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Classic Fiction

Fiction is good. It's not just lies—lies are the dishonest things we tell other people out of selfishness, while fiction is (or should be) those stories used to reveal truth. Not that all stories have to be tied up with a neat moral at the end. Truth wears many faces, and our favorite stories are as varied, and often as unresolved, as life itself.

A good book always has something to say, however. Even if the message is as simple as "it's good to have friends" or "growing up is difficult no matter who you are," there is a message and it can be understood. There are books that are all plot....but they aren't good books. There are books that are all blatant morality and character-building....also not good books, at least in the sense we mean here.

For those of you about to stop reading, know this: we aren't promoting immoral books. Just because there isn't an obvious "and Johnny was happy because he knew that stealing was bad" ending doesn't mean we support kids reading about worldly characters doing worldly things as though this was normal and healthy. But we also don't think Pathway Readers are the only appropriate fiction available to children.

What we mean by "good book" is one which accurately depicts human nature, demonstrates an engaging style, displays a consistent worldview, and doesn't use cheap tricks to get readers interested. That excludes a lot of books. It also includes a lot of books, and they typically aren't the ones filling the new release racks at Barnes & Noble.

We emphasize classic fiction at Exodus Books. That's not to say we shun all modern fiction, but typically good writing survives for years and years and years on its own merits, and those books that fit that description can be trusted more than those still in their infancy. Genres we find particularly problematic are those built around cheap formulas and plots with little to say (fantasy, sci-fi and mystery series come immediately to mind).

Books that rely on non-stop action and thrills are also avoided by our charming and discerning book-buying staff. Kids need to learn to enjoy reading because it's good for them and offers new ways to look at the world, not simply for a book's entertainment value. It's not enough just to read—if you read a steady diet of trash or sub-standard fiction you're really no better off than watching hours of television.

There is a difference between children's and adult literature. Kids shouldn't be sheltered, but they also aren't prepared to deal with the themes and darker elements adults must confront. Most of the titles in this section are "safe"—not a lot of extreme violence, sexual content, profanity, etc. here (though there is some overlap with the adult and children's genres).

Along the same lines, we don't encourage letting kids read abridged versions of classics or advanced material. Everything we offer is unabridged unless explicitly stated—it's far better to have kids read stories at their level than to have them read edited and often misrepresented versions of books not intended for children. If they read Charlotte's Web and Rufus M. as kids, they'll be ready for Great Expectations when they're older.

