Classic Starts Series

by
(84 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!

All the Classic Starts books in order:

Book 1: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (2005)
Book 2: Anne of Green Gables (2005)
Book 3: The Call of the Wild (2005)
Book 5: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Retold from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Original (2005)
Book 6: A Little Princess (2005)
Book 7: The Adventures of Robin Hood: Retold from the Howard Pyle Original (2005)
Book 8: Gulliver's Travels: Retold from the Jonathan Swift Original (2006)
Book 9: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Retold from the Mark Twain Original (2006)
Book 10: Oliver Twist: Retold from the Charles Dickens Original (2006)
Book 11: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Retold from the Robert Louis Stevenson Original (2006)
Book 12: Frankenstein: Retold from the Daniel Defoe Original (2006)
Book 13: Robinson Crusoe: Retold from the Daniel Defoe Original (2006)
Book 14: White Fang (2006)
Book 15: The Story of King Arthur & His Knights: Retold from the Howard Pyle Original (2006)
Book 16: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Retold from the Jules Verne Original (2006)
Book 17: The Red Badge of Courage (2006)
Book 18: The War of the Worlds (2007)
Book 19: The Prince and the Pauper (2005)
Book 20: The Three Musketeers: Retold from the Alexandre Dumas Original (2005)
Book 21: Heidi: Retold from the Johanna Spyri Original (2005)
Book 22: The Swiss Family Robinson: Retold from the Johann David Wyss Original (2007)
Book 23: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (2007)
Book 24: Pollyanna: Retold from the Eleanor H. Porter Original (2007)
Book 25: Around the World in 80 Days: Retold from the Jules Verne Original (2007)
Book 26: Arabian Nights (2008)
Book 27: The Man in the Iron Mask (2008)
Book 28: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (2008)
Book 29: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (2008)
Book 30: The Jungle Book (2008)
Book 31: Little Lord Fauntleroy (2008)
Book 32: The Phantom of the Opera (2008)
Book 33: The Last of the Mohicans (2008)
Book 34: Pinocchio (2008)
Book 35: The Time Machine (2008)
Book 36: Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass: Retold from the Lewis Carroll Originals (2009)
Book 37: Little Men (2009)
Book 38: Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (2009)
Book 39: Moby-Dick (2010)
Book 40: Animal Stories (2010)
Book 41: Ballet Stories (2010)
Book 42: Grimm's Fairy Tales (2011)
Book 43: The Odyssey (2011)
Book 44: Greek Myths (2011)
Book 45: Journey to the Centre of the Earth (2011)
Book 46: The Iliad (2014)
Book 47: The Roman Myths (2014)

Book 2
Book 2

Classic Starts®: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Following Sterlings spectacularly successful launch of its childrens classic novels (240,000 books in print to date),com... MoreClassic Starts®: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 3
Book 3

Classic Starts®: A Little Princess

Following Sterlings spectacularly successful launch of its childrens classic novels (240,000 books in print to date),com... MoreClassic Starts®: A Little Princess

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 4
Book 4

Classic Starts®: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Following Sterlings spectacularly successful launch of its childrens classic novels (240,000 books in print to date),com... MoreClassic Starts®: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 5
Book 5

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)... MoreClassic Starts (R): The Call of the Wild

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 6
Book 6

Classic Starts (R): Treasure Island

Every child deserves an appealing introduction to the classics, with age-appropriate text and beautiful art througho... MoreClassic Starts (R): Treasure Island

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 7
Book 7

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)... MoreClassic Starts (R): Anne of Green Gables

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 8
Book 8

Classic Starts (R): Black Beauty

Following Sterling's spectacularly successful launch of its children's classic novels (240,000 books in print to date)... MoreClassic Starts (R): Black Beauty

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 11
Book 11

Classic Starts®: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

This work talks about a single person - but with two personalities: one that's noble and kind and another that's pure, r... MoreClassic Starts®: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 12
Book 12

Classic Starts®: White Fang

Half wolf, half dog, White Fang fully understands the cruelty of both nature and humans. After nearly starving to death ... MoreClassic Starts®: White Fang

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 13
Book 13

Classic Starts®: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Sail down the Mississippi with Huck Finn and the runaway slave, Jim. Twain's beloved tale, with its folksy language, cre... MoreClassic Starts®: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 14
Book 14

Classic Starts®: Robinson Crusoe

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

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 15
Book 15

Classic Starts®: Oliver Twist

Dickens' timeless novel transports young readers to a colorful Victorian England filled with mistreated orphans, grim wo... MoreClassic Starts®: Oliver Twist

