A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The story of a young English girl living in India with her widower father that adores her. When she comes of the right age, he sends her to a school in London, as the Indian air is not good for ladies. She is greeted with jealously, as her wealthy father insists on her being absolutely comfortable, therefore getting her her own room (for he knows she likes to make up stories and play pretend when she is alone), pampering her with beautiful clothes, and asking the headmistress to take very good care of her. She is not spoilt and has a very kind and generous heart, that is tested when tragedy falls and she loses her fortune. It is heart wrenching at times, but ends wonderfully.
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
Another great one by Burnett. The story of a young girl that has been given all that she wanted in her young life, so as to keep her quiet and not bother her mother and her mother's friends. She has lived a life completely devoid of love, and so she is cold hearted. When she is orphaned and sent to live at her uncle's estate, she discovers some beauty in life and the reader watches her heart change as she discovers what life is really about. Some great surprises in this book. Again, another one you must read. If you have seen the movie that Disney put out, you have not felt the whole of the story, as movies usually go.
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
The charming story of four girls and their coming of age, so to speak. This story will make you laugh and cry and heal all over. You will be challenged to think about the condition of your own heart, and you will wish you lived in the little cottage of the March family. A pretty realistic view of the characters, as it doesn't paint a picture of perfect people, but rather girls trying to be good, and all the mistakes they make in-between. It also talks a good deal about faith in God, but from a relational point of view, not religious.
Heidi, Johanna Spyri
This book touched me deeply, and I am convinced it changed me for the better in some way. Heidi is a little orphan girl that is dropped off by her aunt to live with her hard-hearted grandfather in the Swiss Alps. Through time, she softens the old man's heart. But, just as things are going well, the aunt comes to take her away, leaving the heart broken Grandfather to his anger once more. Heidi's new home, living as a companion to a wealthy invalid girl, teaches her a great many things, but she is sad to be away from her grandfather and the mountain air. Heidi touches the lives of all those around her, and brings a little bit of much needed change to the world she lives in. All comes together in the end, but I will not reveal how. This book also has great spiritual lessons, that will make you want to embrace all the characters, leaving none behind to be forgotten, or ill used. A must read!!!
All these books are good for any age that can sit and listen to or read a book without pictures. No inappropriate content, although all of them deal with a death of some sort. Other than that, I think these could only inspire a person, of any age, to be better than they are now.