Books offer us solace and guidance in times of need.
They tell stories of people who have gone on amazing journeys and encountered wondrous adventures, but their true power lies in their ability to deliver inspiring messages about life and its challenges.
Classic books are particularly beloved for this reason, as they contain timeless lessons that still resonate today.
The Moors, Misselthwaite, and Hope: The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden is a timeless classic by author Frances Hodgson Burnett. It tells the story of Mary Lennox, an orphaned girl who moves from India to Misselthwaite Manor in England and discovers a secret garden hidden on the moors.
- Appreciate your life’s journey – The Secret Garden reminds us that we all have setbacks in life, but it is important to remember and appreciate the journey we have taken to get where we are now.
- Have faith in yourself – Mary learns to trust her abilities, which is an inspiring reminder for us all that if you believe in yourself and push through difficult times, anything is possible!
- Stay curious and explore – Throughout the book, Mary passionately explores her new home and discovers many secrets along the way. This teaches us to always stay curious about the world around us and look for hidden wonders everywhere we go.
- Embrace change – As Mary adapts to her new environment, she learns that embracing change can be a positive thing which is a valuable lesson for us all as changes can help lead us down new paths of discovery in life!
- Find joy in helping others – By helping Colin heal both emotionally and physically, Mary finds joy in helping others which reminds us to enjoy the rewards of being supportive and compassionate towards those around us!
Stained Gloves, Sisters, and Sweet Dreams: Little Women
Little Women is a classic novel written by Louisa May Alcott in the late 19th century. It follows the lives of four sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy – as they navigate life’s ups and downs in their New England home.
- Believe in the power of family – Little Woman conveys a beautiful message about the importance of family and how unconditional love can help us through difficult times.
- Persevere – The March sisters are determined to pursue their dreams and aspirations, even when faced with resistance from those around them which shows us that it is important to always persevere in our endeavors no matter what.
- Take risks – Despite societal expectations, Jo boldly follows her passions instead of playing them safe, teaching us that taking risks can lead to amazing opportunities and experiences.
- Embrace your individuality – Each sister is unique in her way, showing us that it’s important to celebrate our strengths and embrace who we are as individuals.
- Appreciate life’s little moments – In Little Women, daily moments such as staging plays or attending parties turn into treasured memories which remind us to appreciate each moment we have as they all add up to make our lives meaningful.
Star-Crossed Egos, Elopements, and Engaging Characters: Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice is a romantic novel written by Jane Austen, and published in 1813. It follows the lives of the Bennet family and their five daughters as they navigate love, society, and class expectations during early 19th century England.
- Love your family – Despite familial tensions, Elizabeth eventually reconciles with her family which reminds us to appreciate our families no matter what differences we may have between them.
- Respect others’ opinions – Even though she often clashes with other characters in the novel, Elizabeth learns to look past those disagreements and respect their perspectives which reminds us all to not be so quick to judge but instead open our eyes and minds to different points of view before forming an opinion.
- Use your wit – Elizabeth never fails to make clever observations that shine a light on how using wit and humor can help us overcome any difficult situation we may face!
- Be humble yet confident – We need to maintain our dignity while remaining open-minded and understanding as it will help us achieve more than if we were overconfident or too proud.
- Know when to let go of pride – The novel teaches us that there are times when letting go of our pride is necessary to create healthy relationships and achieve true happiness.
Green Hair, Gilbert, and Great Friendships: Anne of Green Gables
The Anne of Green Gables series is a beloved children’s series written by Lucy Maud Montgomery in the early 20th century. The books follow the life of Anne Shirley, an orphan girl who is taken in by elderly siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, and her adventures with her friends at school.
- Live in the present – Anne of Green Gables teaches us to not dwell too much on the past but instead to focus on living life in the present moment, finding joy in all that is happening around us right now.
- Believe in yourself – Despite facing many obstacles, Anne still manages to remain confident in her abilities and never wavers from what she believes she can accomplish. This is an inspiring reminder for us all to believe in ourselves no matter what life throws at us!
- Cherish friendship – Throughout the series, Anne develops strong relationships with her friends which shows us how important it is to build meaningful friendships and cherish them as we go through life’s journey together.
- Overcome adversity – No matter how dire the situation, Anne rises to every challenge that comes her way proving that no matter what life throws at you, with courage and perseverance you can triumph over any obstacle.
- Hold Your Head High – Anne constantly works hard and finds creative solutions to her problems which teaches us that with determination and a positive attitude, even the toughest of tasks can be conquered.
The Miracle of Finding Strength in Old Tales: Aesop’s Fables
Aesop’s Fables is a collection of stories written by the ancient Greek author Aesop in the 6th century BC. They feature talking animals and other creatures with human characteristics who interact with each other, making these stories both entertaining, and thought-provoking and often have a moral or lesson at their core.
- Always think before you act – Aesop’s Fable of the Ant and Grasshopper is a classic reminder that it pays to plan ahead, especially when life gets hard.
- Appearances can be deceiving – Aesop’s Fable of The Fox and the Grapes shows us that sometimes the things we think are unattainable may be within reach if we just look closer.
