Introducing Yesterday's Classics

Your headquarters for the best classic literature for children, Yesterday's Classics offers a rich collection of books from a wide variety of genres, with special emphasis on history, literature, and natural history. While used extensively as school reading, Yesterday's Classics titles work equally well as independent reading, and family read-alouds.

High standards govern everything Yesterday's Classics does, from selection of books to attractive presentation of texts in whatever form you choose to read them. Yesterday's Classics makes titles available as printed books, as ebooks in both Kindle and EPUB format, and as online texts through Gateway to the Classics.

Yesterday's Classics...

  • Time proven

Yesterday's Classics offers books that have stood the test of time. These classics have lasted because they appeal on many different levels. They are full of ideas to ponder, often expressed in exquisite language, frequently with ethical issues to consider. With more to discover at each reading, they are appreciated at all ages, by both parents and children.

  • A child's rightful heritage

Yesterday's Classics provides a grounding in traditional literature—fairy tales, fables, nursery rhymes, poetry, mythology, and Bible stories—that no child should grow up without. It is their rightful heritage. Lacking it, they will be at a loss to understand allusions in common parlance. Our popular Reading-Literature Readers serve as a great introduction to these genres.

  • Elevated language

Yesterday's Classics provides a boost to children’s language acquisition with books rich in advanced vocabulary and increasingly complex syntactic construction, capitalizing on the phenomenal capacity for language acquisition that children are born with. For more about how children delight in unfamiliar words and phrases, see our blog post Reading Beyond The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

  • Attractive illustrations

Yesterday's Classics publishes a good number of books with no illustrations whatsoever. Consider these unillustrated titles an opportunity for children to exercise their imaginations, to turn words into pictures in their own minds, and perhaps even to create illustrations themselves. In the books that are illustrated, pay attention to the various styles artists of a century ago employed: careful pen and ink drawings (Howard Pyle), elaborate color creations (Walter Crane), quick sketches (Lucy Fitch Perkins), soft watercolors (Beatrix Potter), and vibrant productions (Arthur Rackham).

  • A wide range of genres

Yesterday's Classics makes it easy to introduce your children to a variety of genres, beyond the usual categories of picture books and fiction, in order to awaken their curiosity and give them an opportunity to discover new interests and new ways of expression. Learn how to spread a broad feast for your children by reading our blog post Beginning To Spread a Broad Feast

  • Into the broader world

Yesterday's Classics introduces children to the wonders of nature and places near and far with books that use story to open a window into the ground beneath their feet and lands across the ocean. Children, with their interest aroused, absorb facts readily in the context of a story. To experience this for yourself, read our blog post Stories That Open Doors.

  • A pageant of history

Yesterday's Classics provides many resources for introducing historical figures to your children through short anecdotes of their daring adventures, vividly told. "It is a great thing to possess a pageant of history in the background of one's thoughts." says Charlotte Mason.Using brief accounts of historical characters that appeal to the child's imagination and love of adventure typically excites interest in further historical inquiry. Our blog post First Steps in History suggests a way to begin. 

  • Character building

Yesterday's Classics offers many books in a variety of genres that sharpen the moral sensibilities of their readers. In history and biography, hero tales and fiction they encounter many stories where characters are being tested, considering their course of action under trying circumstances. Readers become vicarious participants in the drama, dismayed at the failures of the hero and cheered by their successes. Their conscience is molded by repeated encounters of this sort. For more about the use of books in fostering growth in virtue, consult Books That Build Character

Recent Print Releases, Updated April 2022

Our Ebook Collections

In addition to publishing individual print and ebooks, we also offer ebooks in treasuries and sets. These packages are carefully curated and contain anywhere from 4 to 225 titles. Each treasury has dozens of books, while the sets are smaller and centered around a particular theme or author.  All treasuries and sets are available in both Kindle and EPUB format, and are priced affordably.

Learn more about our Ebook Treasuries and  Ebook Sets.

Reading Aloud

READING ALOUD is a gift you can give your family that will be enjoyable in the present and influential far into the future. For one child’s experience, read our blog post Growing Up in a Read Aloud Family

From The Reading Mother

by Strickland Gillilan

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be—
I had a Mother who read to me.