Books for Girls :: A Closer Look at the Bookshelf

by | Aug 20, 2014 | Anne of Green Gables, Books | 23 comments

After posting pictures of The Big Girls’ Bedroom earlier this month I had a few emails asking if I could share the books that are on their bookshelf.  I thought I would put the list into another post in case anyone else is curious. Most of the books in their room right now were either from my own childhood or given to them as gifts on their birthdays, Christmas or Easter, or sent from their grandparents. (Note: You can find lists of the books we’ve given them on holidays here and birthday gifts listed in the birthday party posts.) We keep all of our saint books on a bookshelf in the hallway and most of the historical fiction with all the other school books.

We’ve been collecting the excellent books from Bethlehem Books for years. The Winged Watchman was one of our first audio books and it is still a favorite of my older boys.  For the girls we’ve collected the Fairchild Series, The Latsch Valley Farm Series and the Sally Series. I have the Bantry Bay Series (The Cottage at Bantry Bay, Francie on the Run, Pegeen) and the Michells Series (The Mitchells: Five For Victory, Canadian Summer, Friendly Gables) stashed away in my closet to give the girls this upcoming Christmas.

Fairchild Series (8-up)

Sally Series (8-up)

Latsch Valley Farm Series (8-up)

The rest of the books on the top shelf are from my childhood collection: Adventures of the Northwoods (Books 1-7 beginning with The Disappearing Stranger), Mandie Books (Books 1-25 beginning with Mandie and the Secret Tunnel), Anne of Green Gables and Emily Collections by L.M. Montgomery, and the Little Women Collection by Louisa May Alcott. (Eight Cousins and Jane of Lantern Hill were moved to a different shelf down below when we added a few more of the Bethlehem Books.)

Our oldest daughter also has this Anne of Green Gables Audio Book.  I’d love to order her a special copy of Anne of Green Gables for her birthday. Does anyone have a favorite edition to recommend? I noticed the new “Puffin in Bloom” edition will be released at the end of the month, I ran across the “Word Cloud Classics” version at Costco, and I was also considering the 8-Book Collection. Any other suggestions?

On the next shelf you’ll find our collection of My Book House, Volumes 1-12, a few favorite picture books (Louisa: The Life of Louisa May Alcott, Beauty and the Beast, The Magic Nesting Doll, The Littlest Matryoshka, and Martina the Beautiful Cockroach), Treasury of Fairy Tales the girl’s copies of The Secret Garden (illustrated by Inga Moore and Tasha Tudor), Inside The Secret Garden, a vintage copy of All-of-a-Kind Family, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Other Stories (a Christmas gift from their grandma), Strawberry Hill, Kathleen: The Celtic Knot, and The Original Girl’s Handy Book.

We love the My Book House Collection and the illustrations are gorgeous. The set includes In the Nursery, Story Time, Up One Pair of Stairs, Through the Gate, Over the Hills, Through Fairy Halls, the Magic Garden, Flying Sales, The Treasure Chest, From the Tower Window, In Shining Armor, and Halls of Fame. You can read more about the My Book House collection here.

Twinkle Toes has started reading from In the Nursery (Book 1) to Rose which includes Nursery Rhymes, Rhymes from Shakespeare, and the beautiful story of Mary and the Christ-Child. 

In the corner of the next shelf down you’ll find our collection of St. Mary’s Messenger Magazines. If you are looking for a Catholic Magazine for children these are excellent.

They also have a collection of small books and journals, Sisters of the Last Straw, some of The Bobbsey Twin books, The Family Under the Bridge and Bound for Oregon (which are usually with our History books), Mandy, Caddie Woodlawn, Sweet Little Ladies and the Secret at Berry Creek, Stout Hearts and Whizzing Biscuits, Stoop of Mastodon Meadow, Olivia and the Little Way, Ballet Shoes (not pictured since we are currently reading it, the paperback version is a great price right now!), King Oberon’s Forest, Clare’s Costly Cookies, The Little House Cookbook, and a variety of Historical American Girl Just for Fun and Paper Doll Books. (The rest of the Historical American Girl Books are across the room with some of their American Girl doll clothes and accessories.)

On the fourth shelf you’ll find more of my childhood books including all my Nancy Drew books.  There is also a paperback copy of All-of-a-kind Family, Little Town at the Crossroads, The Far Side of the Loch, Little House in the Highlands, Little House by Boston Bay, On the Way Home, and West from Home. There is also my well loved box set of Little House on the Prairie books, I read them over and over as a child.