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 16
Book 16

Classic Starts®: Gulliver's Travels

Through the eyes of Lemuel Gulliver, Swift's unforgettable satire takes readers into worlds formerly unimagined. Visit f... MoreClassic Starts®: Gulliver's Travels

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 17
Book 17

Classic Starts®: Frankenstein

From the bits and pieces of dead bodies and the power of electricity, the brilliant Victor Frankenstein fashions a new f... MoreClassic Starts®: Frankenstein

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 18
Book 18

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... MoreClassic Starts (R): The Red Badge of Courage

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 19
Book 19

Classic Starts®: 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 ... MoreClassic Starts®: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 20
Book 20

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... MoreClassic Starts (R): The War of the Worlds

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 22
Book 22

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

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 24
Book 24

Classic Starts®: 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... MoreClassic Starts®: The Prince and the Pauper

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 27
Book 27

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... MoreClassic Starts (R): The Man in the Iron Mask

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 28
Book 28

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... MoreClassic Starts (R): The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 29
Book 29

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... MoreClassic Starts (R): The Jungle Book

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 30
Book 30

Classic Starts®: Arabian Nights

"Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves", "Aladdin" and "Sinbad the Sailor": these are just some of the strange and amazing stor... MoreClassic Starts®: Arabian Nights

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 31
Book 31

Classic Starts®: 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... MoreClassic Starts®: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 32
Book 32

Classic Starts®: Pinocchio

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

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 33
Book 33

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... MoreClassic Starts (R): Little Lord Fauntleroy

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 34
Book 34

Classic Starts®: 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... MoreClassic Starts®: The Last of the Mohicans

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 35
Book 35

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... MoreClassic Starts (R): The Phantom of the Opera

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 36
Book 36

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... MoreClassic Starts (R): The Time Machine

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 37
Book 37

Classic Starts (R): Peter Pan

"All children grow up. All except one." That special child is Peter Pan, and since making his debut on the stage in 1904... MoreClassic Starts (R): Peter Pan

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 39
Book 39

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... MoreClassic Starts (R): Little Men

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 40
Book 40

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

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 41
Book 41

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... MoreClassic Starts (R): Animal Stories

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 42
Book 42

Classic Starts®: Moby-Dick

Call me Ishmael. These three famous words begin one of the most epic novels ever written, a tale of one obsessed captain... MoreClassic Starts®: Moby-Dick

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 43
Book 43

Classic Starts (R): Ballet Stories

This lovely collection will make little ballerinas dance for joy! Inside, they'll find eight of the most beautiful... MoreClassic Starts (R): Ballet Stories

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 46
Book 46

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

"Go down the crater of the volcano Snaefells. Follow the shadow just before the month of July. You will find your way to... MoreClassic Starts (R): Journey to the Center of the Earth

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 47
Book 47

Classic Starts (R): Greek Myths

From Icarus's legendary flight to Orpheus's trip to the underworld, this stunning edition brings to life 15 classic Gree... MoreClassic Starts (R): Greek Myths

(1 review)
Review
Book 48
Book 48

Classic Starts (R): The Odyssey

Homer's epic tale of the warrior Odysseus's decades-long struggle to return home after the Trojan War is simply and beau... MoreClassic Starts (R): The Odyssey

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 49
Book 49

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 ... MoreClassic Starts (R): Grimm's Fairy Tales

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 50
Book 50

Classic Starts®: The Iliad

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

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 51
Book 51

Classic Starts®: Roman Myths

This title features eleven of the best-loved ancient myths in one beautiful abridged collection. This high interest/low ... MoreClassic Starts®: Roman Myths

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 52
Book 52

The Secret Garden: V&A Collector's Edition

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a magical novel for adults and children alike. This new hardback is one ... MoreThe Secret Garden: V&A Collector's Edition

(21 reviews)
Review
Book 53
Book 53

Little Women

'Timeless' HELEN MOORE, DAILY EXPRESS'I try to get every girly girl to read this one because those four sisters are so r... MoreLittle Women

(27 reviews)
Review
Book 54
Book 54

The Wind in the Willows

'There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.' From picnics by the... MoreThe Wind in the Willows

(35 reviews)
Review
Book 55
Book 55

Classic Starts®: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Why does a burglar keep smashing statues of Napoleon? What is the speckled band? And who is the mysterious Irene Adler? ... MoreClassic Starts®: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 56
Book 56

