Heart of Wisdom Publications:
Free Classics List by Grade Level

Free Classics List by Grade Level

The Heart of Wisdom approach recommends immersing your children in living books or classical literature. We believe you should read the greatest classic—the Bible—the only real, literal, living book, daily, and attempt to read several classics throughout the year.


What is a Classic?

What is a classic book? The answer depends on who you ask. A classic to a Christian can be quite different from the world’s definition. In a broad sense, the term classic is applied to anything accepted either as a model of excellence or as a work of enduring cultural relevance and value. The differences between Heart of Wisdom’s classical list and the classics included in classical secular education are the book lists.

Classics According to Classical Education

Encarta defines classical education as the study of Greek and Roman literature, one of the oldest forms of education known.  In classical education, a classic is any ancient Greek or Roman literary work of the first or highest quality.

The modern classical approach focuses on the Great Books of the Western World (GBBWW). Virtually every book in this collection is required reading in a liberal arts curriculum, and includes works of art, science, philosophy, poetry, prose and history from the time of the Greeks until the early 20th century. Plato, Herodotus, Virgil, and Aristotle are some of the main authors. This list was developed by Mortimer J. Adler and Britannica Editors. They believed these books were the core of Western learning and culture. Most of the books on this list were written by non-Christians, men like Aeschylus, Apollonius, Aquinas, Dewey, Euclid, Euripides, Freud, Hippocrates, Homer, Marx, Plato, Ptolemy, Muhammad (the Quran or Koran), Thoreau, etc.

Classics According to Heart of Wisdom

Heart of Wisdom’s suggested books lists include models of excellence or  works of enduring cultural relevance and value, and do not include mythology nor books by the ancient Greek philosophers.

Free: 31 Page Classics List by Theme & Grade Level

Free Choosing Resources: Classics By Theme & Grade Level (31 pages PDF)

Free Choosing Resources: Classics By Theme & Grade Level (31 pages PDF)


  1. Marlo Ashley

    A great site for free ebooks is Project Gutenberg at http://www.gutenberg.org. This site has tons of out of print classics that you can download and print for free.

  2. I love your list of classic books! Currently, we are building a website just for classic children’s literature, and was thrilled to see your list. Of course it mirrors many of the great lists of classic literature, but you have provided your own distinctive groupings which is a great assett to parents seeking to instill a love of learning into their students. Another important aspect of classic literature – in comparison to popular books – is that it addresses the classic problems of humanity instead of the trends of the times.

  3. I LOVE these!! They are just adorable. I am going to post a link to these on my blog if that is ok with you. I know that my followers will love these. This list was developed by Mortimer J. Adler and Britannica Editors. They believed these books were the core of Western learning and culture. I felt really inspired so and I think it is a great way to ease into the whole blogging thing! Thank you and God Bless!

  4. I agree – the Bible is the ultimate classic!!

    I also like to re-read “Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyan every now and then. I’ve been into textbooks in the past few years, but beyond that, I struggle to find the time to read any non-fiction.

    The Bible has it all for me – if I really want adventure, I will turn to the Old Testament stories or Acts.

  5. Me again!
    You might also be interested to know that you can read my Christian book (published in 2007 by Monarch) for free on http://www.LookingTowardsHome.com.

    It is a book that groups all the Bible verses that deal with a certain topic (eg the Church, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit etc) into one single chapter, so that you can see ata glance what the Bible says.

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