The girls also love my set of The Chronicles of Narnia, but they are currently on the boys’ bookshelf.  I also want to start collecting the Betsy-Tacy books for them, as well as the rest of the All-of-a-Kind Family series. I’m sure there are more books on their beds and around the house but I’m out of time for now. We are heading to town to run a few errands and then it’s time for me to get back to finalizing this year’s school plans!


  1. Emily

    Mandy is such a wonderful book! I love it! I love so many of the books you have on your shelves, but Mandy is by far my favorite. Did you ever read the other book by Julie Andrew Edwards Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles? Another classic. I will have to go and read some of these others.

    2014-08-20 18:12:37

  2. Jana

    I have been an avid Anne fan since I turned 9 and saw Anne of Green Gables on PBS. Our library has a beautiful copy published in 1983 with Jody Lee as the illustrator. I loved the pictures throughout the book. barnes and noble carry a copy:

    It looks like Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside are missing from the collection. Those are two of my favorites (Rilla of Ingleside will make you cry and should be read when studying World War I). Also, just a few years ago the family published a ninth Anne book called the Blythes are Quoted. In the past the book was published in bits and pieces but never whole. It falls between Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside in the first part and the second half is after Rilla of Ingleside. All the stories were written by L.M. Montgomery and not a ghost writer or fan of her work.

    I love the My Book House books. Did you know that with each reprint over the years they would take out and add stories? My dad had the blue copies of the books from the 1950s and I loved the stories, especially the poem White Horses. Imagine my surprise when I buy the white copies of the book and find the poem gone and replaced. I was so sad. Since then, I've been trying to find the blue books.

    If pioneer books are a favorite, your girls might enjoy a book called Bread Sister of Sinking Creek. I don't know the author. In the back of the book is a recipe for making sourdough starter and sourdough.

    2014-08-20 19:25:46

  3. Christine M.

    What a great collection of books! Do your daughters have a favorite series out of them? I have slowly been collecting books for my daughter for when she is older, and these provide some great suggestions. Have you ever read the Happy Hollister series? I enjoyed those as a child, so we are gathering some of those (very slowly, as I think they are out of print.) God bless, and thanks for sharing!

    2014-08-20 21:00:15

  4. Jessica Gordon

    You know, my daughter has read (and LOVED!) Mandy (she received it last Christmas ) but I still haven't read it yet! I am going to have to pull it off their shelf and read it soon. And I'm adding Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles to their wish list right now. Thanks for the suggestion!

    2014-08-20 21:47:42

  5. Jessica Gordon

    Ooh! Thank you so much for all the suggestions Jana! I was able to find the Anne of Green Gables illustrated by Jody Lee over at Amazon for the same discounted price and eligible for Prime shipping. Yay!! I think I'm going to order it for her.

    I'm still considering the box set as well. My books are falling apart and I love that the current box set includes Rainbow Valley and Rilla of Ingleside too. I read them when I was younger – I probably borrowed them from the library or they are still at my parent's – but I think it's start rereading!

    I noticed that about the My Book House series, when I read the article I linked to in the post. That is really too bad that they had to revise the books over the years to make them more "politically correct." ugh! I hope you are able to find the blue copies you are looking for!

    And thanks for the suggestion of Bread Sister of Sinking Creek. It looks like it is out of print (other than the kindle edition) but our library has a copy that I just reserved. 🙂

    2014-08-20 21:58:30

  6. Jessica Gordon

    No, we haven't read the Happy Hollister series! And it looks like some of them have been republished in the past few years. They do look like books my children would enjoy too. I'll have to see if our library carries any of them. Thanks!

    Of all the books in the girls' bedroom, it's still the American Girl books that they read over and over, especially my 9 year old. We are going to work on adding in more variety this upcoming school year! 🙂

    2014-08-20 22:06:40

  7. Beth

    Yes! I too have such great memories of reading Mandy, The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables. I loved Caddie Woodlawn too! What happy memories!

    2014-08-20 22:35:24

  8. Krista

    Wonderful collection! Hopefully some day my daughter might enjoy reading a few of these (once we get the reading part learned well enough)! As a side note, the angel in the first picture is also in my daughter's room – a gift from her Godfather at her baptism! Blessings!

    2014-08-20 22:42:15

  9. Jessica Gordon

    The angels were given to the girls from my Aunt Bridget, when she visited us at the hospital following their births!

    2014-08-20 23:35:16

  10. Krista

    Neat! I really like The Book House collection! They look wonderful! I wish they were back in print!

