I love discovering charming old public domain books I can read for free on my Kindle. The whole reason I have a Kindle is so I can read these books I wouldn't be able to access otherwise. I have had some winners and some losers: here are some of the winners. I will link to the books on Goodreads, but you can find all of these for free on Amazon or Project Gutenberg.
- The Young Visiters, or Mr Salteena's Plan by Daisy Ashford. This is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I was trying to read bits of it out loud and I couldn't because I was laughing so hard. Daisy Ashford wrote this book in 1890 at the age of nine. I love her concept of high society: nobility living in the Crystal Palace, purple and red satin clothes, posh hotels, and lots of fancy food. A favorite quote: "I shall put some red ruge on my face said Ethel because I am very pale owing to the drains in this house."
- Dandelion Cottage by Carroll Watson Rankin. Such a fun book about four little girls who "rent" a run-down old cottage and fix it up for play. There are actually three more books in this series, wherein they "adopt" a stray toddler, go for an extended camping trip, and go to boarding school. They are all good fun, although some have some stray racist remarks (especially The Adopting of Rosa Marie). Other than that, these would be excellent books for 8- to 13-year-old girls.
- The Cinder Pond by Carroll Watson Rankin. The story of a dirt-poor but endearing little girl who grows up on the shore of Lake Superior.
- Stalky & Co. by Rudyard Kipling. Honestly I didn't understand much of the banter in this book, but I still loved the sheer cleverness of all the boarding school pranks. This book brought out the immature 11-year-old-boy side I didn't know I had.
- The Enchanted Barn by Grace Livingston Hill. A young lady fixes up a barn and moves her family there because they're too poor to live in the city. Served with a side of sappy romance.
- Just Patty by Jean Webster. Another boarding school book! I love them.