- Quality always wins out over quantity – In Aesop’s Fable of the Fox and the Stork, we learn that it’s quality that matters most in life and not necessarily how much of something we have or do.
- Stick with what you know best – The moral of Aesop’s Fable of the Hare and the Tortoise reminds us to focus on our strengths, rather than try to emulate someone else.
- Kindness will get you far – Aesop’s Fable of The Lion and the Mouse teaches us that no act of kindness is too small and it will often come back to reward us in unexpected ways.
Frontier, Farming, and Family: The Little House on the Prairie Series
The Little House of the Prairie Series is a set of nine novels written by Laura Ingalls Wilder in the early 20th century. These books tell the story of life on the American frontier as experienced by the Ingalls family and their struggles to survive in an unforgiving environment.
- Appreciate the small things in life – The Little House on the Prairie series reminds us to appreciate the seemingly small moments of joy that we experience every day and to find peace in them.
- Persevere through adversity – Throughout the series, the Ingalls family faces many struggles but never gives up and is always determined to keep going no matter how hard it gets. This shows us that if we persevere, eventually our hard work will pay off in the end.
- Respect nature’s power – As seen in the stories with pestilence, fires, floods, and pounding blizzards, the Ingalls family learns to respect and understand nature’s power and so should we too.
- Put family first – Above all else, Ma and Pa put their family first always making sure that their children are given everything they need despite sometimes difficult circumstances. This is an inspiring reminder to make sure we always prioritize our loved ones over everything else in life.
- Find the courage within yourself – Through her experiences, like with her ma and the bear, or her pa and the bear!- Laura discovers her strength and courage which is inspiring for us all, to find whatever fearlessness lies within ourselves!
A Changing World: The Last of the Mohicans
The Last of the Mohicans is a historical novel written by James Fenimore Cooper in the early 19th century. Set during the French and Indian War, it follows the journey of Hawkeye and his Mohican friends as they attempt to survive a dangerous and changing world.
- Think ahead and plan for the future. Hiamovi, the leader of the Mohican tribe, taught his children to think strategically so they could be prepared to face any challenge.
- Believe in yourself and take risks. Uncas, one of Hiamovi’s sons, decided to join a battle despite being outnumbered and outmatched. His courage inspired others to never give up hope even in difficult times.
- Have faith in your allies and family members. The Mohicans showed loyalty towards each other and had a strong sense of camaraderie even when confronted with danger from outside forces.
- Adapt to changing circumstances and use resources wisely. The Mohicans learned how to use the landscape around them as protection or an advantage when faced with adversity. They quickly adapted their tactics when needed to outwit their opponents or survive unexpected challenges.
- Work together as a team and promote cooperation rather than conflict. The Mohicans worked together to protect their tribe, proving that teamwork is essential for success no matter how intimidating the task may seem at first glance!
Injustice, Obstacles, and Resilience: Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre is a novel written by Charlotte Bronte in the mid-19th century. It follows the story of Jane, an orphaned girl who faces mistreatment and injustice in her life but persists to find her way and happiness.
- Resilience and determination. Despite a difficult childhood and many obstacles along her path to finding a place in the world she loves, Jane never gives up on pursuing her dreams.
- Believe in your worth and don’t let others define you. Jane refuses to be defined by societal expectations or other people’s cruel judgments and instead follows her inner conviction.
- Stand up against injustice and fight for what is right no matter how hard it may be. Jane speaks out against oppressive systems and defends those who can not defend themselves.
- Find strength in yourself even when faced with adversity or loss. No matter how daunting the adversity or painful the loss, Jane finds a way to keep going with courage and perseverance at her side.
- Following your passions and passion will lead you to success eventually if you stay true to yourself and don’t give up hope even in dark times. As she learns throughout her journey, if you follow your passions with conviction and stay true to yourself, success will come eventually–even if it doesn’t come as quickly as you’d like it to!
These stories all share valuable lessons about life that can be applied to our own lives and illustrate the importance of:
- resilience in times of hardship,
- putting family first,
- having faith in yourself and allies,
- adapting to changing circumstances and using resources wisely,
- working together as a team,
- believing in your worth,
- standing up against injustice,
- finding strength in yourself even when faced with adversity or loss and following your passions.
By looking to these classic stories for wisdom, we can be inspired to live our lives with courage, kindness, laughter, and conviction.
We can also draw strength from these stories and use them as reminders of what is possible if we never give up hope.
No matter what life throws at us, we always have the potential to achieve success if we keep persevering!
Aesop. (n.d.). Aesop’s Fables. Gutenberg Project. Retrieved from https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/18382
Alcott, L. M. (1868). Little Women. Boston, MA: Roberts Brothers.
Austen, J. (1813). Pride and Prejudice. London: T. Egerton.
Bronte, Charlotte. (1847). Jane Eyre. New York, NY: Harper & Brothers.
Burnett, F. H. (1911). The Secret Garden. London: William Heinemann.
Cooper, James Fenimore. (1826) (1992.ed.). The Last of the Mohicans. Herts, UK: Wordsworth Editions.
Montgomery, L. M. (1908). Anne of Green Gables. Toronto: McClleland & Stewart.
Wilder, L. (1935). Little house on the prairie. New York, NY: Harper & Brothers.