo... More

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    Book 48
    Book 48

    Classic Starts (R): Robinson Crusoe: Retold from the Daniel Defoe Original

    A shipwreck, a sole survivor, a deserted island - What could be more appealing to children than Robinson Crusoe's amazin... More

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    Book 51
    Book 51

    Classic Starts (R): Pollyanna: Retold from the Eleanor H. Porter Original

    "Once you start looking for the happy things, you don't think about the bad ones as much." That's the joyful way Pollyan... More

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    Book 2
    Book 2

    A Little Princess

    This title is suitable for children aged 7 years and up. Poor Sara Crewe. Once upon a time her beloved father pampered a... More

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    Book 3
    Book 3

    Classic Starts (R): Little Men

    This sparkling sequel to the beloved "Little Women" follows the grown-up and married Jo, mistress of Plumfield, a school... More

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    Book 54
    Book 54

    Classic Starts (R): Frankenstein: Retold from the Mary Shelley Original

    From the bits and pieces of dead bodies and the power of electricity, the brilliant Victor Frankenstein fashions a new f... More

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    Book 57
    Book 57

    Classic Starts (R): The War of the Worlds

    Following the blockbuster film, this version of the classic story is ideal for younger readers in an easy to read abridg... More

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    Book 18
    Book 18

    Classic Starts (R): The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

    Set in a richly rendered 15th century Paris, Victor Hugo's powerful drama focuses on a beautiful gypsy girl named Esmera... More

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    Book 59
    Book 59

    Classic Starts (R): The Red Badge of Courage

    A searing tale of fear and courage, set during the Civil War, but more powerful today than ever. A young man enlists i... More

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    Book 60
    Book 60

    Classic Starts (R) Audio: The Swiss Family Robinson

    A shipwreck; a deserted island; a single family, wondering if they can survive. Rich in suspense and surprises, "The Swi... More

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    Book 61
    Book 61

    The Adventures of Robin Hood

    This book is suitable for children aged 7 years and up. He robbed from the rich and gave to the poor, and had escapades ... More

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    Book 7
    Book 7

    Classic Starts (R): Grimm's Fairy Tales

    This title is suitable for children aged 7 to 9 years old. Once upon a time, there were two brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm ... More

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    Book 63
    Book 63

    Classic Starts (R): The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Retold from the Mark Twain Original

    Sail down the Mississippi with Huck Finn and the runaway slave, Jim. Twain's beloved tale, with its folksy language, cre... More

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    Book 17
    Book 17

    Classic Starts (R): Animal Stories

    Here come the animals! From Rudyard Kipling's most popular "Just-So Stories" to Jack London's "Brown Wolf", this collect... More

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    Book 65
    Book 65

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

    The classic tale of a young boy's adventures on the Mississippi in the nineteenth century. Mark Twain's classic The... More

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    Book 66
    Book 66

    The Wind in the Willows

    'There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.' From picnics by t... More

    (18 reviews)
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