    2014-08-21 01:04:43

  11. Jessica Gordon

    While I was over at Amazon looking for links I noticed that the first couple have been republished by Dover, but I'm not sure if they have been revised again or not. Here are the links to the new editions of In the Nursery and Story Time.

    2014-08-21 01:13:09

  12. Krista

    SHAAAZAM!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU, JESSICA! Just checked out those links – boy, this is tempting now!!!!! They would be great read a-louds and readers for my daughter as she works on her reading. Books and LEGO sets are our temptations!!!! 🙂 I'll definitely link through your affiliate if we get them! Thanks!!!!

    2014-08-21 01:20:13

  13. Terra

    The angel statues are very pretty, and I am sure your children enjoy reading these treasured books.

    2014-08-21 03:01:53

  14. Young_Momma

    Thanks so much, Jessica, for taking the time to put this post together. My oldest son and my oldest daughter are my CrAzY readers, so I will have one happy girl this year as she can just pick out a few books at a time for us to get her at the library. 🙂 Did you do a post like this for your boys' favorite books??

    2014-08-21 04:38:33

  15. elizabeth

    Awesome! Thank you, Jessica!

    2014-08-21 12:34:40

  16. Jessica Gordon

    I don't yet, but I'm planning to start working on one soon. 🙂

    2014-08-21 15:26:50

  17. Eliana

    Wow! Did you just steal a bunch of books from my bookshelf when I was growing up? Seriously, I have read and loved a lot of these growing up (and still enjoy many of them)–Lousia May Alcott, Anne of Green Gables series, Mandie mysteries, Nancy Drew, American Girl, Caddie Woodlawn, etc. There are some other books I'd recommend to your daughters that they might enjoy:

    Understood Betsy (sweet and funny story about an orphaned city girl adjusting to life on a farm in Vermont in the early 1900's)

    A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (a rich girl ends up as a poor servant in a boarding school)

    Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary (funny stories about Ramona, who is always getting into trouble, and her big sister Beezus, the "good girl")

    Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, in the original version, like this one. (a girl is sent from her family farm to live with two old aunts, one of whom is very strict) Don't get this edition which has been re-edited by Eric Wiggin and the plot changed.

    Heidi (a little girl who lives with her grandfather in the Alps is taken away to live at a rich girl's house in the city)

    The Wheel on the School (six Dutch children try to figure out why storks have stopped coming to their village)

    Calico Captive (a frontier girl is captured by Indians during the French and Indian War)

    To Number the Stars (two girls in Denmark, one Danish and one Jewish, work together to save the Jewish family from the Nazis)

    2014-08-21 20:59:00

  18. Eliana

    P.S. Here's a few more I had forgotten:

    The Borrowers (and sequels) (miniature people living in England borrow items from humans, and sometimes run into trouble doing so)

    And how could I forget Charlotte's Web? This book had me convinced that I wanted to live on a farm when I was ten years old.

    2014-08-21 21:09:00

  19. Colby

    We read the Mitchell series aloud this year, and loved them. They're really charming. What a perfect Christmas present you're giving your children! 🙂 (In fact, I've ordered/tucked away the second two in the series to give my sister-in-law for Christmas, that's how much we enjoyed them.) (We were able to get them through interlibrary loan; they're actually from the Steubenville library collection. We also enjoyed Nino, by Angelo Valenti AND-I can't recommend this highly enough: Philomena by Kate Seredy (author of the Good Master), if you haven't already read it yet. Colby

    2014-08-22 16:53:35

  20. judy

    Jessica, thank you so much. Especially since I was one of the readers who immediately asked you to share. I have been looking for a nice edition or set of Anne of Green Gables as well so I am glad you put that out there. I am also on the lookout for a nice copy of The Little Women series, so if you or anyone else knows of one, please share!

    2014-08-22 22:42:24

  21. Michelle

    Jessica, I was wondering if you could recommend some early readers for boys. My son is learning to read and I would love to hear your suggestions ! Thanks for all you do your blog is amazing God bless!

    2014-11-02 16:30:12

  22. Karla in MN

    Many of my favorites! We LOVE the Hilda Van Stockum Books…I also recommend Baby Island, and you and your oldest Daughter would probably love The Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Doss ( I first read it at age 11, and every year since then!) Love Betsy- Tacy and the All of a Kind Family Series. Yes yes yes to the Borrowers series. The Saturdays and the sequels…Gone away Lake, & Return to Gone Away, The Penderwicks series…

    2016-03-23 03:16:49

  23. Donna Patton

    You need The Search for the Madonna And my other books on your shelves . Lol. The sequel The Mystery in the Maze is coming soon.

    2016-07-02 03:10:16


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