Classic Starts®: The Swiss Family Robinson

A shipwreck; a deserted island; a family wondering if they can survive.   Rich in suspense and surprises, The Swiss Fam... MoreClassic Starts®: The Swiss Family Robinson

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 57
Book 57

Classic Starts®: The Call of the Wild

During the gold rush, Buck is snatched away from his peaceful home and brought to the harsh and bitter Yukon to become a... MoreClassic Starts®: The Call of the Wild

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 58
Book 58

Classic Starts®: The Adventures of Robin Hood

Enter Sherwood Forest with the fabled Robin Hood and his band of merry men, and meet such unforgettable characters as Fr... MoreClassic Starts®: The Adventures of Robin Hood

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 59
Book 59

Classic Starts®: The Story of King Arthur and His Knights

Camelot awaits!   From the sword in the stone and the founding of Camelot to the famed Knights of the Round Table and th... MoreClassic Starts®: The Story of King Arthur and His Knights

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 60
Book 60

Classic Starts®: Heidi

When Heidi, an orphan, goes to live with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps, no one can imagine the solitary old man cari... MoreClassic Starts®: Heidi

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 61
Book 61

Classic Starts®: The Three Musketeers

Fight for justice with swashbuckling soldiers in this abridged retelling of The Three Musketeers, part of the bestsellin... MoreClassic Starts®: The Three Musketeers

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 62
Book 62

Classic Starts®: The Time Machine

Travel into the future in this abridged retelling of The Time Machine, part of the bestselling Classic Starts® series th... MoreClassic Starts®: The Time Machine

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 63
Book 63

Classic Starts®: Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

Have a tea party in Wonderland with this abridged retelling of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, part o... MoreClassic Starts®: Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 64
Book 64

Classic Starts®: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Explore the mysterious underwater world in this illustrated chapter-book retelling of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the ... MoreClassic Starts®: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 65
Book 65

Classic Starts®: The Jungle Book

Run with the jungle animals in this illustrated chapter-book retelling of The Jungle Book, part of the bestselling Class... MoreClassic Starts®: The Jungle Book

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 66
Book 66

Classic Starts®: Around the World in Eighty Days

Travel worldwide in this illustrated chapter-book retelling of Around the World in Eighty Days, part of the bestselling ... MoreClassic Starts®: Around the World in Eighty Days

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 67
Book 67

Classic Starts®: Monkey King

An illustrated chapter-book retelling of the Monkey King's adventures from Journey to the West—part of the Classic Start... MoreClassic Starts®: Monkey King

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 68
Book 68

Classic Starts®: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Tom Sawyer’s energetic antics—treasure hunting, fishing, and general mischief-making—have captured the imaginations of c... MoreClassic Starts®: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 69
Book 69

Classic Starts®: Great Expectations

Young Pip seems destined to follow in his family’s humble footsteps. Then one day, an anonymous gift suddenly transforms... MoreClassic Starts®: Great Expectations

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 70
Book 70

Classic Starts®: Pinocchio

The young puppet Pinocchio dreams of becoming a real boy. But whenever he tries to prove himself worthy of the transform... MoreClassic Starts®: Pinocchio

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 71
Book 71

Classic Starts®: Don Quixote

An abridged and illustrated chapter book retelling of Don Quixote, part of the bestselling Classic Starts® series that h... MoreClassic Starts®: Don Quixote

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 72
Book 72

Classic Starts®: Oliver Twist

An abridged and illustrated chapter book retelling of Oliver Twist, part of the bestselling Classic Starts® series that ... MoreClassic Starts®: Oliver Twist

(0 reviews)
Review
Book 73
Book 73

Classic Starts®: The War of the Worlds

An abridged and illustrated chapter book retelling of the sci-fi classic—part of the bestselling Classic Starts® series ... MoreClassic Starts®: The War of the Worlds

(0 reviews)
Review
View all Books

New Book

Most Popular Book

Recent Reviews

  • Little Women

    Little Women

    I loved this book because it is a gently classic novel which made me laugh cry and smile all at once. I would recommenced this novel to anyone who wan...

  • Little Women

    Little Women

    Great book that made me cry laugh and smile all at once. I read this book aged 11 and just fell in love with it. It is a heartwarming story with the t...

  • The Wind in the Willows

    The Wind in the Willows

    by AngeH

    The illustrations are beautiful but the story is so slow and the language so old fashioned that we actually gave up half way through. It's a shame bec...