Educator Classic Library

Well-read parents are notorious for foisting classic literature on their kids at an early age, whether those kids are really ready for it or not. Not only can the themes be difficult, the words themselves are often incomprehensible, and referencing anything unfamiliar in a dictionary isn't usually high on a young person's list of priorities.

Fortunately, the Educator's Classic Library produced a set of thirty books from 1968-70 (sadly, they're out of print) that paired classic novels with explanatory annotations in a kid-friendly format. Each book is tall, hardcover, and uniquely illustrated, with sidebar notes defining terms, describing flora and fauna, and when appropriate illustrating objects. 

Most of the texts are complete and unabridged, so kids get the full experience of reading the book without the headache of being lost half the time. An afterword at the end of every volume (called a "Backword") offers further context for the story, as well as biographical information about the author and notes on his cultural and social environment.

Don't let the somewhat old-fashioned covers (all of them by Don Irwin) fool you: these are fantastic books that are more likely to pique an elementary or middle school student's interest in classic literature than a more bland text-only version. At the same time, you don't have to sacrifice the beauty of the original work, or worry about gaps and holes the author never intended to leave.

Available Editions:

Three different publishers (Classic Press, Classic Publishing, and Children's Press) released versions of these books, and the quality is not standard.

Those by Classic Press are the most common, but unfortunately, of the lowest quality. These include the series name on the back covers, and twelve of the thirty titles numbered, with the rest unnumbered. They include only b/w illustrations on relatively cheap paper (often quite tanned and brittle now) and have glued bindings. (These are the versions we list on our site, but we aren't going to add all three versions, so you may get the other publishers when you order.)

The books from Classic Publishing are of nicer quality. The covers are slightly shiny, the books have better quality paper, and the illustrations are two-toned. None are numbered and they are identified as Educator Classic Library on the back covers.

Finally, those by Children's Press are NOT identified with the series name. These are of the best quality, with still nicer paper and sewn bindings (though only b/w illustrations). We rarely see these.

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31 Items found Print
ECL: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Educator Classic Library #2
by Jules Verne, illustrated by Don Irwin
Complete and Unabridged Edition from Classic Press
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain, illustrated by Al Davidson
from BiblioLife
for 4th-8th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Brigitte Bryan
from Classic Publishing Corporation
for 3rd-6th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Andersen's Fairy Tales
by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Brigitte Bryan
from Classic Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Arabian Nights (abridged)
Educator Classic Library #8
by Andrew Lang (selections and edits), illustrated by William Dempster
from Classic Press
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Around the World in Eighty Days
by Jules Verne, illustrated by Don Irwin
for 3rd-8th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Black Arrow
by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Don Irwin
from Classic Press
Historical Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Black Beauty
Educator's Classic Library
by Anna Sewell, illustrated by Michael Rios
from Classic Press
for 3rd-7th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Book of King Arthur
by Howard Pyle, illustrated by Ron King
for 4th-8th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Call of the Wild
Educator Classic Library #11
by Jack London, illustrated by Ron King
Complete and Unabridged Edition from Classic Press
Action/Adventure for 7th-10th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Captains Courageous
by Rudyard Kipling, illustrated by Dick Cole
from Classic Publishing Corporation
for 4th-8th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (abridged)
Educator Classic Library #7
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, illustrated by Don Irwin
from Classic Press
for 8th-Adult
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Gold Bug and Other Tales of Mystery (abridged)
by Edgar Allan Poe, illustrated by Al Davidson
from Classic Publishing Corporation
for 5th-9th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Gulliver's Travels (abridged)
by Jonathan Swift, illustrated by Don Irwin
for 3rd-8th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates
by Mary Mapes Dodge, illustrated by Dennis A. Dierks
for 3rd-6th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Jungle Book
Educators Classic Library #5
by Rudyard Kipling, illustrated by William Dempster
from Classic Press
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Kidnapped
by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Don Irwin
for 4th-9th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
Educator Classic Library #9
by Howard Pyle, illustrated by Don Irwin
Complete and Unabridged Edition from Classic Press
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Paul Bunyan
Educator Classic Library #12
by William Dempster & Don Irwin, illustrators
from Classic Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Pinocchio
Educator Classic Library #3
by Carlo Collodi, translated by Joseph Walker and illustrated by William Dempster
Complete and Unabridged Edition from Classic Press
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Prince and the Pauper
by Mark Twain, illustrated by Don Irwin
for 4th-8th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Sleeping Beauty and other Tales
by Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Wayne Brown
from Classic Press
for 1st-6th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Swiss Family Robinson (abridged)
Educator Classic Library #4
by Johann Wyss, translated by William H. G. Kingston and illustrated by Don Irwin
from Classic Press
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: The Heroes
Educator Classic Library #10
by Charles Kingsley, illustrated by Ron King
Complete and Unabridged Edition from Classic Press
Action/Adventure for 7th-10th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Time Machine & Invisible Man
by H. G. Wells, illustrated by Dick Cole
from Classic Press
Science Fiction/Dystopian literature for 7th-Adult
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Treasure Island
Educator Classic Library #1
by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Don Irwin
Complete and Unabridged Edition from Classic Press
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Two Little Savages
by Ernest Thompson Seton
from Classic Press
for 5th-8th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Virginian
Educator Classic Library #6
by Owen Wister, illustrated by Don Irwin
Complete and Unabridged Edition from Classic Press
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: White Fang
by Jack London, illustrated by Dick Cole
for 3rd-8th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
ECL: Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum, illustrated by Brigitte Bryan
for 3rd-6th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)
Educator's Classic Library - 12 Volume Set
from Classic Press
for 3rd-10th grade
in Educator Classic Library (Location: VIN-ECL)