Auckland Council Libraries: Retro reads

Retro reads

Go back to the classics these school holidays and read one of the books on our retro-reads list. These books may not be shiny and glossy but they have stood the test of time for a reason. They are just that good (for the big people as well the children). We often have multiple editions as well as abridged or picture book versions of some of the classics, so that those just learning to read can still enjoy our favourites. If we have missed out your favourite, we apologise. There wasn’t room for them all.

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Black Beauty

Anna Sewell

Told from the point of view of a horse in Victorian England, this is an absolute classic and a must-read for all horse lovers.

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The adventures of Tom Sawyer

Mark Twain

Laugh out loud at the adventures of Tom as he and his friends (including Huckleberry Finn) share their lives in 19th Century Missouri, getting up to all sorts of mischief but always showing good heart.

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The Secret Seven

Enid Blyton

I was an obsessive Enid Blyton fan growing up, preferring The Secret Seven to the Famous Five but also devouring some of her other series such as The Magic Faraway Tree, The Wishing Chair, The Twins at St Clares and Malory Towers.

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Johanna Spyri

This story of a Swiss orphan was another one of my favourites growing up. Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates (Mary Mapes Dodge) and Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren) are also set in a world different to the one Kiwi kids grow up in.

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The tower treasure

Franklin W. Dixon

The Tower Treasure, the very first Hardy Boys mystery was first published in 1927. They have since been republished and updated several times, now including adventures at X-games and all the things modern kids can relate to.

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The complete Winnie-the-Pooh

A. A. (Alan Alexander) Milne

Isn’t it strange how talking animals can teach us so much about ourselves. This all time classic is my favourite of this genre which also includes The Wind in the Willows, Just So Stories, Charlotte’s Web and A Bear called Paddington.

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An illustrated treasury of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales

H. C. (Hans Christian) Andersen

The wonder of these fairy tales has delighted both old and young for well over one hundred years. Enjoy either the abridged version or find a volume of the original texts.

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Alice in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

The magic of a different world opens up in this book and its sequel Through the Looking Glass. Other books of magic include Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie), the Narnia Chronicles (C.S. Lewis), The Wizard of Oz (Frank L. Baum) and Mary Poppins (P.L. Travers).

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The runaway settlers

Elsie Locke

Of course I had to include a New Zealand author in the list and it was incredibly difficult to narrow it down to just one. Other options for classic Kiwi tales include Under the Mountain (M. Gee), Alex (T. Duder) and anything by Margaret Mahy.

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Best-loved Bible stories

Wendy Wilkin

Finally, some of the most well-known and best-loved stories are those from the Bible and we have versions for all ages at the library. This is just one of them.

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Auckland Council Libraries:Book list Recommended reading lists about different topics and genres to help you find new books to read.