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Carly's avatar

Looking for a list of classic books with the subject of child fantasy worlds/exploration?

Asked by Carly (4550points) April 10th, 2011

I’m currently researching ideas for my senior undergraduate capstone in creative writing. One idea was to take profound works of fictional writing and write my own short stories from the POV of a minor character. Right now I’m really interested in doing this with Alice in Wonderland characters as well as those in Peter Pan.

Could you recommend any other works of fiction that you think would be fun/interesting to do this project with? (I’m looking for works that kind of revolve around the idea of adventure, especially pieces that have a lot of characters). thank you so much :)

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26 Answers

MilkyWay's avatar

The Secret Garden?
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory?
Treasure Island?
The Famous Five?
or The Secret Seven?
P.s : Good Luck, and let us know how it’s going. : )

aprilsimnel's avatar

The Phantom Tollbooth

crisw's avatar

The Narnia books.

mrentropy's avatar

Madeline L’Engle’s books. Like Wrinkle In Time. I probably spelled her name wrong.

lifeflame's avatar

I’d love to hear from Tinkerbell.
Or the White Rabbit. What a cool project!

snowberry's avatar

I’m not sure how “profound” this is, but I think all of Beatrix Potter’s books are awesome.

lifeflame's avatar

Oh, What about The Neverending Story? (ignore the movie at all costs)

KateTheGreat's avatar

Bridge to Terabithia.

AmWiser's avatar

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett You could almost write a thesis on this classic.

yankeetooter's avatar

I would say the Narnia Books…

Seelix's avatar

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, like @queenie suggested, would be awesome, as would any of Dahl’s books.

Also, what about Harriet the Spy or one of the Ramona books?

Joker94's avatar

Harry Potter has a plethora of characters to pick from!
I’d also recommend the Prydain Chronicles for the second time in two days, weirdly

Jeruba's avatar

Just checking, @Carly: you’re basing your work on the original writings and not on dramatized versions of these stories, correct?

anartist's avatar

I second the Neverending Story.
And many of British author E Nesbitt’s books like Five Children and It [1902, The Phoenix and the Carpet 1904, [Nesbitt is a post-victorian precurser to J K Rowling]. And of course, the Narnia books. The brits really had a handle on this.

At the Back of the North Wind, The Princess and the Goblin and more works by Scottish author George MacDonald [late 19th century],

The Castle of Grumpy Grouch. [also post Victorian 1908]. The Little Lame Prince 1909.

The collections of fairy stories edited and compiled by Andrew Lang [there must be a dozen books all identified by a color “The Red Fairy Book” “The Blue Fairy Book”
Hans Christian Andersen

The Mrs PiggleWiggle books. [1950s]. She is sort of a witch and children develop odd things that relate to their vices [like black clouds coming out of their mouths if they lie] and have to earn their way free of them, like the little girl has to travel to the castle of grumpy grouch to retrieve her temper.

Where the Wild Things Are—Maurice Sendak 1960s

I read all but Neverending Story as a child and read Neverending Story as an adult.

One of my regrets not having children is not being able to share these beautiful books with them.

anartist's avatar

Enid Blyton [another Brit] wrote a series of adventure books—The Ship of Adventure, The River of Adventure, The Circus of Adventure etc during the 40s and 50s. I loved these as a child.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventure_Series
And what about J R R Tolkien?

For something much more prosaic—the Nancy Drew books and their ilk [Judy Bolton, Dana Sisters, Hardy Boys, Tom Swift] Grossett and Dunlap children’s adventure series with teenage heroes. Nancy Drew books first started appearing in the 1920s and new titles continued through the 60s.

anartist's avatar

@Carly a very important part of Peter Pan and one that relates to his own life is Peter’s attempt to return home through the same window he flew out of as an infant and his mother had left open for his return only to find the window finally closed and return forever barred to him. Through the window he could see his mother with a new baby.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._M._Barrie

In The Little Lame Prince a fairy godmother appears to him and leaves him a dusty grey cloak which turns out to be a travelling cloak/flying carpet.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Little_Lame_Prince_and_his_Travelling_Cloak

BarnacleBill's avatar

Anything by Madeline L’Engle – Wrinkle In Time, Swiftly Tilting Planet, Wind At the Door, Many Waters (the last is one of my favorites!)

jca's avatar

I second the Phantom Tollbooth.

Carly's avatar

@Jeruba yes. I’ll be focusing on the original works. For example: J.M. Barrie’s version of Peter Pan (and definitely not abridged)

Carly's avatar

@Joker94 I do like the idea of Harry Potter, but I think if I pick something too recent of a published piece, my writing will just be thrown into the huge lot of fan fiction.

then again, I wonder if this is no different. :/ hmm
I’ll have to think about that..

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Omg, all great books!

The Little Princess?

Jeruba's avatar

I’d add L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz and George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin.

downtide's avatar

John Masefield’s “Box of Delights”.

lifeflame's avatar

What about The Borrowers?
Also (though not generally filed under childhood fantasy-fiction), The Little Prince.
Is it important for you that you see a child go into the fantasy world, or just fantastical worlds for children in general?

(By the way, this question inspired to re-read The NeverEnding story. Made a trip to the library yesterday just for that. I haven’t touched it for years!)

Joker94's avatar

@Carly Good point, I hadn’t even considered that lol.

anartist's avatar

@lifeflame Great choices.
And maybe even Charlotte’s Web?

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