Nowhere in the Bible does God say "Read fiction. It'll make you a better person." But neither does He say "Have a time set aside for daily devotions. It's the only path to true spirituality." Simply because there's no command in Scripture doesn't mean a particular activity isn't a really good idea. Not that reading the Bible and reading fiction are in any way on the same level. Reading God helps us understand Him better—reading fiction helps us understand ourselves.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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4,048 Items found Print
"Stand Back," Said the Elephant, "I'm Going to Sneeze!"
by Patricia Thomas
from HarperCollins
for Nursery-1st grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
100 Cupboards
by N. D. Wilson
from Random House
Fantasy for 3rd-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: A07-02A)
100 Cupboards
by N. D. Wilson
from Random House
Fantasy for 3rd-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: A07-02A)
100 Cupboards - Paperback Trilogy
by N. D. Wilson
from Random House Books for Young Readers
for 3rd-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: A07-02A)
100-Year-Old Secret
Sherlock Files #1
by Tracy Barrett
1st edition from Square Fish Publishing
for 4th-8th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
101 Dalmatians
by Dodie Smith
Reissue from Puffin Books
for 3rd-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
101 G.A. Henty Novels
by G. A. Henty
for 6th-10th grade
in G. A. Henty Books (Location: A05-04A)
18 Penny Goose
An I Can Read Book Level 3
by Sally M. Walker
from HarperCollins
Realistic fiction for 2nd-4th grade
in I Can Read Books (Location: CPB-04B)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Illustrated Junior Library
by Jules Verne
from Grosset & Dunlap
Science Fiction for 5th-10th grade
in Science Fiction (Location: A07-01A)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Sterling Classics
by Jules Verne
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 5th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: A04-04A)
2001: A Space Odyssey
by Arthur C. Clarke
from ROC Science Fiction
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
2010: Odyssey Two
by Arthur C. Clarke
from Del Rey
for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
by Dr. Seuss
from Random House
for 2nd-4th grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
77 Zebra
Adventures of an Arctic Missionary Book 3
by Gloria Repp
from Bob Jones University Press
for 4th-6th grade
in BJU Journey Books & Booklinks (Location: B10-02D)
Abandoned on the Wild Frontier
Trailblazer Books
by Dave and Neta Jackson
from Bethany House
for 3rd-7th grade
in Trailblazer Books (Location: A11-01C)
Abel's Island
by William Steig
from Square Fish Publishing
Animal Fantasy for 3rd-5th grade
1977 Newbery Honor Book
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: A07-02A)
About Average
by Andrew Clements
Reprint from Atheneum
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
Abuela
by Arthur Dorros
from Puffin Books
for Preschool-1st grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Acceptable Time
Wrinkle in Time Series #5
by Madeleine L'Engle
from Square Fish Publishing
Fantasy for 4th-8th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: A07-02A)
Accidental Voyage
Mr. Pipes Series #4
by Doug Bond
from P&R Publishing
for 5th-8th grade
in History of Hymns (Location: C06-03F)
Across America on an Emigrant Train
by Jim Murphy
from Scholastic Inc.
for 2nd-5th grade
in Immigration & Emigration (Location: B01-22B)
Across Five Aprils
by Irene Hunt
from Berkley Books
Historical Fiction for 6th-9th grade
1965 Newbery Honor Book
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
Across Five Aprils
by Irene Hunt
from Berkley Books
Historical Fiction for 6th-9th grade
1965 Newbery Honor Book
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
Adam and His Kin
by Ruth Beechick
from Mott Media
Historical Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in Ancient History (Location: B02-02A)
Adam of the Road
Puffin Newbery Library
by Elizabeth Gray
from Puffin Books
Historical Fiction for 4th-8th grade
1943 Newbery Medal winner
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Adam of the Road
Puffin Modern Classics
by Elizabeth Gray
from Puffin Books
Historical Fiction for 3rd-8th grade
1943 Newbery Medal winner
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Adara
by Beatrice Gormley
from Eerdmans
for 4th-6th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
Adèle & Simon
by Barbara McClintock
from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
for Preschool-1st grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A06-01A)
Adelita
by Tomie DePaola
Reprint from Puffin Books
for Nursery-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Admiral Hornblower in the West Indies
Hornblower Series #11
by C. S. Forester
from Little, Brown & Company
Nautical fiction for 8th-Adult
in Historical Fiction (Location: A05-01A)
Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Conan Conan Doyle
from Penguin Classics
for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
Sterling Classics
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 7th-12th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: A04-04A)
Adventures of an Arctic Missionary Trilogy
by Gloria Repp
from Bob Jones University Press
Missionary Stories for 4th-6th grade
in BJU Journey Books & Booklinks (Location: B10-02D)
Adventures of Bob White
Famous Bedtime Story Books #19
by Thornton W. Burgess
Illustrated from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Adventures of Bobby Raccoon
Dover Children's Thrift Classics
by Thornton W. Burgess
New edition from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Adventures of Buster Bear
Dover Children's Thrift Classics
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel
by Thornton W. Burgess
Revised ed. from Dover Publications
for 3rd-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse
Dover Children's Thrift Classics
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Adventures of Grandfather Frog
Dover Children's Thrift Classics
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Adventures of Happy Jack
Dover Thrift
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 1st-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Dover Publications
Realistic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Puffin Classics
by Mark Twain
from Puffin Books
for 6th-10th grade
in Adventure Stories (Location: A04-01A)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Sterling Classics
by Mark Twain & Scott McKowen
from Sterling Publishing Co.
for 6th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: A04-04A)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
3rd edition from W. W. Norton and Co.
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
from Bantam Books
Realistic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Adventures of Jerry Muskrat
Dover Children's Thrift Classics
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Adventures of Jimmy Skunk
Dover Children's Thrift Classics
by Thornton W. Burgess
Una Rep from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Adventures of Johnny Chuck
Dover Thrift
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
for 1st-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Adventures of Mr. Mocker
Dover Thrift
by Thornton W. Burgess
Illustrated from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Adventures of Old Man Coyote
Dover Children's Thrift Classics
by Thornton W. Burgess
Later Printing Used from Dover Publications
for 2nd-4th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
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